Events
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Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Go By Bike is going all-season this year

New winter cycling event comes with a push to name Victoria Canada’s cycling capital 

Events
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Go By Bike is going all-season this year

New winter cycling event comes with a push to name Victoria Canada’s cycling capital 

Victoria's bike valet next to City Hall. File photo: Michael John Lo / Capital Daily
Victoria's bike valet next to City Hall. File photo: Michael John Lo / Capital Daily
Events
News
Based on facts either observed and verified firsthand by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Go By Bike is going all-season this year

New winter cycling event comes with a push to name Victoria Canada’s cycling capital 

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 Go By Bike is going all-season this year
Victoria's bike valet next to City Hall. File photo: Michael John Lo / Capital Daily

Organizers of the inaugural Winter GoByBike Week are out to spread the idea that cycling is not only fun, but also good for your health and good for the environment—in every season.  

This is the first time the event is being held in the winter and covers International Winter Cycling Day (Feb.10). The event highlights the fact that weather in Greater Victoria—unlike much of Canada—allows people to cycle all year-round relatively comfortably, safely, and without studded tires.

The GoByBike event began in 1995 in Greater Victoria as an effort to convince more provincial government employees to cycle to work and with a core group of 500 committed commuter cyclists. It’s since grown exponentially, becoming a perennial favourite for local cyclists and drawing 7,000 registered participants last spring. 

“We are celebrating 30 years of GoByBike Week,” Capital Bike Events Manager Jordan Glowicki said. “The event has been a large reason why our cycling culture and infrastructure is so great here in the Capital Region.” 

As part of their Active Transportation Plans, many municipalities throughout the CRD are looking to invest in cycling infrastructure. Colwood’s exploration into building a community waterfront cycling route and Sidney’s proposed better integration of Lochside Regional Trail to downtown streets through its Long Term Cycling Network are examples of a growing focus on cycling in the region.

Big investments like these–like the one Langford made in the E&N Rail, make the most sense when that infrastructure can be used year-round. Adding a winter edition GGBW helps to build a robust and committed cycling culture that makes for good returns on those investments. 

During the seven-day winter bike week, from Feb. 5-11, participants will be able to roll up to the downtown Celebration Station where sponsors such as Tim Hortons, Hornby Organics, the City of Victoria, and Oak Bay Bikes will be offering a range of freebies: coffee and donuts, merchandise, prize draws, and bike tune-ups. 

Capital Bike’s Marlaina Buch hopes that the week can be a way to get more people in the region to start biking—an activity she says has brought her life-long benefits. “The freedom and joy I get from zipping around town or exploring trails is something I'm very grateful for,” she says. 

New pitch to name Victoria the cycling capital

Victoria's winter GBBW station will open for the event kick-off outside Victoria City Hall on Thursday, Feb. at 7am and remain open until 9am.

It will feature an announcement by Coun. Jeremy Caradonna and Matt Dell: They’re bringing a motion to declare Victoria the cycling capital of Canada.”

Stats Canada census reporting showed that 5.3 per cent of people in Victoria consistently commute by bicycle to work, the highest rate in the country. “The city made a similar declaration over twenty years ago, but now we have the data to prove it’s true,” said Caradonna.”

 

How to participate

The bike valet on Pandora will be open early (7am) for the celebration station launch event so folks can meet the new faces at Capital Bike.

To participate in GBBW, riders register and log their rides from today until the 11th. There are $11K in prizes available for them, and Buch says 686 are already registered. 

This year the team is partnering with other organizations in a push to make GBBW more accessible to residents of all locations, ages, abilities, and demographics. “We try to set up our Celebration Stations along easily accessible cycling routes around the region,” Glowicki said.

Where to ride

There are plenty of fabulous cycling routes around Victoria and the CRD.  For those who prefer to log their rides in a more natural setting and are tired of the Galloping Goose, there are trails around Matheson Lake, Sooke Hills Wilderness, Sooke Potholes, Thetis Lake, Witty’s Lagoon where bike racks are conveniently installed. 


Next bike weeks start in June and Sept.

For those cyclists holding out for warmer weather, the Spring Go By Bike Week (June 3 – 9) “is going to be a huge celebration of all things cycling,” said Glowicki. He says the organizing committee is already lining up bike decorating for kids, guided rides, bike parades, adaptive cycle experiences, bicycle food and drink guided tours, and more.

The Fall GBBW will run for two weeks, from Sept. 23-Oct. 6.  Capital Bike is estimating that 15,000 people in the CRD will participate in the three 2024 events.

Okay Victoria, get your bike on!

Note: Corrected to say event is seven days in length, and that the GBBW station opens outside City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7am.

contact@capitaldaily.ca

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