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Pedal power in action: Spring Go By Bike Week in Greater Victoria set to begin

30th annual cycling celebration inspires change and community engagement in the face of climate change
Bike to Work Week 2017 at the Selkirk Trestle. (Courtesy Capital Bike)

Spring Go By Bike Week, June 3-9, is all about encouraging British Columbians to experience the joy of cycling while promoting good health and making a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

In GoByBike BC’s 2022-27 strategic plan, board chair, Marsh Stevens, and executive director, Katie Macpherson, spoke to the impact the organization strives to make through events like this.

“We are all grappling with the effects of climate change, a global pandemic, resource scarcity, and record-high greenhouse gas emissions,” said Macpherson. “Now is the time to act and make a difference for our future. We call upon individuals, businesses, governments and communities at large to Commit to Cycle, Connect with Community and Ride for Change.”

One of the organization’s goals is to increase active transportation participation by doubling the number of people in B.C. who use their bikes as a preferred method of transportation by 2030, the strategy later reads.

As of 2021, the organization’s encouragement campaigns had reached a total of 81 communities and more than 500,000 participants. And it all started in 1996 in Victoria, when the Bike to Work Week event was created by a group of committed volunteers stemming from the Greater Victoria Biking Coalition. Initially, the event had a participation rate of 500 riders. By 2010, more than 14,000 cyclists in 18 communities across the province of British Columbia participated.

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Bike to Work Society later merged to become Capital Bike, which is the organizer of Go By Bike Week in the CapitalRegion district.

READ MORE: Victoria has Canada’s highest rate of commuters who bike to work, StatsCan says

This spring, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Spring Go By Bike Week and one of the promotional hashtags is #AnyRideCounts. It symbolizes that all bike rides can be logged at, including trips to get groceries, riding to and from work or school, hitting the bike park, trail rides, or other recreational rides. Getting around on smaller wheels like rollerblades and scooters counts, too.

All rides logged will be entered to win the prize draw. And the more one rides, the better the prizes.

Capital Bike in Victoria has recruited $25,000 worth of additional prizes on top of what GoByBike BC offers, including three grand prize bikes. Provincially, cyclists can be entered to win a cycling adventure in Italy.

Logging rides isn’t just about prizes though; it’s also a way to track one’s progress and see how many greenhouse gas emissions one offsets.

For STRAVA (an app that logs exercise) users, they can also link their GoByBike account with their STRAVA account so that bike rides are automatically logged.

Spring Go By Bike Week also encourages cyclists to put safety first. For those who need a refresher on rules of the road or safety tips, there is a free StreetWise Cycling Online course for ages 13+ or Learn2Ride Online for ages 9-12.

Throughout the week there will be celebration stations along popular cycling routes. Each station will have free food and drink, one-time prize draws, bike mechanics, resources, and more.

And hopefully, by the end of the week, cyclists in the capital region will feel more empowered, and positive about the impact they are making.

For more information, visit

A Go By Bike Week participant at a Celebration Station in 2022. (Courtesy Capital Bike)

Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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