A total of 550 local riders hopped onto a provincewide effort to show folks the benefits of leaving the car in the garage.
GoByBike Week, a program that aims to encourage more people to make the switch from using their vehicle to cycling for everyday transportation, was held from May 31 to June 6.
During that time, cyclists from the North Okanagan biked more than 24,000 kilometres — enough mileage to cover a trip from Alaska to Argentina.
“Vernon should be proud of how much we achieved during GoByBike Week,” said Angela Broadbent, the city’s active transportation coordinator. “Going by bike instead of driving is a little step that has a big impact when we do it together. Let’s keep the momentum going and keep riding all summer.”
GoByBike Week is one piece of the city’s larger strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than doubling the number of trips made by bike locally by 2040.
“Cycling offers the added benefits of escaping traffic, improving air quality, reducing congestion on our roadways and improving personal health,” the city said in a press release.
Fifty-four local teams from a variety of sectors took part, and the top teams were:
• City of Vernon Velocity: 47 riders, 3350 km, 726 kg GHGs saved
• Okanagan Springs Brewery: 17 riders, 1851 km, 401 kg GHGs saved
• KVHP Team: 21 riders, 1050 km, 228 kg GHGs saved
Vernon’s top rider was Alesha Miller, who scored a $250 Downtown Vernon Shopping Spree for logging 698 km. The staff of Alexis Park Elementary took home the local school prize: $250 to a local business of their choice.
The Local Grand Prize went to Aaron McVey, who won $1,000 at a bike shop of his choice, sponsored by CUPE 626.
“My wife, seven-year-old son and I are avid mountain bikers, so this prize will certainly be put to use, to keep our bikes running in tip-top shape!” said McVey, whose family biked for all seven days of GoByBike Week.