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Shift your mode for Go By Bike Week and beyond


two bicycles in a garden
Get your bike out and shift your mode of transportation this GoByBike Week!

Spring has arrived – It’s time to dust off and tune up our bikes and ride! To give your active commuting a jumpstart for the season, you might want to register for this year’s Spring GoByBike Week running May 29-June 4, 2023. Registration is free, and you can participate solo, join a team, or start a team (tip: teams have more chances to win prizes!) with your friends, family, fellow students and/or colleagues.

Active commuting – by bike or any other human-powered method – is a great way to fit in more movement in our day-to-day busy-ness. It provides an instant mood and energy boost, helping us arrive at our destination (i.e., work, school, etc.) focused and ready to rock!

What’s this about prizes?

This year’s GoByBike Week theme is “Shift your mode.” Mode shift is a way of reducing vehicle omissions by choosing a more sustainable mode of transportation, such as cycling. This year, logging just one Mode Shift ride (where you chose to ride when you would normally drive) during Spring GoByBike Week will get you entered to win an e-bike!

Additionally, logging ANY bike (or other wheeled) ride during GoByBike Week makes you eligible to enter the provincial grand prize draw for a cycling trip for two in Croatia!

That’s not all. There are many other prizes including bike gear and Amazon gift cards to be won. Do you want to increase your chances of winning prizes? Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to join your team. The more team members you have, the higher your chances of winning. Learn more about Creating a Team here!

Worried about safety?

Research shows that safety increases as the number of people cycling increases!  More people biking means fewer vehicles on the road, and drivers become more aware of cyclists simply because there are more of us. The old adage “there is safety in numbers” applies here. To be better prepared to share the road, there are some great resources out there to help you brush up on your skills:

  • HUB Cycling has developed free online courses: Learn2Ride (for ages 5-12) and GetStreetWise (for ages 12+). These courses cover essential skills and knowledge, such as helmet fitting, bike handling, traffic rules, and hazard avoidance.
  • ICBC has cycling safety videos and tips for both drivers and riders.
  • BC Cycling Coalition has created the BikeSense Manual containing all the information you might need to start a new cycling habit or refresh your skills and knowledge, including tips on preparing for and planning your ride, safety tips and education, and relevant updates on BC’s Motor Vehicle Act.

What about bike theft?

Bike theft is a very real concern and a common barrier to shifting modes on a regular basis. It’s pretty sad when the fear of losing our bike, or not having anywhere secure to park/store our bike, stops us from making the healthy (and fun!) choice of active transportation. So, what can we do about it? A few ideas:

  • Register your bike with Project 529. This free service allows you to create a profile of your bike, with photos, description, and serial number, and to report it as stolen if necessary. This helps the authorities and the cycling community to identify and recover stolen bikes, and to hold thieves accountable.
  • Make sure your lock is sturdy; avoid using only a cable lock, instead opt for a U-Lock or a metal folding lock.
  • Lock your bike in a visible, well-lit area.
  • Talk to your leadership and/or facility management about designating a secure space for bike storage (i.e., a locked outdoor space, a storage room, etc.). A healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce; let’s work together to come up with a solution!

Would you ride more often if you had secure storage at your workplace? Has your workplace come up with an innovative solution to prioritize staff health through active transportation and guarding against the disappointment of bike theft? We’d love to hear from you! Send your stories and suggestions to Physical.Activity@northernhealth.ca.