Capital Bike’s 1st Year!
We’re happy to report to our members, event participants, and community members that Capital Bike’s first year was a success! Please see below for an overview of all of this past year’s programs supporting our mission to provide the capital region with cycling advocacy, education, and celebration.
Go By Bike Week
Two successful Go By Bike Weeks got thousands of people on their bikes this spring and fall, demonstrating the region’s love of active transportation. Even without Celebration Stations in the spring, it was amazing to see so many people participate in our physically-distanced challenges and activities. We especially appreciate the participants who braved the rain to visit Celebration Stations in the fall. Some of the many highlights are included below.
Spring Go By Bike Week: May 31-June 6
Greater Victoria showed up in high numbers for our first Spring Go By Bike Week since 2019. While there were no Celebration Stations, we enjoyed seeing peoples’ photos of them collecting GBBW stickers, collecting groceries by bike, riding with friends, and completing Neighbourhood Rides.
Sponsored by Monk Office
After the success of our first Sticker Challenge in fall 2020, we decided to bring it back for 2021! The Sticker Challenge gets people riding while discovering and supporting the fantastic local businesses that support us. We challenged participants to collect 5 out of 10 Go By Bike Week stickers between May 31 and June 6. 46 businesses participated and 126 participants sent in photos. A BIG THANKS to Monk Office for printing all of our stickers for free and donating prizes!
Neighbourhood Rides and Activities
Capital Bike is no one-trick pony! We also ran Neighbourhood Rides (13 selected Scavenger Hunts and Discovery Rides highlighting communities across Greater Victoria) and photo challenges for individuals, friends and family teams, and workplaces. Participants won prizes for things like taking their bike on the bus (BC Transit donated a Marin Fairfax 2 bike!), buying groceries on their bike, taking a photo biking to work, and many more.
A HUGE ‘Thanks’ to WestShore Bicycles for donating a Norco Scene VLT E-Bike as an awesome grand prize. Congratulations to our grand prize winner Bronwyn on her new E-Bike!
Fall Go By Bike Week: Sept 27-Oct 3
We were overjoyed to bring back Celebration Stations and group rides for our Fall Go By Bike Week! It was wonderful to see so many of our fantastic participants during this (rainy) week. See below for highlights!
Fourteen stations over seven days! Thanks to all who visited and logged their rides during Fall Go By Bike Week.
National Reconciliation Day Ride
Capital Bike hosted the first-ever national Reconciliation Day Ride to support the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. We were grateful for the support of Xe xe Smun’ eem-Victoria Orange Shirt Day and special guest Diane Sam, who spoke to participants arriving by bike at Beacon Hill Park. In an incredble show of community support, approximately 350 people from the cycling community, many wearing orange, joined us on the ride. It was a truly proud moment.
Everyone Rides Grades 4 and 5
Throughout the spring and fall, we visited elementary schools in and around Greater Victoria to deliver our awesome bike education program, Everyone Rides Grades 4 and 5. Courses focus on safe riding on roads and multi-use trails as well as hand signals, helmet fit, and bike handling skills through fun games. This year, we expanded the program to schools outside of Greater Victoria by delivering the program on Salt Spring Island and in the Cowichan Valley.
The Everyone Rides Grades 4 & 5 program was developed by our friends at HUB Cycling in Vancouver and is funded by the Province of British Columbia. In 2021, we taught at 26 schools, reaching thousands of young bikers. We look forward to offering this program in local schools for years to come!
Capital Bike Launch
In April 2021, we launched Capital Bike, a merger of the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society and Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition. Capital Bike’s vision is to serve the whole Capital region with cycling advocacy, education, and celebration. Watch the highlights from our launch below.
To the delight of many, our themed group rides made a comeback this summer. We’ve danced, dressed as Zombies, decorated our bikes with lights, braved storms, and so much more! We couldn’t have done it without our great Ride Marshalls! Thank you Thank you! See below for a few photos from these rides. We look forward to more in 2022!
City of Victoria Guided Tours
Among our many Group Rides were a series of Guided Tours highlighting new bike infrastructure in Victoria and how best to use it. We shared tips for riding on facilities like the Vancouver Street Bikeway, Humboldt Advisory Lanes, and Dallas Road Pathway. Sponsored by the City of Victoria, these fun and free Guided Tours were a huge hit!
We also held several bicycle dance parties and a Zombie Ride, but didn’t grab any pictures. You’ll have to come see these rides in person next year to see how much fun they are!
As usual, even in an unusual year, we taught dozens of bike skills courses for kids, youth, and adults looking to become more confident and safe on the bike. We even added new instructors in our teaching pool to keep up with an ever-increasing demand for bike training. A big project was updating our instructor training manual! We’re typically don’t take photos during our regular Bike Skills courses, but we do have photos from our E-Bike event at the Inter-Cultural Association to share.
All-Aboard Family Cycling Program
We launched a new program this year: the All-Aboard Family Cycling progra. It is a multi-faceted program that supports families who are looking to make cycling a bigger part of their lives. We organized three free workshops, produced tip sheets, held online Q&As during Go By Bike Week, and even produced videos as part of All-Aboard. We’re pleased to announce that the All-Aboard program will be offered again in 2022, thanks to continued funding from Island Health. If you’re interested in joining the 2022 program, email James!
See one of our All-Aboard videos below, where Julian West discusses how a cargo bike allows him to get his kids to school in a fun and sustainable way.
So much more!
Thanks for your support in 2021. This is just a brief highlight reel of our many programs both old and new which found success thanks to you and our fantastic community. For a more detailed report on our programs, we will have a year-end report at our Annual General Meeting in 2022. More info about the AGM will be shared in the coming weeks.