Cyclists during last year's mass ride.

Bike to Work Week begins Monday

Bike to Work Week kicks off Monday with a mass bike ride down Main Street.

Bike to Work Week starts next week.

It kicks off Monday with a celebration at Bugwood Bean from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a mass bike ride down Main Street.

“Bike to Work Week is about raising awareness about cycling within British Columbia and safety of bicycling and promoting healthy living within our communities,” said co-organizer Liliana Dragowska. “It’s also an initiative that helps brings awareness around bike riding and commuting and the need to actually support infrastructure development within our province and community.

“A lot of the time, our lives are so busy that we definitely tend to choose our cars for the convenience, but this is an opportunity to challenge yourself and your friends to try to ride their bikes as much as possible.”

Bike to Work Week also challenges people or organizations to cycle to work and log their kilometres online at biketowork.ca/smithers.

The website has a map that helps registrants figure out their mileage and data collected allows the organizers to track how many people are riding and their distances.

Registrants also can win prizes from the Province including a grand prize of an international cycling trip.

Participants who enter their names in at least four celebration stations also get a chance to win a $700 Specialized or Giant bike from C.O.B. Bike Shop or McBike, a $150 flight voucher from Central Mountain Air and one night at a hotel.

Participants can also win trophies in a number of categories including being the oldest participant and the cyclist who biked the most kilometres in a week.

Bike to Work Week is organized by three people including Dragowska, Jeremy Shriber and new organizer Agnes Pion.

“Last year, she actually gave up her car for the whole Bike to Work Week and it really just inspired her to encourage people to ride their bike,” said Dragowska. “So this year she’s really helping with the organization and sponsorship of the event.”

Certain highlights on the schedule include a bike maintenance clinic at Bugwood Bean starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, a ladies’ mountain bike ride on Tuesday and free admission to the Bulkley Valley Recreation Centre on Wednesday.

The full schedule can be accessed at biketowork.ca/smithers.