- The Westshore
- Capital Bike helps Colwood gear up for fun and safe cycling
Capital Bike helps Colwood gear up for fun and safe cycling
The group is supporting events and programs that get more people out on their bikes in Colwood
Biking better, biking safer, biking together. These were the themes James Coates, education coordinator for Capital Bike programs shared with Colwood city council members as his organization gears up for the 30th GoByBike (formerly Bike to Work) event the week of Feb. 5-11. GoByBike is a behaviour change campaign that promotes the environmental, physical and mental health benefits of recreational bike riding.
Last year, 170 Colwood residents participated in GoByBike covering 1,700 kilometres over the course of the campaign. Capital Bike had a celebration station on the Galloping Goose trail where it crosses Sooke Road which offered items such as refreshments, T-shirts, and local corporate and small business sponsors also give out free promotional materials. Last year 76 people from Colwood visited that station. With the announcement of the construction of the new overpass, that route and site may change for this year’s event.
Capital Bike is a not-for-profit organization that now has five full-time staff and employs two co-op students. Since 1991, they have been key in getting bike lanes and trails built as well as supporting making the region more bike friendly. They also support programming for all ages that promotes safe riding and rider etiquette that provides young and old with the skills and knowledge to make cycling an easy, fun and safe transportation option.
In 2020, Capital Bike facilitated the participation of 600 Grade 4 and 5 students at Sangster, Colwood, John Stubbs and David Cameron elementary schools in the Everyone Rides program. Everyone Rides is an introductory bike course that supports universal cycling for students living in BC. Over the two-day classroom-based program, kids learn about helmet fit, rudimentary bike mechanics and road safety, traffic rules and rider etiquette so that they can be safe, responsible and independent riders.
Capital Bike also piloted a safe bike program for middle school aged kids at Oak Bay and Central Middle School in Victoria and hopes to run one at Dunsmuir Middle School in Colwood this year.
The organization also offers guided tours of new infrastructure to ensure people know how to use it properly and with confidence. With all of the new capital infrastructure plans that were presented at the council’s Jan. 9 meeting, which include hundreds of kilometres of new bike lanes in Colwood, the program is a timely one.
And It’s not just getting people on bikes that Capital Bike supports, but also people’s ability to travel to and from places knowing that their ride won’t get stolen if they leave it. One of the other popular services that Capital Bike offers is Bike Valet, an anti-bike theft program where people can come and drop their bikes off for safekeeping while they shop or attend events with peace of mind. Last year, 242 people used the valet service at Colwood’s Eats and Beats Festival.
With so many community programs and events on the way, Coates said to council that his favourite Capital Bike supported ride is the Truth and Reconciliation Ride. Last year 500 participants took part alongside members of the Songhees Nation and rode together to the South Island Powwow.
Following his presentation, Mayor Kobayashi thanked Coates for “everything he is doing for the community.”