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Bike to Work shifts to Go By Bike, with recreational rides counting for prizes

With fewer people going to work, the newly formed Capital Bike has replaced its annual Bike to Work Week with a virtual Go By Bike Week.
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Maia Green, front, with fellow Rockheights Elementary teachers Anna MacDonell and Sean Rumble in front of Archie Browning Sports Centre for Bike to Work Week in 2019. ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST

With fewer people going to work, the newly formed Capital Bike has replaced its annual Bike to Work Week with a virtual Go By Bike Week.

The event, set for the first week of June, was postponed to the fall last year due to COVID‑19, but returns to its traditional springtime slot this year.

Adam Krupper, executive director of Capital Bike, said the idea of revamping the annual event had been around for a while.

“With people just not going to work this year, we decided it was the right moment for the change.”

With restrictions around gatherings due to COVID-19, the event will be virtual, which will mean the elimination of ­“celebration stations” that offered cyclists free snacks, hot drinks and giveaways.

Now that the focus isn’t just on cycling to work, the event has expanded to a week rather than just Monday to Friday, and participants can count recreational riding or cycling to the grocery store toward their mileage, said Krupper.

After participants register, every ride puts them in a draw toward winning some of the $15,000 in prizes locally and provincially. The biggest prize in Greater Victoria is a $4,000 Norco e-bike.

The province-wide grand prize is a cycling adventure for two along the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.

Those with a Strava account — an activity-tracker app — can automatically upload their data as well. That means distances ridden on a stationary bicycle can count.

Prizes for children who cycle to school include winning a pizza party for their class at school.

The event, in its 27th year, is in partnership with Go By Bike B.C Society (formerly Bike to Work Week B.C. Society), which promotes similar events in Nanaimo, Campbell River, Whistler, Penticton and Nelson.

Registration is free and opens today. The event runs from May 31 to June 6 throughout the province. For more information, go to gobybikebc.ca.

parrais@timescolonist.com