The 10th annual Bike to Work Day is coming up in Calgary. The event celebrates and promotes cycling as a healthy mode of transportation that is efficient, low-cost and socially responsible.
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The organization’s mission is to encourage people working in the downtown core, and surrounding neighbourhoods, to try biking to work, and eventually cycling to work all season long. Bike to Work Day is sponsored by Power In Motion, a bike shop in Eau Claire Market. Owner Ken Cheung remember’s when Bike to Work Day’s founder, Lonny Balbi, first approached him about the event.
“Lonny invited us to be part of Bike to Work Day, saying he wanted to promote cycling in the city. He was 6 foot tall, a Lawyer, and didn’t look like a cyclist. I thought to myself, there’s no way this guy bikes to work, but then I saw that his heart was really into it, and that he just wanted to bring awareness to the city. He always wants to include everyone. Doesn’t matter if you use road bikes, mountain bikes, or electric.”
This year Balbi will be donating $1 for every cyclist who participates in Bike to Work Day to Two Wheel View, a charity that teaches leadership and mechanical bike skills to kids. Two Wheel View’s Marketing and Communications Director, Laura Istead told Calgary Buzz she’s excited about the partnership.
“We’ve known about the event for the whole time and we’re really thrilled that they’ve chosen us this year. Not only to raise funds for our youth cycling programs but to also let people know what we’re doing.”
Two Wheel View runs two major youth programs throughout the year. Earn a bike or bike club is an eight week after school mechanics program. For two hours each week kids learn how to fix tires, breaks, and change their gears. At the end of the program each child earns a helmet, a lock and a bike. Istead said that for some kids this is their first bike.
The second program they run is a rolling summer camp. Bike Trips give youth the opportunity to travel through Alberta on a bike. For example from Drumheller to Banff for 10 days. The group stop along the way to help out in different communities. Last year, Bike Trips did 90 days of trips, and this year 100 days has already been booked.
On Bike to Work Day there will be ten pit stop locations set up around Calgary, a free breakfast at Eau Claire Market and giveaways from sponsors like Power in Motion.