Go By Bike Week achieves new mile­stone

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Mark NIELSEN Citizen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

A record amount of pedal power showed up for a re­branded cam­paign to en­cour­age more bike rid­ing in the city.

Go By Bike Week drew 883 riders from

May 27 to June 2 – a 35-per-cent jump over last year’s count. Col­lec­tively, they trav­eled 38,132 kilo­me­tres over that time, more than dou­ble the pre­vi­ous edi­tion’s to­tal of 15,941.

“Over­all, it was pretty good suc­cess,” co­or­di­na­tor Dane Green­well said dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion at Mon­day night’s city coun­cil meet­ing.

He agreed that a lack of wild­fire smoke helped with the turnout.

“I think it cer­tainly mo­ti­vated peo­ple to get out rid­ing this year,” Green­well said.

“I think it was the weather that re­ally turned it around for Prince Ge­orge.

“We’re one of the north­ern­most com­mu­ni­ties with Go By Bike Week with a large num­ber and in past years we’ve had quite a bit of rain, so peo­ple cer­tainly had cabin fever and def­i­nitely they wanted to cap­i­tal­ize with no smoke in the early part of the year.”

Part of a prov­ince-wide ef­fort, it was pre­vi­ously known as Bike to Work Week. Al­though the re­nam­ing was meant to give it a more in­clu­sive feel, Green­well said it cre­ated some con­fu­sion.

Next year will be the 10th an­niver­sary of the event, he noted, and would like to see 1,000 par­tic­i­pants at that time.

“We need to ride this mo­men­tum,” Green­well said.

Mayor Lyn Hall re­called hold­ing a friendly com­pe­ti­tion with Jil­lian Mer­rick when she was a coun­cil­lor. With Hall on his mo­tor­cy­cle and Mer­rick on her bike, they would meet at Southridge El­e­men­tary School and ride to a pre­de­ter­mined spot.

“In­ter­est­ingly enough, I’d beat her each year by only two or two-and-a-half min­utes,” Hall said and added that while both had to stop at the stop lights, Mer­rick was able to take some short­cuts.

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