VANCOUVER: Support for cycling stronger than ever with a 58% increase in cyclists for Go by Bike Week

Go by Bike Week is a week-long behaviour change campaign across Metro Vancouver. Led by a Vancouver-based Women4Climate Kate Shen, the campaign encourages people to choose cycling as their commute mode of choice. In the text below, Kate offers a summary of this year's activities and outcomes.

Go by Bike Week

HUB Cycling’s Go by Bike Week returned to Metro Vancouver from May 31 to June 6 to celebrate cycling in all its glory. Formerly known as ‘Bike to Work Week’, HUB Cycling's popular, bi-annual event takes on a new name this Spring as ‘Go by Bike Week’.

The event was packed with live Q&As, webinars, yoga classes, a free movie screening, short videos, and free bike maintenance at local bike shops. Support for cycling during the event was stronger than ever as we saw a 58% increase in cyclists compared to last year’s Spring Go by Bike Week.

Building on our success from last year, we wanted to continue reaching new audiences. Whether someone is cycling to do errands, cycling to school, commuting to work, or cycling for recreational use, the bike has a place in everyone’s life.” says Negar Naghshinehpour, HUB’s Cycling’s Bike to Work Week Manager.

The week started off strong with lots of sunshine, which helped motivate new and returning cyclists to get outside! 2,162 new riders participated in the event for the first time.

Support from the public and local community leaders

Throughout the week, people across Metro Vancouver shared their #GoByBike Week rides on social media using the hashtag #RideHourChallenge. We saw participation from local residents and community leaders like North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA, Bowinn Ma, and Vancouver City Councillor and Climate Activist, Christine Boyle.

Online educational resources about cycling

HUB Cycling created a digital schedule for the general public that included live Q&As, webinars, yoga classes, a free movie screening, and short videos - free for all to view and attend. Our “Intro to City Cycling” webinar aimed to help participants new to cycling feel more comfortable riding on the road. For those more seasoned cyclists, HUB Cycling aired short videos and hosted live Q&As with health professionals to answer common questions around injury prevention for cyclists and bike fitting.

During the event, HUB Cycling also launched their new ‘HUB Webinars and Resources on Bicycles’ webpage with helpful resources and links discussed in the webinars, including resources on adaptive cycling

Cycling and inclusivity: Women, Trans & Queer bike maintenance nights

For the first time ever, HUB Cycling was delighted to support and promote three Women, Trans & Queer bike maintenance nights during Go by Bike Week hosted by community partners: Our

Community Bikes, Kickstand, and The Bike Kitchen. More than 50 individuals attended the two in-person events. In the often male-dominated bike industry, these nights are increasingly important to support the knowledge shared among marginalized members of the community. In an interview with CBC, Sophia Suderman, Our Community Bikes' executive director said:

It's a safe space people can come in. They'll see themselves reflected in the people that are actually doing the work.

A breakdown of our success:

  • 5,314 people registered to participate 
  • 234,769 total kms cycled
  • 50,880 KGs of greenhouse gas emissions saved
  • 22,246 trips logged
  • 75 hours of free basic bike maintenance was made available to the general public at various bike shops throughout Metro Vancouver
  • 954 people registered for our webinars throughout the week
  • 51.4% of participants identified as being female or other

Go by Bike Week helps celebrate and support getting people on bikes, which helps contribute to happier, healthier and more connected communities for everyone. Go by Bike Week will return to an in-person event as Bike to Work Week from September 27th - October 3rd. For a full list of HUB Cycling’s annual events, go to bikehub.ca/bike-events.

 

By Kate Shen | 30 June 2021