Thank you to everyone who has sent in stories from across BC! Please help inspire others to try GoingByBike and share your story about how biking has helped you. Email your story and photo (if you have one to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stories from British Columbians:
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Cycling During COVID-19
More stories from British Columbians
Cycling During COVID-19:
Family cycles together during Covid and relieves stress
My family loves outdoors no matter the weather… even more so on two wheels. Biking has gifted us a form of freedom and normalcy in these unknown times. My husband and I spend most of our days with our girls biking and exploring our local community in a safe, social distancing way. What better joy is there as a parent than to see your kids on bikes riding through puddles? What better way to relieve some stress? Get outside active. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay biking.” Marijke Campbell and Family, Chilliwack
Cycling helps recovery from a multi-trauma motor vehicle accident and cope with the covid19 shutdown.
“On a beautiful sunny morning in June 2018 a semi-truck with two trailers overturned on a country road sending a load of steel pipes crashing into my car. Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service cut me from the wreckage and sent me in a helicopter to Vancouver General Hospital. It’s a miracle I survived. Surgeons spent hours working through a list of twenty-two injuries, mostly broken bones. I spent fifteen weeks in hospital and had barely learned to walk again (with a walker) when I was informed the femur bone in my left leg was not healing. More surgery, a wheelchair, walker, crutches, cane, and finally, unassisted (although painful) walking! Exercise at home and at the pool – lots of Aquafit classes – helped so much. Then Covid19 closed all the pools. I forced myself outdoors each day for a painful 20-minute walk but it was not enough. My recovery was going backwards not forwards.
My husband started saying he was confident that I could and should ride a bicycle. I was skeptical! Not so much about balancing but how could I safely stop? He did some research and located a “Step-Through” 8-speed bike that is ideal for me. I can gently place my feet on the ground after applying the hand brakes without having to get off the seat. My kinesiologist is thrilled! I’m getting some cardio exercise, building muscle in the legs, and working the core, as well as developing strength and range of motion in my troubled knees.
Cycling has helped me in recovery from a multi-trauma motor vehicle accident and in coping with the covid19 shutdown. My remarkable recovery is moving forward again! I’m so grateful to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and the benefits of exercise at the same time.” Carol Stewart, Abbotsford
Nurse finds relief from anxiety riding to work
“I am a registered nurse that works at the hospital. Due to the pandemic I have been having a lot of anxiety prior to going to work. Riding my bike has helped to relieve some of this. At seven o’clock in the evening people are banging pots and pans, cheering for the front line health care workers. Riding my bike lets me be fully immersed in this experience and helps bring some confident and pride which makes it that much easier to step into the hospital. Prior to the pandemic I enjoyed riding my bike to work since I always found the independent time so peaceful and helped to wake me up.” Sharyse Wilson
Bike saves family from boredom, keeps them moving
“Biking has saved our family, not only from boredom, but kept us moving together as a family.
We have increased our off-road biking together, including Aunts and Uncles, great way to spend time with extended family, get exercise, create great memories during this challenging time, all while social distancing.” Monica Bognar, West Kelowna
Biking alternative to swim or gym during Covid
“Have been biking as much as possible because I have not been able to swim or go to the gym.” Russdaphne Miller
Cranbrook couple rides in the forest with new dog
“My husband & I live on the edge of our community forest. We ride our bikes in the forest every day with our new little dog Thomas.
We began our daily rides (sometimes 2 or 3 times a day) during COVID. It’s so therapeutic to ride in the forest. We often go to the third lake & stop at a community bench to share a drink with Thomas before turning around & heading home.
It’s so lovely to listen to the birds singing & watch the ducks & geese swimming. There are numerous trails to choose from so we get to enjoy a new adventure every day!
Thanks for reading my story💜” Lori Johansen, Cranbrook
Novice/intermediate rider learns bike maintenance due to Covid
“I wanted share my experience as a novice/intermediate rider. I have participated in Bike to Work and School Week for several years. When I first started I didn’t even think to check the tire pressure. Since the COVID-19 pandemic started and I have more time, I researched and took the big leap in bike maintenance to change a rear tire and tube. This was big for me because I don’t see myself as handy or mechanically inclined at all. I now have more confidence and look forward to taking on more aspects of bike maintenance!” Benjamin Olsson, Campbell River
Cycling to work-at-home
“Every morning for years, I have ridden my bike to work. It’s about a 45-minute commute, and I arrive refreshed, pumped up, and ready for a good day at the office. After work, I often extend the ride to an hour or more, visiting parts of town that my daily routine wouldn’t take me to, or stopping downtown to do chores or go shopping. I get home with the stresses of the day cleansed from my body and spirit, ready to enjoy the rest of the day with my wife.
The COVID pandemic and required social isolation threatened this routine. I have worked from home for about 2 months now. To maintain the routine, I rise at the same time, and before work jump on my bike and take a 45-minute ‘commute’ through the countryside before arriving at work—right back home! Again, at day’s end, I hop on my bike and head out for the ‘commute’ home, thus getting my exercise, seeing the neighborhood, and clearing my mind and body with fresh air, all in a socially distanced manner. I’m getting close to retirement, and see that this will be a great option in retirement too: a commute to and from my new ‘job’. Going by bike has given me something to look forward to every day and well into the future.” Ward Strong, Vernon, BC
Front line worker lifts spirits with bike rides
“Working as a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic has been very stressful. Long shifts and hours of wearing PPE. Coming home emotionally and physically drained. Days off from work, I go for a long bike ride. It re-energizes me and lifts my spirits. I see many people riding their bikes, males and females of all ages. It seems to motivate me for my next bike ride. Especially when they give you a smile. Maybe they know somehow, that I am a frontline worker.” Balbinder Jassi, Vernon
Nurse keeps calm by peddling
“Hello! I am a nurse at KGH and have been biking to work since February of this year, rain or shine! Its a great way to start my day, and blow off any steam at the end of the day. Keeping this one routine during these crazy times has helped keep me grounded. Keep calm and peddle on! Cheers” Karen Little, Kelowna
Social worker opts to cycle to work for health
“My name is Carla and I am a healthcare worker. I am a Social Worker at our local hospital. Once COVID-19 placed restrictions on social distancing and the hospital began to prepare for the worst case scenario, I made a personal promise to myself to bike to and from work every day. Anxiety ran high with work tasks changing and my personal goal is to keep my body & my mind healthy during the pandemic. And biking to and from work is my plan to keep healthy! From my house to work, it is about 8 km round-trip and it takes 8 minutes for me to get to work. And it is quicker for me to ride than to drive, park and walk to the hospital. My ride home is all up hill and it takes me anywhere from 29 minutes, which is my current personal best, to 40 minutes. I am stronger physically since I started. The hill is hard to ride but I have never regret my ride home. Another perk is that I rarely need gas in my car. In addition, I have seen a lot of wildlife that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise including a hawk carrying off a snake for dinner. So many benefits to riding my bike! To date, it has been 6 weeks of riding to and from. And I regret nothing! Thank you!” Carla Williams
University student relieves stress
“I am a full-time university student and mountain biking helps me relieve daily stress and anxiety.” Allison Brand
Biking keeps senior fit, able to maintain social distancing with family
“I am a senior, arrived in Parksville almost four years ago. The cycling group was an important part of my learning about my new community.
Skip ahead three years and I was fortunate enough to have my daughter and her husband move about 2 kms. up the Island from me. We were both loving the bike group , although she does work from home, so doesn’t get out as much as me.
Now skip ahead to this year. Bam, we are both grounded. Both of us want to follow the rules, self isolate and keep our 6ft. apart. Lo and behold we found biking was the easiest way to do that. We pack a lunch. Follow bike path or explore new neighborhoods, check out our magnificent trees, stunning flower gardens find a lovely bench or a lovely log and visit each other. Always with a stunning calming view and feel as if we have had a visit in a far away land.
It has been an excellent way to stay fit, not only physically but mentally.” Linda (Gary) Duguay, Parksville
The Joy of Cycling in the Time of COVID19-Senior takes up cycling for first time in years!
“For many years my everyday Kensington purple retro bicycle has been gathering dust and feeling very neglected in our lonely Kerrisdale basement. It’s not that I haven’t thought of cycling or the emotional effect of not cycling would have on my bike, it just didn’t happen. Then, the COVID19 crisis came along and everything changed. A lot of my regular activities were cancelled. So you can imagine my bike’s surprise and elation when on March 18th, 2020, I dusted her off, put some air in the tires and proceeded to ride down 37th to the Arbutus Greenway. One small ride and we were both hooked. I had nearly forgotten the joy and feeling of freedom one gets from a good bike ride. As a child I rode my bike everywhere in our small Central Alberta town and cycling continued to be an important part of my life when I moved to Vancouver in 1973. But somewhere along the line and not for any particular reason, I stopped cycling.
Well things have changed and I have the novel corona virus to thank for it! I am happy and proud to report that since March 18th, I have cycled every day except for 2 days when it was raining and too dangerous and slippery to venture out. I have to be careful not to fall off my bike as I am waiting for a new date for hip replacement surgery that was postponed due to the COVID19 pandemic. Fortunately, cycling does not seem to hurt my hip as long as I don’t overdo it. My bike rides on the Arbutus Greenway and through the beautiful areas of Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale and Kitsilano aren’t long or difficult so my dear and trusty bike that only has 6 gears is entirely adequate for my purposes. My beloved bike is solid and dependable just like the ideal mate, long searched for and forever cherished.
The re-connection with my bike and the rediscovery of my love of cycling will be my best memory of an otherwise stressful period in our life in the time of COVID19. I am an active senior living in Kerrisdale with my husband and best friend George. Although he wouldn’t admit it he is secretly jealous of my relationship with my Everyday Kensington bicycle.” Jean Haldane, Kerrisdale (Vancouver)
Cycling helps shrinking social circle
“During this Pandemic I have found getting out on my bike and going for a ride has done wonders for my mental and physical state. I live alone and so my social circle has really shrunk during this pandemic so cycling is something to get me out of the house and get some good endorphins going. I always feel 100% better after a ride!
When I get out for a ride, I pass people and we are all smiling and waving as we pass each other. It feels like we are doing this more then usual as I think it is because we are just happy to see other and we appreciate the fact that we are healthy and able to be out and enjoying a cycle.
I have also seen more painted rocks and hearts then I have ever seen before too and that always makes me smile.
Stay safe and healthy and keep on cycling!” Carol Lawrence, Penticton
Bike the one constant in a time of change for teacher
“Biking keeps me sane. My job changed drastically as a teacher, finding myself sitting in front of a computer rather than interacting in person with students. From moving and talking all day, to sitting all day by myself, my bike was the one consistency in a time of change. And with my bike I was reminded how beautiful spring is on Vancouver Island and how fortunate I am to live in this beautiful province.” James Cutt, Cowichan Valley
More stories from British Columbians:
“Last week was Bike to Work Week, the third year we have celebrated that event in our community. What a great way to unify our community. It was so inspiring to see all those bikers in town and to pass parents and kids pedaling to or from town at the beginning and end of the day. What a great spirit it brought to our community.”Francois Depey, Office of the Wet’suwet’en, Smithers
“I really had fun riding my bike at bike to school week. I ride my bike because it is super fun. I was surprised to win a prize and shared some of the cookies with my friends. I will do bike to school week next year because anytime I can take a trip on my bike I’ll do it because it is super fun.”Mischa Ansgar, 6 year old, Smithers
“When I ride my bike, I am motivated by the fact that I am using a non-polluting mode of transportation, I save money, and as a bonus I am fully awake by the time I get to work!! : I think it’s important to support initiatives that promote healthy living and community involvement. I love biking, so it made sense for me to register!”Agnes Pion, Airport Security, Smithers Regional Airport, Smithers
“This event was a great success on Salt Spring Island, thanks to the many volunteers who organized it and the enthusiastic support of the community. We must all do what we can to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as we face the realities of climate change. The Bike to Work Week helps us all to think about alternative means of transportation, not only bicycles, but also taking the bus, electric vehicles, walking or simply cutting back on the number of trips we make in our cars. This world is ours to protect. We must all play our part.”Peter Grove, Elected Trustee for the Islands Trust, Salt Spring Island
“Bike to Work Week on Salt Spring tends to be an uphill battle – with hilly terrain and narrow, winding roads – but this opportunity to get on your bike as the weather gets beautiful is a real motivator for so many islanders. This year we had fierce but friendly competitions, a number of celebration stations on the island, and a rapidly improving mixed use trail infrastructure to support riders. Salt Spring is quickly on its way from a bike desert to a bike mecca!”Seth Wright, Islands Trust, Salt Spring Island
“Bike to Work Week is awesome. I enjoy that it gets everyone out on the streets biking. The stations are a great way to get new bikers “tuned up” with the volunteer bike support staff available to answer questions. The station treats are a great way to start a day!
While we often get rain in Revelstoke at the start of June it is great timing to get people thinking about switching from winter to summer transport. Thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers. They were great!”Bridget Daughney, Canadian Avalanche Association, Revelstoke
“Take 48 bike commuters from the QVH/MCC Healthy Hot Wheels team, with 200 trips and 1024 km in 7 days collectively burning 30,710 calories with 22 Greenhouse gases saved and it all equals a fabulous increase in participation of the 2015 BTWW. Last year our team had 31 riders, 133 trips for a 762 km total. We even had overflowing bike racks day 1, in the rain. With the increased participation (and possibly the highest team participation of all Revy teams), and staff continuing to ride, we are in negotiations with our employer for a new bike rack. As well, we have an in-house program to support & encourage staff to continue their “ healthy” habit, checking in with commuters in September. Great program! Let’s keep the momentum & support going!”Ruby ann Meda , Revelstoke
“We formed a team of our farm employees this year and had 5 of 8 employees participate with enthusiasm. My wife, Louise, and I also cycle quite often but since we live on our “jobsite”, we decided to support our employees by riding out in a different direction each morning to meet up with one or two and ride back to the farm together. We also offered some prizes as an incentive to reach 25, 85, and 150km targets by the end of the week. It was a good team-building exercise – something other businesses or organizations spend money to achieve.
We’ll definitely do it again next year and maybe try to find a way of encouraging our customers to cycle to our farmers’ markets and log those km for our team. Anyway, here is a link to a brief report in our farm newsletter in case it is of any interest. Thanks for the work you do to organize BTWW for BC!” Hermann Bruns, Wild Flight Farm, Revelstoke
“Biking is important because it uses less gas and it gives you exercise and it’s fun”Teeghan Loewen, age 9 Highglen Montessori Elementary School, Prince George
“This is the 12th year that Campbell River residents and businesses have participated in Go By Bike BC’s Bike to Work Week. This was our best year to date with 854 riders and 178 teams. We appreciate and value the grant issued by Go By Bike BC Society as it contributed in make this year’s event such a success and reach more people in the community as we saw 205 NEW riders! — On behalf of the BTWW committee your support enabled us to promote BTWW throughout our community and hold various events throughout the week. We saw over 600 people attend our events during the week which included 4 breakfast stations (one which included a skills session), an
after work/school pizza party, and a happy hour social. Your sponsorship also helped in creating team leadership packages for registered riders, Go By Bike BC t-shirts and many prizes for lucky participants. Keeping with our tradition the last few years we had our “mystery rider” go around to different schools and areas around Campbell River giving out prizes to people on their bike. — We believe that BTWW is an important community event that strives to encourage individuals, businesses and organizations to get in the habit of riding a bike as an alternate means of transportation. Whether it is biking to work, to school, to the store or anywhere, we advocate for and promote cycling in our community as an environmentally friendly, healthy and fun initiative and we continuously encourage everyone to try it for themselves.” – Kara Shirley, Campbell River
“My family and I value an active lifestyle and reducing our impact on the environment. As such, we always participate fully in Go By Bike BC week. This year, as the organizer of the week for my boys’ school, I was happy to see 120 bikes (that’s half of our school… many less cars!) in the bike racks on Day 1 and kids arriving with smiles on their faces every day. Kids are learning the importance of exercise – it’s FUN, they get fit and healthy, and teachers enjoy better concentration in school. If they learn that cycling is a great way of transportation a young age, it will become their “norm” as they grow older. My husband rides his new e-bike everyday which he’s had for 3 months now and has already logged over 1600km (that’s 1600km NOT in a car!). At my workplace, we hosted a Go By Bike BC station and offered helmet fits and mini bike fits (and pizza of course!) to help cyclists enjoy the ride and be safe. Again, a great turn-out with over 100 cyclists! Makes me proud to live in our active community of Campbell River and to raise a family here.” – Sophia Sauter, PAC Committee at Ecole Willow Point School, Owner of Active Living Physio, Campbell River