Biking to work or school, really is its own reward – getting outdoors improves mental and physical health and everyone knows it’s always more fun taking the scenic route.
But, to build momentum for Bike to Work and School Week (BTWW), non-profit GoByBike BC Society sweetened the pot just a little, to encourage British Columbians to hang up their car keys and hop on a pair of wheels instead. And the grand prize, a cycling trip for two to Portugal, is what Malene Foyd, of Greater Victoria won.
Foyd, who logged four trips cycling a total of 48.88 kilometres to her job with the Ministry of Environment, said she’s always dreamt of going to Portugal “to swim in the Atlantic Ocean … and to go on a bike trip.”
The Greater Victoria resident will spend eight days exploring the country by bike with her husband; the pair plan to cycle from Porto to Lisbon.
“I am excited about seeing the country by bike, as it is a wonderful, calm way to travel,” Foyd said. “And then to be treated to stay in hotels along the way with dinner and wine tasting – I can’t wait.”
No stranger to two-wheeled travel, Foyd says she’s been pedaling her way through life since she learned how to balance on a bike as a three-year-old in her native Denmark.
“I always bike to work, rain or shine, as it’s fun to bike,” she said.
Terri-Lynn Gifford, provincial program manager with GoByBike BC Society, who organizes BTWW said over 50,000 participants registered across the province this year, the highest number of cyclists yet.
“Participants logged a total of 1.2 million kilometres and saved 314, 717 kilograms of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere in just one week,” she said.
In Victoria, 7,279 registered participants cycled over 310,000 km, averting 67,241 kg of greenhouse gases.
GoByBike BC Society, formerly Bike to Work BC Society, expanded its mandate this year promoting biking beyond a means to reach a destination – like work or school – to a lifestyle.
“[We] encourage all British Columbians to experience the joy and happiness that fills our bodies and minds when we choose to GoByBike,” Gifford explained.