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Pump up those tires and clip on that helmet—it’s GoByBike Week in BC. 

GoByBike BC, formerly known as Bike to Work BC, runs from September 28October 4. The event calls attention to the importance of healthy transportation for adults and children alike, encouraging people to record their cycling trips online during the week.

It’s been a long time coming for the organization, as they had to call off their spring event because of COVID-19. The fall challenge is going ahead, however, with more focus on a virtual experience. Recreational rides have also been included in this year’s challenge.   

The Vancouver Island University Students’ Union (VIUSU) is offering VIU students, faculty, staff, and alumni a chance to join the team and enter to win prizes. Prizes can also be won provincially through GoByBike BC. 

VIUSU has jumped on the chance to be involved in the week raising cycling awareness again, and to test out their new app. The union has a group called the VIU Student Cyclists Team that the entire VIU community can join. You can join even if you don’t live in Nanaimo (or Canada), as long as you join through the link provided in the VIUSU app.  

There are three team challenges put forward by VIUSU, and each one gives you a chance to win a $50 gift card. The winner will have a choice of a gift card to a specific bike shop or a prepaid Visa card.  

There is the Strava Art Challenge, where you can use the Strava app to trace your cycling route and make a piece of “art” to be submitted to the group via screenshot. The Local Living Challenge gets you to share your favourite (and maybe secret) local shop, café, market, or pub. All you have to do is cycle there, snap a pic, and say what makes your place so great. Lastly, the Bike Buddies Challenge has you recruit a new member to the VIUSU cycle team. The new member must join the team from the link on the VIUSU app and log at least one ride during the week of September 28October 4.    

A grand prize of a $100 gift card plus a surprise bonus can be won by completing the “BikeTrick” (submitting an entry in all three team challenges).  

If that sounds like too much for you, there’s an incentive in simply signing up! A $5 gift card to the Students’ Union Pub and a VIUSU water bottle can be picked up at the union office by every person who joins the team, and Project 529 bike registration stickers are available to the first 50.  

GoByBike BC is also offering the chance to win one of ten $50 Visa gift cards province-wide, and a grand prize of a trip to Portugal, where you and a companion can spend eight days cycling along the beautiful coast from Porto to Lisbon.  

GoByBike BC began in Victoria in 1995, where about 500 people participated. The event has grown each year since, with 56,074 people joining and cycling a sum of 2.97 million kilometers in 2019.  

You can ride with a team like VIUSU, or choose to kick it solo and enter for the provincial prizes. Either way, you and the environment are getting healthier—and you can pedal your way to a little cash on the side.  

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