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Bike Initiatives Making Change in Peterborough
What’s not to love about a bike? It’s a great way to #GoOutAndPlay, a low-cost form of transportation powered by renewable energy, a low-impact exercise, and an essential part of creating healthier, cleaner and more sustainable cities. Peterborough and the Kawarthas has long been a favourite cycling destination and the number of people choosing to cycle continues to grow every year. Much of this growth is thanks to the rad bike initiatives in Peterborough that make cycling more safe, convenient, and accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
As a business that is really keen to get people into the great outdoors (and on bikes), we wanted to take a minute to highlight some of those great programs.
B!KE: THE PETERBOROUGH COMMUNITY CYCLING HUB
This DIY bike repair shop isn’t just a place to fix your own flats or self-adjust those calipers. B!KE is an incorporated not-for-profit cycling education and support organization. They offer education in mechanical skills to empower and enable people to repair their bikes in a supervised workshop space with tools, parts and expertise.
This year they faced an uphill climb due to a recently passed provincial legislation that caused them to lose core funding. To help keep the doors open, B!KE launched their first-ever fundraising event, B!KE-a-Thon. Teams of cyclists busted their butts at The Social on July 14th and pedaled for 12 hours straight, relay-style, on stationary bikes. Together, the participants raised over $15,000!
Sponsors of this incredible event included The Social Pub, Wild Rock Outfitters (hey, that’s us!), Green Eyewear, Frog Cycles, Runners Life, Pastry Pedlar, Fresh Radio, Global TV/CHEX, PTBOCanada, Henry's Barbershop, Ultimate Distribution, Sam's Deli, Publican House, Fontaine Source for Sports, Pedalboro, The Endeavor Centre and Peterborough Tool Library.
Developed by GreenUp and B!KE, Pedal Power sends instructors into public schools to teach Grade 5 children the basics of bike safety and maintenance. The program recognizes the importance of making active, safe and sustainable transportation a larger part of culture in schools. After all, cycling gets children to explore their neighbourhood, gain independence, and get active!
The program consists of 75-100 minute lessons over 5 weeks, focusing on road safety and bicycle handling skills. It covers on-bike skills, traffic safety, and ride preparedness through drills and games. Each child receives over 6 hours of on-bike instruction, ensuring they have time and space to gain confidence in new skills!
Since Pedal Power launched in 2013, the program has impacted hundreds of children at Kawartha Pine Ridge District schools. Funding for 2019 allowed for 8 classes, and more than 200 students, to participate in Pedal Power, and was made possible by Wild Rock Outfitters (us again!), the City of Peterborough, Fontaine Source for Sports, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities, and the Peterborough Risk Watch Network.