Bike to Work Week Kootenays a great success

Organizers are amazed at the success of the 2016 Bike to Work Week initiative in the Kootenays that took place May 30 to June 5.

Bike to Work Week Kootenays organizer Mike Kent (centre)

Organizers are amazed at the success of the 2016 Bike to Work Week initiative in the Kootenays that took place May 30 to June 5.

“We’re just thrilled at the incredible increase in participation and community engagement,” said organizer Mike Kent. “This year, the Kootenays nearly tripled the number of participants, from 136 in 2015 to 393. In total Kootenay participants rode a collective 13,502 km (the equivalent of riding across Canada twice), burned 405,068 calories, and saved 2,927 kg of greenhouse gases.

Participants who registered were eligible for random draws that took place throughout Bike to Work Week. Those who fundraised for this year’s charitable cause were also eligible for additional prizes, including a grand prize weekend for two at the Fernie Alpine Resort with two days of lift accessed biking and two days of downhill bike rentals.

“Bike to Work Week Kootenays was proud to return to our tradition of being the only ‘community’ to fundraise for a local not-for-profit society,” Kent said. “This year, participants raised nearly $1,500 for the West and East Kootenay Brain Injury Association.”

The top Kootenay fundraiser for 2016 was Troy Kusy of Rossland who won the grand prize. Instead of the weekend away, he’s requested that the prize package, valued at $900, be donated to the brain injury association.

“My family and I are thrilled and love the Fernie Alpine Resort,” Kusy said. “We have biked there before and we always have lots of fun when we visit. Because one of the main reasons I participated in Bike to Work Week was to raise funds for the brain injury association, my family and I felt it just makes sense for us to donate the prize to the association.”

Association executive director Danielle Armstrong couldn’t be happier. “We are excited that Bike to Work Week Kootenays provided us with this opportunity,” she said. “Thank you to everyone who supported our cause.” The organization plans to include the donated prize in an upcoming raffle they are having to further raise awareness and funds for their programs.