Westside Weekly recently published an article on European Solutions and West Kelowna’s road improvements. It seems that not everyone is pleased with the recent road improvements on Boucherie Road for various reasons (one being the addition of cycle lanes) and seem to think that the Dutch are to blame. Rather than raising more barriers to cycling through biased attitudes, lets instead look at what is going on in communities throughout North America.
The growth in cycling participation is not merely a European phenomenon nor is it restricted to younger cyclists. In a survey of the top 10 bicycle friendly cities of the world Amsterdam does comes out number one, but take a look at Montreal, Canada which comes out in 5th spot and Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. at 6th. Bogota, Columbia comes in 3rd spot and Curitiba, Brazil in 4th. Cycling is recognized world wide for its benefits to the environment, improved health and our pocketbook. Continue reading
Wanna be a healthy boomer ? Maybe it’s time to get back on your bike.
A new poll by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada suggests that the Boomer Generation will have to work much harder than they are currently to enjoy a healthy and active old age.
A solution for serious consideration – Get a bike.
Remember when you were young and it seems we all had bikes. Especially if you grew up in a community like Surrey; long way to go to school and a bike gave you the freedom to move quickly. Think of how the bike racks were stuffed with bicycles and of the great rush after school to get on your bike to be released from the bondage of academic tyranny, free to fly onwards to your next adventure.
Over the years a lot of us have lost that energy. Interested in getting it back?
The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends, “30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week for adults”. Getting enough physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Being physically active can also reduce stress and may help with quitting smoking.”
If you would like to read more you can find the study at:
or you can just head to your local bike shop and talk to the staff about that shiny new bike. They will get you set up on one that best suits your abilities and can connect you with your local cycle coalition.
Enjoy your good health and your healthy ride!
I was fortunate to talk with Barb Haynes this week, the General Manager of Challenge Penticton. Planning for the inaugural Challenge Penticton triathlon is keeping her and her team very busy.
Penticton has an awesome race history with their first distance race occurring in 1983 with only 23 participants. This year Barb expects 800 to 900 individual racers and another 300 for the relay event. Yes, Challenge Penticton has introduced a relay component in 2013, so if you’re a speedster on the bike all you need to do is round up a swimmer and a runner and your in!
Most of the participants registered to date come from Western Canada. So far 23 States have participants registered, with other riders coming from Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Challenge Penticton is not just about race day on August 25th as the week before offers plenty of events for athletes, families and spectators. Activities start on Wednesday and include a parade, tailgate party and multi-day race expo to answer every question people have about triathlon and its components.
For the racers, the Penticton Bonus is the one loop course. Not too sure if while racing, the participants take stock of the beauty surrounding them; but they get the platinum package with 180 kilometers of some of the most spectacular desert, lake views and vineyards in Western Canada. After the race they can relax poolside and revisit the vineyards with some of our very own V.Q.A.s.
In December I wrote about the awesome Cross Country Skiing offered by the many Clubs in the Okanagan, letting cyclists know that this area is also exceptional for winter recreation. Last weekend while skiing at Telemark, outside of Kelowna I ran into four tourists from the Kootenays.
They refer to themselves as “Chicks with Sticks” and each year they come to Lake Okanagan Resort and head for the hills to take advantage of our incredible ski conditions. I encountered them enjoying some lunch and the sunshine on a brilliant January day. If you haven’t been to Telemark Nordic Club yet you should check it out; snow, sunshine and miles of incredible trails.
On Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna, city planners missed a huge opportunity to improve cycling safety and encourage more cyclists to use the downtown corridor. A UBC study on Bicyclists Injuries and The Cycling Environment as well as a recent article in the Edmonton Journal where the City of Edmonton has experimented with sharrows, reinforce the fact that there are safer alternatives. By building safer bicycle infrastructure modern cities encourage more cyclists to take to the streets. Continue reading