2023 Bike Challenge sets stage for Annual Event.

‘Active transportation’ (walking and cycling) is a key contributor to reducing our personal carbon footprints, while boosting health benefits and getting us outdoors into the fresh air. Over the past number of years, Orillia has become much more bike-friendly, increasing trails, bike lanes and resources to support more cycling – even year-round. Cycling is also a very efficient way to get around the city; witness this past weekend when cars were lined up out onto Highway 12 to get into the Mariposa Folk Festival—while the cyclists whizzed through to their handy lock-up areas on the site.

Sustainable Orillia (SO) is pleased to support events that will increase ‘active transportation’ across our community. In partnership with the Bike Stop of Orillia and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), SO recently hosted a four-week ‘Bike Challenge’ to encourage more Orillians to increase their cycling activity.

The Challenge was launched with registration on a sunny, mid-May Sunday and got underway for real as of May 19th. Local cyclists were challenged to keep track of their rides for frequency and distance over a four-week period, using the app STRAVA for shared record-keeping. For those unable to access the app, forms were available at the registration and at the Bike Stop during the Challenge period. Fifty cyclists registered, and, as of June 16th, the official closing date, there were some impressive entries among those that completed the entire challenge.

Using the app, cyclists entered the number of trips they took and the number of kilometres (by trip and in total) they cycled over the four-week period. Two participants, one registering the most mileage and the other having made the most trips, were recognized with prizes at a presentation on June 24th at The Bike Stop. Altogether, the participating cyclists completed 331 trips, covering 4,250 kilometres.

Our two top winners were:
Matt Thomson for most distance travelled at 1,415 kilometres
Michael Bell for most trips with 42 trips recorded
Both Matt and Michael earned free bike tune-ups courtesy of the Bike Stop Orillia.

In addition to the awarding of these top prizes, a random draw was conducted to recognize more of the cyclists who committed to this year’s challenge. The winners of the random draws were:
Mary Jo Pollack – winner of a $100 gift certificate
Kathy Manners – won Knog bike lights
Janet McMordie – an Evo Clutch Bike Bag
Josh Lawlor McDonald – a T-Shirt from Pedal People
Carolyn Walsh – a Water Bottle & Cage
Congratulations and hats off to all of the participants in this inaugural bike challeng

Sustainable Orillia sends out a HUGE thanks to our partners, in particular to Paul and the team at the Bike Stop Orillia who hosted the presentation on June 24th.

Keep riding. See you next year.


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