Students encouraged to bike or walk

NANAIMO: More students and school staff heading to class by foot or bicycle this week.

Commuters may notice more students and school staff heading to class by foot or bicycle this week.

Bike and Walk to School Week runs until Saturday (Oct. 6) and at least six elementary schools, three high schools, the secondary distance learning program and Vancouver Island University are trying to get as many participants as possible.

The event is a joint effort between the city, the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition, Sands Funeral Chapel and VIU.

Deborah Beck, the city’s recreation coordinator, said the city and the GNCC already organize a Bike to Work Week in June, but VIU students were missing out because spring session classes end in April.

The event in June focuses on employee groups, while this event targets students and school staff.

“Our plan is to instill some of these great habits while they’re young,” said Beck.

“The weather is still good and kids are just getting back to school. I’m hoping it will become an annual thing that kids will look forward to.”

Bike and Walk to School Week kicked off with a bike rodeo event at Nanaimo North Town Centre Sunday.

It wraps up Saturday (Oct. 6) with a party at Georgia Avenue Elementary School from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The party includes a free lunch hosted by Nanaimo Foodshare and Quality Foods, bike safety checks and a bike polo demonstration courtesy of Hub City Cycles, bike decorating, a parade and prizes.

Grand prizes are a bike from Hub City Cycles and dinner for two at VIU’s Discovery Room restaurant.

Beck said Nanaimo’s shape as a long, spread-out city presents some challenges to commuting, but most neighbourhoods have an elementary school and the city is working on connecting areas better for pedestrians and cyclists.

For example, the Walley Creek Trail takes students to Frank Ney or Hammond Bay elementary schools, allowing them to take trails instead of roads for some or all of their commute.

The city is also offering bicycle riding and road safety courses for kids this fall through its Parks, Recreation and Culture department. Beck said the week-long event is about trying to make a healthy, environmentally friendly commute a habit for students.

“I remember growing up, our bike racks were full, but nowadays I see more and more parents dropping their kids off,” she said.

David Grey, chairman of the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition and teacher sponsor for Woodlands Secondary School’s environmental club, said Woodlands has run a commuter challenge event on and off since 2000 and last year, the bike and walk to school challenge went district-wide, coinciding with Bike to Work Week.

The elementary and secondary schools with the highest participation rates get a trophy, he added.

Just Posted

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman who was killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

The B.C. Ministry of Education has announced close to $44 million for the province’s schools for COVID-19 recovery. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school stakeholders say COVID-19 recovery funding can make a difference

B.C. Ministry of Education announces it expects a ‘near-normal’ return to class in September

Nanaimo artist Melissa Anderson has paintings on display at White Rabbit Coffee Co. for the next month. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo painter showcases coastal Island views in first exhibit in two years

Melissa Anderson presents ‘Seascapes’ oil painting exhibit at White Rabbit Coffee Co.

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of June 6-12. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
New COVID-19 cases up on Island, but health officials say trends going right way

There were 22 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Victoria last week after just four the week before

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read