COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is encouraging people to use pedal power to get around during the second half of October.

This is the first year in B.C. for an autumn ‘Go By Bike Week’, and it’s taking place Oct. 15 to 29.

The initiative has been re-branded permanently, as next year’s spring ‘Bike To Work Week’ will be called ‘Go By Bike’ to recognize that people can use cycling as a mode for all kinds of trips other than work commuting, according to coalition volunteer Nancy Gothard.

She noted the ‘Go by Bike’ fits those who may be retired, work from home, students, or can’t use a bike to commute but can for other trips.

Gothard said there are plenty of benefits to cycling.

“There’s healthy benefits (and) some families are even moving to a one-car family,” she said. “They’re finding in the Comox Valley that the trips are short enough that they can actually use a bike as a replacement car. And it’s a great way to just be outside. It’s just one more way to be enjoying the weather.”

Everyone who Goes By Bike is eligible to participate in the province-wide initiative through trip tracking, bragging rights and a chance to win a grand prize  – this year it’s an eight-day cycling trip for two through Sicily.

For more on the initiative, click here.

Gothard rides her bike each day and says she sees other cyclists  on every segment of her daily trips.

“It’s not inconceivable that there’s still hundreds of people riding their bikes (in the valley), even into the fall and potentially into the winter,” she said.

In support of this, the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition is offering an interactive demo talk on preparing for fall and winter cycling.

“Tips and gear will be shared to help demystify this strange art of winter cycle-commuting and get people excited for their ability to participate,” Gothard said.

The event happens this Monday, Oct. 22 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Florence Filberg Centre, Evergreen lounge (lower floor). For more on the talk, visit its Facebook page.