Some young riders were out enjoying the Tour de Bella Coola on May 1. (Angie Morris photo)

Some young riders were out enjoying the Tour de Bella Coola on May 1. (Angie Morris photo)

Cyclists will be able to lock bikes in Bella Coola

New bike racks to support cyclists and their bikes in the valley

Biking culture in the Bella Coola Valley is getting a leg up and has started off the peak biking season with one event in the books and one to go.

The Tour de Bella Coola was back on May 1 this year and while attendance was down, due to both cool weather and Covid, there were still 41 participants who took part in the biking event.

“Those that came were really happy that they did,” said Janice Kyle coordinator of the event for Active Communities Bella Coola. She said the event is supported by Vancouver Coastal Health, and included a barbecue afterwards for participants who rode one of the options.

From Fisheries Pool to the bottom of the Hill, return, is the most popular option, for a 32 km distance. The second option is to continue on for a 58 km distance.

The event takes place earlier in the year in order to avoid more bear encounters, and this year there were still five bear sightings, though some may have been sightings of the same bear.

Over the years of this event, many bear sightings have taken place, but there have not been any serious negative encounters.

Kyle is still offering prizes for best pictures for those who took photos of the event. Photos need to be submitted by May 15 to First prize is $75 cash and second prize will be $50.

The Bella Coola Valley will also soon be celebrating the installation of some new bike racks.

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) funded the purchase of two bike racks for the Bella Coola Valley.

One of these racks will be installed at the Shop Easy Foods in Hagensborg and one will be installed at the Bella Coola Consumers Co-op.

The Williams Lake District & Credit Union and the Copper Sun Art Gallery have also purchased racks to install at their locations. The donated racks will be installed by the Bella Coola Volunteer Firefighters’ Society.

Kyle said this will add to the cycling culture in the valley to encourage riding for the health of both the rider and the environment.

The bike racks will help keep bikes safe for those who choose to do errands like grocery shopping, post office, or visiting the credit union, she noted.

A bike rack celebration will be held on Saturday, May 28, noon to 3 p.m. on the lawn of the Copper Sun Gallery with snacks, bike information, registration, events and prizes.

“Meet the Artist” will also return for the summer season and folks can watch creativity in action.

On-site assistance will be provided to register for Go by Bike week which starts May 30 and goes until June 5.

Last Spring Bella Coola had the fourth highest community number of cyclists turn out.

This year, the active communities group want to try to go for number one and have even more people ride.

Even one ride on your bike counts towards the event.

The British Columbia Cycling Coalition volunteer work includes lobbying for changes to the new ICBC policy of driver responsibility in accidents and in pushing for the proposed 1.5m “Safe Passage’ law before the legislature.

Read more: Tour de Bella Coola bike ride ready to roll May 1

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