Great way to promote pedal power

There’s nothing like a sort-of bending of the rules to add an extra element of thrill to any activity.

There’s nothing like a little break away from the everyday order of life, a sort-of bending of the rules to add an extra element of thrill to any activity.

This certainly enhanced the appeal of the Shuswap Bike Month’s Downtown Family Fun Ride on Friday night.

As part of the event, sections of the downtown streets, including Ross Street, Hudson Avenue, Shuswap Street and Lakeshore Drive, were closed off to allow for the cyclists, many of whom belonged to the four-year-old set, to ride in the middle of the road.

That, plus the fact that the ride was led by an RCMP cruiser with lights blazing and siren honking, combined to excite a great many youngsters.

“You mean we get to ride on the road?” asked my son, in tones that bespoke his thought that this was akin to being turned loose in an ice cream shop.

When I answered in the affirmative, he needed no prompting and was off on his two-wheeler, feet pumping as fast as he could make them go.

In addition, a number of community-minded businesses created activity stations for the kids to partake in everything from playing with a gooey putty made from shaving cream and cornstarch, to bobbing for rhubarb and testing out physiotherapy exercise equipment. A shout should go out to Lake Effect owner Kelly Tindill who put herself on the firing line, allowing kids (and a few adults) to pelt her with water balloons.

It was a wonderful celebration of bike riding in the area, seeing the flocks of children along with their parents and grandparents enjoying the evening pedal.

In my case it turned into more of a jog, as I ended up keeping my two-feet on the ground for this one in order to assist my three novice cyclists. I underestimated their abilities, however, and should have brought out my own bike. It would have been a lot easier to keep up.

The event was capped off with a round of unbelievably generous prizes including a host of shiny new bike helmets and gift certificates to be used at any downtown business. If you’ve missed this event in the past, be sure to keep it in the back of your mind for when it returns next May.

But the Bike Month events are not over yet. This week marks Bike to Work (or school) Week, where everyone is encouraged to get out of their cars and use leg power instead.

For tomorrow and Friday, there will be three celebration stations hosting bike commuters around the community. Drop in and have them give your bike a once-over. From 7-9 a.m. Ridetech will be hosting a station at the Ross St. Plaza, Skookum Cycle will be in front of Shuswap Park Mall and Trailheads will be stationed at 11th Ave and 22nd St. NE. near the underpass by Bastion Elementary. All stations will be stocked with refreshments as well as a draw box for prizes.

Happy pedalling.