Electric assisted bicycles are for everyone, says the Cowichan Cycling Coalition. (Alec Wheeler photo)

Business notes: Cowichan encouraged to GoByBike next week

A solution to parking problems, not to mention obesity, might be as close as the nearest bicycle.

A solution to parking problems, not to mention obesity, might be as close as the nearest bicycle. And don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s an electric bike.

Alec Wheeler, events and membership manager for the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, is working with the Cowichan Cycling Coalition to promote GoByBike Week that runs from May 27 to June 2.

The Cowichan Cycling Coalition is championing a petition directed at the minister of Finance, Carole James, to exempt electric assisted bikes from provincial sales tax. The Cowichan Cycling Coalition is asking for the public’s support.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or an environmentally conscientious community member, the group urges you to sign the petition.

“Petitions are available at Cowichan’s three primary bike shops — Cycle Therapy, Experience Cycling and Cowichan Cycles,” Wheeler says.

“Everyone who signs the petition during GoByBike Week will be entered to win one of three $50 gift certificates to the respective retail locations.”

“E-Bikes are not self-propelled. The fact is, these bikes require pedalling at all times,” explains GoByBike coordinator and avid cyclist, Rick Martinson.

“The electric assistance only kicks in with pedalling and in proportion to how hard you pedal, so it’s only fair that E-Bikes be designated as non-motorized bicycles, and therefore, exempt from PST.”

The PST on E-Bikes is not insignificant. Even for middle of the road models, PST can be upwards of $500, which can tip the scales of affordability for many. In dropping the PST, Martinson says the provincial government would be supporting healthier people and a healthier environment.

As an example, last year’s GoByBike Week alone resulted in 91 million calories burned and 300,000 kg of CO2 saved from entering the atmosphere in B.C.

Exercising is believed to be one of the best things that people can do for their health, and most British Colombians fall short of recommended daily exercise.

Cycling, particularly if utilized as a more regular mode of transportation, has the potential to help people meet these exercise goals.

However, many people can’t cycle because of low fitness level, past injuries, age-related limitations, steep hills, long commutes and the need to transport goods. Electric assisted bikes make cycling possible for a wider range of people.

“To register, log your cycling hours and be eligible to win prizes, visit www.biketowork.ca,” says Wheeler.

For more information contact Rick Martinson 250-748-3761 (work) or 250-701-7096 (cell).

• • •

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring will be the guest speaker at the next Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The Thursday, June 6 event will be the last luncheon of the season.

Siebring will be speaking about current issues within the community and key council initiatives as outlined in North Cowichan’s strategic plan.

Attendees will gain valuable insights into this council’s direction and priorities now that it is eight months into its four-year term.

The luncheon will be held at Duncan Meadows Golf Course. Advance registration is required.

The luncheon runs from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

You can register online or phone the Chamber at 250-748-1111. You don’t have to be a Chamber member to attend.

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