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iRide Preps for Bike-to-School Week

Cycling BC’s iRide program rocked another week of in-school events across the province with Bike-to-School week pushing demand to capacity. Historically the last two weeks of May are the most requested weeks of the year and this year didn’t disappoint.  Even though iRide has now coached over 5000 students this spring, for a total of 8500 by the end of the year, iRide has had to turn away over 2500 students from 17 schools in 2016.  Cycling BC is now developing new strategies to grow the iRide program beyond its in-school program and provide communities with the tools required to build your own local after-school riding groups.

iRide summer camps are also now available to book. At this time, iRide is taking bookings for four different week-long camps in Vancouver, Burnaby and Squamish.  To find out more about these events, please visit our summer camp page here.

Last week iRide visited the communities of 100 Mile House, Cranbrook, Comox, Duncan, Lions Bay, Richmond and Armstrong for a total of 9 schools and 844 students. These events included Gordon Terrace and Kootenay Orchards in Cranbrook, John G Diefenbaker and R. C. Talmey Elementary in Richmond, Lions Bay Community School, Discovery Passage Elementary in Comox, Bench Elementary in Duncan, 100 Mile House Elementary and Armstrong Elementary in the interior.

Riding your bike is like learning math. It’s scary at first but then it’s so much fun. Actually it’s even more fun than math and I think less complicated – Erica, Grade 3, Tamley Elementary

The Okanagan iRide team is visited Armstrong Elementary for a 1st year visit after a strong local referral from Highland Park Elementary. Ben reports:

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to the interior and spending 3 days with some really fantastic students in Armstrong. The school grounds were hands-down the most exciting grounds I have had the opportunity to work with, complete with pavement, barch mulch, big hills, a forested area called “Adventures” and some very attentive learners! Our new coaches in training included Helena “Coach Heli-copter” Coney and Brandon “Be-Magic” Archer of the Red Devils youth club. The highlight of my week was playing Queen/King of the Hill to pattern tight turn skills. The students also were very stoked to ride and brought their A-game every day, finishing up with a strong cyclocross skills display in the sand pit on the final day (see below).

The Vancouver iRide team of Wes Ochitwa  and Anna Bradford visited Lions Bay, Tamley and Diefenbaker in the Lower Mainland. Anna reports:

Most of the week I was at Talmey Elementary in Richmond, a small school that shares grounds with a city park. This week’s highlight was the fact that most of the students do not have access to bicycles at home and very few had previous ridden outside the school grounds. Naturally, they were super excited to see all the Garneau Atom’s lined up and ready to go each day. On the 2nd day the principle watched our afternoon sessions and were amazed that the students could ride the local hill, claiming “those rolling hills you’re using in your course are probably the highest points in all of Richmond! I’m glad the kids are getting some climbing in.” On the last day, the kids were rewarded with some fun games including Shark Island and Hip Hop Zombie. Best of all was one student asked us to sign his bike so he would remember iRide!

On Friday, I visited Diefenbaker Elementary in Richmond, a great school with a lot of keen riders. We used the iRide rental fleet a lot this week but wow were the kids excited. We were extremely lucky again as the school grounds bordered a park, enabling us to go on lots of long rides while introducing gears and hand signals. We wrapped up each session with a game and I can’t wait to go back early next week to set up the stunts and obstacle courses.

Wes notes:

Last week I had the privlege of re-visiting the students of Lions Bay for a full three days of awesome bike riding. As a 2nd year school, most of the students remembered Zayne “Coach Princess” and I, making for a quick progression to challenging skills. Even though most of the students were aged younger than our regular iRide focus, these little rippers impressed us with their focus and fun! As a result, Zayne and I had the imagination station fully switched on with some extraordinarory activity names including a climb and descent coined “Montezuma’s Revenge” and “Death Valley Hill”, leading to the “Mordor Gravel Pit”. We played capture the flag on bikes with fluorescent nylon scarves, scavenger hunt on bikes, and some pretty elaborate obstacle courses using the “Bear Attack” body position to vault over various wooden obstacles and stunts. The smaller class sizes meant it was a lot of riding, full gas for the one-hour sessions!  At no other school have I met kids that were so excited at the end of their class to challenge themselves with a 350 meter climb at 4% – 9% to return to the bike lock area. These kids gave 120% of themselves to iRide and I’m so proud.

iRide is also currently accepting bookings for the 2016-2017 autumn session. Bookings for the 2017 spring will open on September 15th. To learn more, please visit the iRide page here. To become an iRide newsletter recipient and stay up-to-date on all future iRide events in your area, please go here. If you’re a fan of Cycling BC’s iRide program, check us out on TwitterInstagram, or Donate to support our programs in your area. To learn more about booking a future event, please contact us at or 1-604-BC-iRide.

Ripping in the quick-sand!


Armstrong Elementary_ Day1
Armstrong Elementary_ King/Queen of the Hill
Armstrong Elementary_ Adventure Zone
Armstrong Elementary_This school rocks!
Armstrong Elementary_ iRide