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    Charitable Choices: Lonny Balbi of Bike to Work Day

    Our featured blog article is written by Stephanie Prentice of the Calgary Guardian. Thanks to the Calgary Guardian for the excellent coverage! If you visit their website you will find many interesting articles on topics such as: arts, lifestyle, food & drink, music, travel and city life:

    Home - Calgary Guardian

    Bike to Work Day (BTWD) is a community-driven initiative in Calgary, uniting individuals with a shared passion for promoting cycling as a practical mode of transportation. The aim is to alleviate inner-city traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, and integrate cycling into a healthy and cost-effective lifestyle. Beyond the benefits of personal health and time savings, BTWD fosters a sense of community. In the face of climate change challenges, biking to work emerges as a simple yet impactful way to cut carbon emissions and contribute to environmental sustainability. We spoke to Lonny Balbi, the founder of this initiative.

    Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences:

    Bike to Work Day, established in 2006, is a cycling-themed event that promotes healthy lifestyles, environmental sustainability, and, of course, cycling in Calgary. We partner with The City of Calgary and Parks Foundation Calgary, operating entirely on sponsorships, donations, and volunteer contributions. Our goal is to encourage cycling, and the event serves as a platform for community engagement and a greener world.

    What problem does it aim to solve?

    Bike to Work Day aims to tackle sedentary lifestyles, reduce environmental impact, and foster a sense of community by promoting cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation.

    When did you start/join it?

    I founded Bike to Work Day in 2006, driven by a passion for cycling, environmental advocacy, and creating a positive impact in our community.

    What made you want to get involved?

    As an avid cyclist and a firm believer in environmental sustainability, I saw an opportunity to combine my love for cycling with a meaningful initiative that promotes healthier living and contributes to a greener, more sustainable Calgary.

    What was the situation like when you started?

    In 2006, the cycling culture in Calgary was evolving, and there was a need for a flagship event to unite cyclists, promote the benefits of biking to work, and create a sense of community around sustainable transportation.

    How has it changed since?

    Over the years, Bike to Work Day has grown into Calgary’s most recognizable cycling-themed event. While the impact of COVID-19 led to a temporary dip in participation, we are dedicated to rebuilding and expanding, aiming for continued growth and community engagement in the years ahead.

    What more needs to be done?

    We aim to continue to increase participation, promote cycling awareness, and create more bicycle commuters in Calgary each year. Bike to Work Day is an annual event that aims to inspire lasting changes in commuting habits, fostering a city where cycling is not just an event but a way of life.

    How can our readers help?

    Readers can support Bike to Work Day by participating in the event, volunteering, spreading awareness, and considering sponsorship opportunities. Every cyclist joining in, and every contribution counts in making our city greener and healthier.

    Do you have any events coming up?

    Yes, Bike to Work Day 2024 is scheduled for Friday, May 3, from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM. We invite everyone to join us, either as participants or sponsors for a morning of cycling, community building, and fun. We will be giving away great prizes at the event including some new bikes as well as hosting a free breakfast for everyone who joins us.

    Where can we follow you?

    Website | Facebook | Instagram

    PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

    An awesome local charity that deserves support is Two Wheel View. They work tirelessly to connect youth with the tools they need to reach their potential. The youth can learn to fix bikes, and they can even earn a bike, helmet, lock, and a set of tools. Every year I donate a dollar to Two Wheel View for every participant in our Bike to Work Day event.

    *This article is written by Stephanie Prentice for the Calgary Guardian and is being shared with their permission.




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