Contests running to encourage more cycling in CK

Bicycles. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / VLADJ55

Chatham-Kent residents are encouraged to get out and get active this month — and the municipality is hoping a couple of contests will help motivate people to get moving.

June is Bike Month and Chatham-Kent’s Active Transportation and Special Events Coordinator Genevieve Champagne said it also marks the start of a national contest run by ParticipACTION called the Community Better Challenge.

“You sign up with their ParticipACTION app, and you log every minute that you’re active. With that contest, it’s to see who’s Canada’s most active community,” said Champagne. “If we are in the top 50, we can be entered in to submit a grant application to win $100,000 for our community.”

Champagne said they have already seen an increase in people cycling this year and they are hoping to keep that growth going.

“We talk to Canadian Tire and Smith Cycle all the time, and they have backup orders for months and months,” said Champagne. “But also they pre-ordered so many bikes this year just because of the demand that they’re seeing.”

The municipality is also putting on a separate contest in order to get people up and moving.

In order to enter, you have to submit a photo of yourself, your family, or friends cycling on local trails or pathways — everyone who enters will be eligible to win a weekly prize pack.

“If you email me a photo at, each week we’re going to draw two photos from those submissions, and there’s eight prize packs up for grabs,” said Champagne.

Each local prize pack will include a CK Trails backpack filled with a bike repair kit, a bike pump, bike lights, a bike bell, a CK water bottle, and a parking pass for the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Area (LTVCA). Four of the prize packs will also come with an Ontario Parks annual pass, which is good for 2021 and 2022.

If you are interested in cycling, Champagne said there are a lot of different options in Chatham-Kent.

“All of our hiking trails can be used for cycling, but we are always installing new bike lanes, multi-use pathways. We have the Round the River one starting construction soon, but we have the multi-use pathway in front of the college on Grand [Avenue],” said Champagne. “Right now, we’re installing a bike lane out in Mitchell’s Bay, and Mud Creek is also a great option. We’re trying to get more cycling infrastructure installed.”

You can learn more about Chatham-Kent’s bike lanes, and trails here, or you can stop by any local library branch and pick up a trail map.