A group of Campbell River residents wants cyclists and others to get into the loop. The Greenways Loop, that is.
They’re promoting an event that’s meant to get people moving along the 25-km circuit of trails and bike paths that circles Campbell River.
Community members are invited to meet at Rotary Beach on the Seawalk at 6:30 p.m. on June 21, the longest day of the year, to travel along the loop in whole or in part.
Participants are asked to dress in red, to stand out against the green surroundings, as a drone from the Campbell River-based company SuavAir films the event. Even people doing yoga in adjacent parks and kayakers paddling along the shore are encouraged to take part by wearing red.
“We’re encouraging groups of people, like all the scouts or get all the yogis together, or just lots of businesses to gather their teams, so it’s kind of a team-building event as well, or schools,” says cycling enthusiast Laurel Cronk, who is spearheading the campaign.
The Greenways Loop includes the Elk River Road (ERT) and the adjoining path through the Beaver Lodge Lands on the western side, and the Seawalk on the east. Some short sections remain incomplete, including the part passing through Campbellton near Home Depot.
But as cycling becomes more popular, it’s important to encourage people to get out and enjoy the safe cycling paths that exist in Campbell River, says Cronk, who owns Island Joy Rides, a cycling and kayaking adventure company.
The loop system is meant to encourage active and environmentally-friendly lifestyles while also boosting tourism, Cronk says, adding that it’s within 5 km of nearly all homes in Campbell River, making it useful for commuters.
The Greenways Loop has been in the works for years, with contributions from the city and groups including the Greenways Land Trust and Rotary. But many people are unaware that it exists.
Next, Cronk says she hopes the city will install signs marking each kilometre along the route, featuring a new frog design by Laichwiltach artist Curtis Wilson, who is based in Campbell River. Other aspects of the path’s development could involve the installation of motion-activated lighting along parts of the loop.