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Free group e-bike rides in Canmore add to benefits

A new summer long campaign is promoting fitness, wellness and financial health in the Bow Valley.
Members of the Community Cruisers ride on Pedal4Joy for the Canada Day parade in Canmore on Monday (July 1). JUNGMIN HAM RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – A new summer-long campaign is promoting fitness, wellness and financial health in the Bow Valley.

Community Cruisers’ Pedal4Joy and Gourlay’s Clinic Pharmacy in Canmore have partnered to bring Prescription For Joy Connection and Wellness, a free outdoor group cycling program with discounts on medical needs.

The organizers say the program’s rewards include increased social connections, enhanced mental well-being, improved physical fitness and joyful outdoor experiences.

“That is really at the core of what this is; we realize the importance of exercise, but not just exercise, but that community connection is vital for our overall health and wellness,” said Alma Steyn, owner of the Gourlay’s in Canmore.

“That’s really what the driving force is with all of this is that ability to be outside with people and to connect with people and you give whatever you can that day and you get to enjoy it regardless.”

The program runs until the end of September, weather permitting.

Community Cruisers, which has been operating since 2007, allows people of all ages to get on a bike through its adaptive four-seat e-bike.

Participants of the Prescription For Joy Connection and Wellness will ride on the e-bike piloted by a volunteer on various paved and gravel routes around Canmore. 

Participants are encouraged to exercise by pedalling, but the e-bike’s mechanics also allow anyone to kick up their feet and enjoy the ride.

“The beauty of this is each person has their ability to set the tension on their pedals based on what they're feeling for the day,” said Steyn. “So it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, it doesn’t matter what your ability is … there’s really no limit on who is able to access the program.”

As an added bonus, Gourlay’s is offering 10 per cent off any over-the-counter items if a participant or volunteer rides five times.

Participants are asked to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing.

On Aug. 25, Gourlay’s celebrates its 30th anniversary in Canmore and all are welcome to check out the e-bike that will be at its store on Sidney Street.

“We really just want people to get to be outside and really connect with people,” said Steyn.

For more information, call 403-346-1716 or email [email protected].

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