Sep 1st marked the start of a month-long fundraising effort by two regular guys who decided to do something that unites their passion for biking with their desire to give back to the community.
Earlier this year, during a pre-pandemic time, Ashley Lubyk and Kyle Hoehn hatched the idea of bringing a collection of the “world’s best bicycle films” to Kelowna as a way to celebrate the bicycle and the people riding them. They hoped these films would inspire a vision for the Okanagan, one where the humble bicycle plays a more central role in the daily lives of the people living here. As Ashley explains, “We envision a valley brimming with people (including families, kids, seniors!) on bicycles, commuting to work and school on two wheels, shopping locally, drinking locally (not the kids!), travelling near and far by bicycle, and experiencing the total joy that comes from 2-wheeled, human-powered locomotion!” The original plan was to show the films at Kelowna’s Mary Irwin Theater (originally slated for April 30th, 2020) as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) – an organization that exemplifies this vision like no other. But a pandemic arrived, and plans needed to adjust.
Since having to cancel the event, the bicycle has risen to prominence and, for many people, it has proven to be a steady and trustworthy companion during this unprecedented time. Getting out for a ride boosts immunity, lifts spirits, and levels the mind. Still, a bicycle is only a tool. It is equally important to have places to ride; places like the Okanagan Rail Trail – a community asset that has helped many cope during this tumultuous time. As Kyle explains, he and Ashley decided that instead of giving up, they would start working on a ‘Plan-B’ – “A Plan B allows us to get the films out to the community to inspire that original vision, while also raising money to support the work of FORT.” So here is what they came up with:
- Make a $25 donation and receive a link to watch the film collection at home with friends and family (maintaining proper social distancing measures, of course);
- Make a $50 donation for a chance to be invited to a private screening of the films at a Drive-in-Theatre at Trinity Church in Kelowna put on by Outside Cinema. The films will be shown on Thursday, October 1st starting at 7pm. Note: gatherings are capped at 50 people or, in the case of drive-ins, 50 cars (which could have 1 to 4+ people per car) so the first 50 donations over $50 get the invites!;
- All donations OVER $50 will be entered for additional donated door prizes too – gift certificates, bike swag, and even more impressive things… How much fun is that?!!!!
Donating to the Bike Love campaign is a win-win – support a vital piece of cycling infrastructure in the community and gather friends and family and watch some fun and inspiring films to motivate some two-wheel fun of you own! All funds raised will go toward building essential infrastructure along the route (e.g. for developing a meeting and interpretive area at Kilometre Zero), for planting native/indigenous trees/plants, and for general enhancement of the route.
Why We ALL Love the Okanagan Rail Trail
The Okanagan Rail Trail is not just a ribbon of trail that connects Kelowna to Vernon through some of the Okanagan’s most breathtaking scenery; it is an important community asset accessible to all people of all abilities, and one that drives local economic development, connects people to the land and this incredible place we call home. The Rail Trail fuels good physical and mental health, provides a vital passage safe to people and cyclists, and invites people that are otherwise intimidated by the road and traffic to jump back on two wheels again. Ashley and Kyle feel it’s an achievement worth celebrating! Let’s show them we think they are RIGHT!
To donate to this unique fundraising campaign go to www.cfno.org and click on DONATE NOW. Bike Love Fundraiser is the first on the list with proceeds to the Okanagan Rail Trail – Kilometre Zero campaign. The Community Foundation will track all donations, issue tax receipts, and ensure donors are thanked for their generosity. For more information about Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) visit https://okanaganrailtrail.ca/friends-of-the-trail/about-fort/
About Filmed by Bike and the Films
Filmed by Bike is a touring film festival, started in Portland, OR, that features the world’s best bike movies. The films celebrate all cyclists and cycling culture. The touring film festival features 2 film packages – Bike Love (62 minutes; 11 short films mingling fun, lighthearted stories of how bicycles are changing lives all over the globe) & Adventure Shorts (65 minutes; 8 short films telling inspiring tales of adventure, struggle and triumph on the rugged road. The path to expedition isn’t always an easy, but nature and a wild sense of curiosity lure us away from our computers, desks and schedules to enter the great wide open).
As Ashley and Kyle humbly explain, “We are just two regular guys doing this because we love bikes and we want more bike friends (and fewer people in cars).”
Ashley Lubyk and Kyle Hoehn