Two local bicycle enthusiasts are hosting a fundraiser in support of the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Ashley Lubyk and Kyle Hoehn have brought the world’s best bicycle films to the region in what was supposed to be the Okanagan’s first Bicycle Film Festival.
Originally, the plan was to show the collection at the Mary Irwin Theatre at the end of April, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event was cancelled.
“We hatched a plan B to basically get these films to our community and try to continue to raise funds for FORT (Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail),” says Lubyk who is a college professor wanting to share his passion of cycling through this festival.
He says the rail trail has helped the public get through the pandemic.
“A lot of indoor spaces have been closed and bicycles have really risen to prominence during this time, a lot of people are getting outside riding bikes and to be honest a lot of people are uncomfortable riding on the street with so many cars and distracted drivers,” he adds.
“The Okanagan Rail Trail is a really safe and accessible corridor for people to be able to recreate and get outside and exercise and help balance their mental health during this difficult time.”
Biking for Lubyk is a crucial part of his life as he uses it from work, recreation and traveling far distances.
“In 2019, I cycled from Kelowna to Portland to The Bicycle Film Festival and I was so impressed by it and I had the idea to bring the films back to the Okanagan and to show them here, to spread that excitement locally.”
The films are produced by Filmed by Bike, a Portland-based company that has curated films for the past 18 years and put on a festival every spring. He says if it was a success they want to turned it into an annual event here in the Okanagan.
The modified showings are now either: donate $25+ to download the films, allowing you to host a viewing party in your own home or donate $50+ to view the films on the big screen at the drive-in theatre at Trinity Church on Oct. 1.
There are two collections of films being shown:
- Mingling fun, lighthearted stories of how bicycles are changing lives all over the globe.
- 11 short films spanning 62 minutes
- Telling inspiring tales of adventure, struggle and triumph on the rugged road. The path to the expedition isn't always easy, but nature and a wild sense of curiosity lure us away from our computers, desks and schedules to enter the great wide open.
- 8 short films spanning 65 minutes.
Lubyk thanked to all the local sponsors offsetting the price of the films, allowing 100 per cent of donations to go directly to FORT.