Independent Living Vernon hosts the 16th annual Cycling for Independence May 3 in the Vernon area.

Independent Living Vernon hosts the 16th annual Cycling for Independence May 3 in the Vernon area.

Independence focus of event

Cyclists of all abilities are getting their bikes in gear for the 16th annual Cycling for Independence May 3.

Cyclists of all abilities are getting their bikes in gear for the 16th annual Cycling for Independence May 3.

Independent Living Vernon hosts the event, which  consists of a 60 km route for enthusiastic cyclists or a 20 -kilometre cycling route for those who would like to enjoy more of a peaceful and relaxing journey.

“Last year we also included a 12-kilometre safe and fun family ride. This ride is included again for family of all ages,” said ILV’s Lisa Kongsdorf.

Event registration is $40, but that is waived for anyone who raises $100 or more in pledges. It includes a T-shirt (for first 50 registered participants), pizza from Uncle Dave’s Pizzeria, a massage for Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapists and a chance to win excellent prizes.

“This event continues to grow with many new participants as well as die hard fans who continue to come back every year,” said Kongsdorf.

Sun Country Cycle returns with a booth set up to do bike safety checks and Skyride Cycle will lead the 50 km route.

ILV has a strong connection to people with a variety of disabilities and their families in this community and the surrounding area.

Through research, it is estimated that 18 per cent of those living in the Okanagan have a disability of some sort.

Independent Living Vernon has been in the North Okanagan for more than 20 years supporting individuals with a variety of disabilities.

Programs such as Employ-Ability (12 week pre-employment course), Self Esteem for Independent Living (14 week self esteem course), Parking Placard Program (Disability Parking Permits) as well as filling in forms for people such as Persons with Disability applications and Canada Pension Plan Disability.

For the past nine years, ILV has run a youth and young adult peer support program for individuals who are living with disabilities.

This program called Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), focuses on further developing independent living skills, community networking skills, and social support.

This year, all funds raised from this event go to support YOU.

“ILV is a non-profit agency and needs the support from community to keep programs like this running.”

Anyone interested in participating in the Cycling for Independence on May 3 can register at the ILV office located in the People Place or by phone at 250-545-9292.

Registration forms can be picked up at Skyride Cycle, Sun Country Cycle, ILV, on line at ilvernon.ca or email lisa@ilvernon.ca.

For more information e-mail or call Lisa at 250-545-9292.