City of Penticton makes good on lost challenge

The Bike to Work Week losers had to honour a humiliating bet and tug their foes around a city block.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit (left) and acting city CAO Chuck Loewen power the Bike to Work victory ride downtown with with Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen officials Mark Pendergraft and Bill Newell on board.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit (left) and acting city CAO Chuck Loewen power the Bike to Work victory ride downtown with with Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen officials Mark Pendergraft and Bill Newell on board.

The Bike to Work Week losers had to honour a humiliating bet and tug their foes around a city block.

The Bike to Work Week victory ride took place downtown on Thursday morning.

The defeated Mayor of Penticton Andrew Jakubeit and outgoing CAO Chuck Loewen had to use a Flinstones-style vehicle to pedal around their Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen rivals, chair Mark Pendergraft and CAO Bill Newell.

“This is easy, I’m just going to let the mayor do all the peddling,” Loewen said before serving his punishment.

All four politicians boarded the Jakubeit/Loewen-powered four-seater bike just south of City Hall on Main Street.

“It’s a friendly competition,” Jakubeit said. “It offers good team building on both sides.”

He said the city was able to win the competition last year because they were better organized. He said the people who “drummed up support” in 2014 were absent, and admits he should have taken on the role.

Before suffering the utter defeat, Jakubeit told the Western News that “The City of Penticton is looking forward to riding circles around the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen again.”

A police escort led the crew down the street to Lakeshore Drive, where they turned left and travelled westbound, before taking another left to travel north on Martin Street. The chauffeur’s completed their sentence once Pendergraft and Newell were dropped off out front of the RDOS office at 101 Martin St.

“Since (the City of Penticton) allowed the RDOS to win last year, we thought we’d allow them to have their moment in the sun,” Loewen said.

Penticton’s participation rate was 10 per cent, compared to 34 per cent in the RDOS. The RDOS office had the largest team in all of Penticton with 24 registered riders, who logged 102 trips. In contrast, the City of Penticton only had four registered riders, and they logged 24 trips.

“It’s a fun thing that we do every year,” said Simone Blais, communications officer. “It’s a good chance for collaboration, and there’s lots of ribbing no matter what side you’re on.“

Blais said some of the cycling enthusiasts who are employed by the city took holidays over Bike to Work Week, and said those schedules hopefully won’t be repeated next year.

As a year-long reminder of their defeat, a tricycle with fuzzy decorations, which Jakubeit refers to as “pimped out,” will be removed from the former losers at the RDOS office and placed inside of City Hall.

The Penticton region saw 656 riders participate, and 113 of them were new from last year. There was a 56-44 split in favour of female riders, who  altogether travelled a combined 10,554 kilometres during the week of May 25 to 31.