The Peterborough Examiner
April 30, 2014
By: Joelle Kovach

When Peter Hughes put his bike away in his backyard shed for the season last fall, he was sure to keep it safe from potential prowlers by locking it with two padlocks.

Who knew the padlock keys would go missing over the winter?

This was a particularly tricky dilemma for Hughes. As the executive director of Peterborough GreenUp, he was about to launch his agency’s annual program to encourage people to walk or ride their bikes to work.

Yet here he was, still driving.

“I couldn’t have a bike imprisoned in my back shed – it’s embarrassing,” he said on Tuesday morning at the GreenUp store on Aylmer St.

So he cut the locks. His bike is free.

Hughes shared the story at the launch of the 11th annual Shifting Gears Challenge, a community program that invites employees at workplaces across the city to try walking or cycling to work throughout the month of May.

The idea is to go online and log your trips. Those who participate are eligible to win prizes such as free city transit passes or even a $750 Resorts of Ontario gift certificate.

Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Peterborough city and county’s medical officer of health, said most adults benefit greatly from 30 minutes of daily physical activity.

Exercise can boost mental health and decrease cancer, she said, and one of the best ways to ensure you get that active is to make it part of your daily routine. She strongly suggests walking to work.

“Let’s get those numbers up and put more people on our wonderful sidewalks and trails,” she said.

Mayor Daryl Bennett said citizens can enhance their health by participating in the program.

“Shifting Gears is not only about gears – it’s about attitudes,” he said.

Register at, and log your trips through the month of May to win prizes.