Editorial: getting on the Bike to Work Week bandwagon

Editorial: getting on the Bike to Work Week bandwagon

Biking to work takes planning and time, but it also offers so many benefits

I’m won’t sit here at my computer and tell you biking to work is easy, but I will tell you it’s inspiring, and even a little bit addictive. (And it does get easier the more you do it.)

This week (May 28 to June 3) is Bike to Work and School Week in our province, put on by GoByBikeBC, a non-profit society whose vision is “a future in which as many people as possible experience the joy of using bicycles for everyday transportation.”

In the past couple of months while I’ve been working at the Observer, I’ve taken several opportunities to ride to and from work. I live in Kersley, so this takes a bit of planning. I started doing it because I’m training for a long-distance, multi-day ride called the Wounded Warriors Canada Battlefield Bike Ride. I needed to get to work, and I needed to get my training in.

It takes me 1.5 to two hours to do the ride, depending on the route I take and whether it’s my first or second ride of the day. It’s definitely a time commitment, and it takes some planning ahead to make sure I have work clothes to change into once I arrive at the office, but I found it was very do-able. Cycling to work was a great way to start the day.

This time on my bike has helped me feel (slightly) more ready for my big bike ride, has helped me fit exercise into my days (which can sometimes be a lot harder than it sounds), has given me some time to myself (which can also be a lot harder than it sounds) and has given me a chance to notice and appreciate my surroundings in a way that I don’t when I’m driving.

It has also made me want to use my bike even more. Now, I have visions of packing up for a weekend and biking to Wells or Barkerville to camp. Those hills would sure be a challenge, but I think a fun one!

While my biking to work had nothing to do with Bike to Work and School Week, I love the idea of the initiative, and I hope our community will get more involved next year. It’s a great incentive to try out bike commuting and see how it can fit into your life, and it’s a way to connect with other people who enjoy cycling. I know in my hometown, Bike to Work Week was always a big deal, and they had celebration stations set up in different areas around the Comox Valley all week, where people could grab a snack, get a tune-up or enter to win a prize and really just be part of a great community. Maybe we’ll have that here too next year.

You can learn more about Bike to Work Week and register at biketowork.ca. Anyone who registers online and logs at least one trip (which could be to work, to a friend’s house or to the grocery store – it all counts) will be entered into the grand prize draw.

Last year, more than 44,000 people cycled 1.2 million kilometres and saved 240,000 kilograms of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere during Bike to Work Week. It’s not too late to help make this year’s Week even more successful.

Lindsay Chung

Quesnel Cariboo Observer