Bike to work week challenges myth of car travel

Bike to Work Week kicks off May 29 to June 4.

Tim Collins


Given the popularity of cycling in our city, it’s a small wonder that the idea of Bike to Work Week first gained traction in Greater Victoria.

It all started in 1995 when a group of avid commuter cyclists committed themselves to raising the profile of commuter cycling. They planned Bike to Work Week and managed to attract about 500 participants.

The group forged on, and today are a registered not-for-profit organization and part of the larger Bike to Work B.C. It’s been 21 years since the idea first took form, and in 2016 the concept had spread nation-wide. In Victoria, more than 600 teams and more than 6,500 participants registered to participate.

Organizers anticipate 2017 will see even more people take on the challenge of commuter cycling during Bike to Work and School Week, May 29 to June 4, and make the ride the beginning of a fundamental lifestyle change.

One of those cyclists, Mike Gonzales, owner of the Old Spaghetti Factory, is looking forward to the event not only because it helps promote a healthy lifestyle but, in his case, it also appeals to his sense of competition and fun.

This year, Gonzales is one of several riders who participated in a challenge component of Bike to Work Week in which registered riders pair off against well-known Victorians to race from Uptown Mall to the Ride to Work Week celebration station located at Blanshard and Fort streets.

Gonzales rode his bike against Tourism Victoria president and CEO Paul Nursey, who drove his car.

“The entire race took nine minutes for me, and we managed to dispel the myth that travel by car is faster,” Gonzales said after the race.

“I actually got to the celebration station a full three minutes before Paul, who had to find a parking spot before he made his way to the finish line on foot.”

Gonzales said organizers had previously told him that the cyclists tend to win the challenge 80 per cent of the time and he was pleased to reinforce those results.

Gonzales, who doesn’t describe himself as an avid cyclist, rides his bike to work periodically. He anticipates those rides will increase this summer, though, as he has been chosen to participate in the 2017 Tour de Rock.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time on my bike lately with all the training we’ve been doing,” he said.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria writer and filmmaker turns her mental illness into mental strength

Mental illness robs Victoria woman of happiness from age 10

Vancouver Island leads nation in medically assisted deaths

Island residents choose assisted death five times more than other Canadians

Greater Victoria municipalities will consider at least seven applications for private pot stores

Victoria will eventually consider six applications, while Sooke will consider one

2 charged for feeding bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Langford law office receives second envelope with unknown substance

West Shore office hit with unknown substance twice within the month

VIDEO: 41 years later, author publishes story he wrote at 6 years old

Troy Wilson originally created Captain Otter while in Grade 1

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Robert Barron column: Glad straps no longer used in schools

You would have to hold out your hands, palms up to expose the most sensitive parts

Most Read