Bike to work week challenges myth of car travel

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

Tim Collins

VICTORIA NEWS

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.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Volunteers begin work on memorial garden for former Metchosin counsellor

Garden a fitting tribute to Moralea Milne, a champion of Garry oak ecosystems

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read