If you’ve been putting off bringing that bike out of the garage and pedalling your way to work in the morning, you may be running out of excuses.
As Bike to Work Weeks begins to wind down, the reasons to take up the cause continue to grow. As Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island basks in the sunshine and warm weather of the final weeks of spring, the lure of the outdoors is becoming harder to resist. What better way to start and finish the workday than with a leisurely ride through some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.
And results from last week’s Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week Commuter Challenge have deflated the argument that you don’t have the time to leave the vehicle at home. The challenge saw 20 teams of motorists and cyclists attempt to reach the finish line in downtown Victoria from various starting points: including Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Saanich, Victoria, Colwood, Langford, View Royal and Cadboro Bay. The cyclist reached the destination first in 70 per cent of the competitions, with another 10 per cent ending in a tie.
Bike to Work Week is the perfect chance to get a feel for the cycling commute with so many others taking part. And a recent survey showed 90 per cent of respondents who began biking to work during previous campaigns are still cycling today.
Cyclists also have a new tool that allows them to safely navigate their way through Victoria’s streets.
Bikemaps.org is a web-map created by University of Victoria geography professor Dr. Trisalyn Nelso and a team of researchers in the UVic Geography SPAR Lab (Spatial Pattern and Analysis Research) to collect comprehensive data on cycling safety. Cyclists record bike crashes, near misses, hazards and thefts for any location in the world.
The group has identified a number of hotspots around Greater Victoria. For Oak Bay commuters, the intersection of Fort Street at Foul Bay Road as well as Lansdowne Road between Richmond Avenue and Foul Bay Road were identified.
With so many reasons to give cycling to work a try, we hope more are willing to get their wheels rolling.