Bike to Work for Convenience, Health, and Community
May 25, 2018
Bike to Work Week motivates thousands to gain the benefits of bike commuting
Registration is now open for HUB Cycling’s bi-annual Bike to Work Week, presented by Exodus Travels, with the Spring event taking place from May 28th-June 3rd). Over 12,000 people are expected to register online for the event this spring - with tens of thousands more attending the 80+ free outdoor events around Metro Vancouver.
To motivate people in Metro Vancouver to try two-wheeled transport, HUB Cycling will be setting up daily Celebration Stations along bike routes with free coffee, snacks, basic bike maintenance, and prize draws. This year there will also be a free “Bike-In Movie Night” on June 3rd at Queen Elizabeth Plaza to finish off the celebrations.
Participants can register for free online at btww.ca to log their bike trips during the event. By logging trips, participants are entered to win great prizes, including a new bike each day and a cycling trip for two in Portugal with Exodus Travels. Anyone can create a team at their organization to track their results against other workplaces in a friendly competition to see which organizations can cycle the most trips. Participants can also register as individual riders if they aren’t on a workplace team. “While the event is called Bike to Work Week, we want everyone to try getting around by bike this week, no matter where you’re off to,” says Tom Skinner, HUB Cycling’s Bike to Work Week Manager. “We want to remind people that all bike trips for transportation count and you’re welcome to partake if you’re a student going to school, working from home, or retired - every kilometre makes a difference.”
HUB Cycling says convenience is a great reason to take up two wheels. “Biking to work is not only the healthiest, most fun and most sustainable way to get around cities,” adds Skinner, “It’s often even faster than driving in traffic, especially during rush-hour.” To test this out, HUB Cycling hosted its annual “Rush Hour Challenge” Media event on the morning of Wednesday, May 23rd in Downtown Vancouver. The friendly competition saw seven teams take part, with people cycling, people driving, and people taking transit trying to see who could get to work faster during rush hour. This year, a few teams added in electric-assist bikes and the quickest commutes for each team were three by bike, two by e-bike, and two by transit. Since the first Rush Hour Challenge took place in 2009, bike commuters have arrived faster than their car-driving and transit-taking counterparts more than 70% of the time. Cycling also proved to be significantly more affordable when compared to the other modes of transportation.
In addition to the prizes and events, HUB Cycling is encouraging people to commute by bike for the health benefits. HUB Cycling sites new research suggesting that people who cycle to work regularly may have a 46% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer. “The health benefits of active transportation are extraordinary,” says Skinner. “Not only does cycling to work reduce obesity and other chronic illnesses, it also provides regular doses of exercise that can give you more energy, productivity, and concentration at work.” For those that don’t feel up to cycling the full distance of their commute, HUB Cycling is working with TransLink to encourage and provide tips on how to Bike To Transit.
It’s also a great way to feel more engaged in your community and your commute. One major takeaway for many of the participants on bike in Wednesday’s Rush Hour Challenge was how social their commute was, enabling them to engage and interact with other people in the bike lanes. Stop by any of the Celebration Stations along popular bike routes and HUB Cycling says you’ll see dozens of people on bikes pausing to chat, discuss their favourite cycle commutes, and more. This year’s Wrap-Up BBQ at Creekside Park on June 1 is expected to attract over 1500 people on bike.
Participants can sign up for Bike to Work Week at BTWW.ca to find celebration stations, enter for draw prizes, calculate calories burned, and track reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Let's #Bike2Work this week!