May 31st to June 6th is Bike to Work Week in BC. Normally it is the perfect time of year to host this event however with the crummy weather lately, I've noticed less riders on the road. Never-the-less people are leaving their cars at home and getting some exercise and being green on the way to work.
Bike to Work Week has set up various events to encourage people to take up riding a bike to work. Around the city there are rest stops with refreshments, information and teams to take a look at your bike (for some people it has been a while since they have taken their bike on the road). Offices have formed teams and made a group effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
The event I found to be of the most interest was the "races". There have been 14 route races this year. One person leaves in a car (and must follow speed limits, signs and lights and find parking at the end) and another leaves on a bike and they "race" to arrive at their location first. Ten out of the fourteen times the cyclists won. There were 3 cars that arrived first and 1 tie. Since I've been cycling to work, I've found that it takes generally about 12-15 mins to drive but only 7-10 minutes to cycle. I feel safer on my bike. I don't have any traffic. Victoria is filled will pathways, trails and quiet back-streets so I rarely have to ride my bike with cars. When I drive to work I encounter 5 light-controlled intersections and 2 stop signs, when I cycle there is only one light-controlled intersection and 1 stop sign. And getting out in the fresh air on my way to work really helps to wake me up for the day.
So I encourage everyone, if you haven't already given it a shot this week, ride your bike to work. You may find you actually love it. And don't forget to practice bike safety. If you want more information on Bike to Work Week visit http://www.biketowork.ca/.