Bring the Bike to Work

This year’s Bike to Work Week (BTWW) in Metro Vancouver, Canada, was a huge success with 5,000 cyclists registering and participating during May. Each day of the week, commuter celebration stations were set up along bike routes to offer free food, prizes and mechanical help. Committed participants pedalled through the week and thousands of people celebrated their accomplishments at a wrap-up party in downtown Vancouver. The party included free food for cyclists, pedal-powered music and a performance by the B:C:Clettes, an all lady, bike inspired, street-performance collective (see Carbusters 36). The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition organised BTWW with the aim of drawing new people out to use bikes as daily transportation and inspiring them to continue year round. In total, 920 employees biked to work for the very first time and post-event surveys show that many of them are still cycle commuting. One participant said, “I’d wanted to try cycling to work for the past two years and just never managed to get started. Bike to Work Week gave me the push I needed to finally try it – and I love it! I’ve biked to work nearly every day since. The feeling of community the commuter stations created was great. Thank you!” Overall, participants logged nearly 200,000 km during the week and saved 37,000 kg of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere. The next BTWW will be held in November 2009, to demonstrate the viability of cycling year round in Vancouver.

Erin O’Melinn, Vancouver Area Cycle Coalition

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