Trade Four Wheels for Two
Teacher is trying to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes in June – Danielle Bell, The Daily News
Published: Thursday, May 22, 2008
Nanaimo’s Blade Long has been cycling since he was seven years old.
The 15-year-old Woodlands Secondary Student currently tries to ride his bike as much as he can to school, depending on the weather. He also rides his second-hand, 18-speed CCM bike around his neighbourhood and to the store.
"It’s good for exercise," said Long of biking in the Harbour City. "It’s got its ups and downs – literally."
Woodlands teacher Dan Gray was instrumental in helping to create Bike to Work week with a group of volunteers about a decade ago.
About 75% of people live within 10 kilometres of where they work, said Gray, who has cycled for years.
"Utilitarian cycling as an alternative to the car is one of the most efficient ways to get around."
Rising fuel costs are likely causing more people to think of bicycles, he said.
Woodlands teacher Jessica Cullen, who helped organize the school’s event, hopes as many students as possible will participate in the challenge to boost their health and keep the environment in check.
The school is encouraging bikes, rollerblades, skateboards and anything that’s not a car as an alternate form of transportation, though carpooling to school also reduces environmental concerns, said Cullen.
"I bike on Fridays, but on bike week I’m going to ride every day," said Cullen. "There’s constantly about 20 kids (at Woodlands) that bike."
Rob Lawrance, the City of Nanaimo’s environmental planner, said Bike to Work Week encourages people to consider cycling as an option.
Less than 10% of Nanaimoites bike to work regularly, said Lawrance. "(Ask yourself) Is it really worth it for me to get around solely in a car?"
On Friday, businesses are meeting at the Harbourfront Plaza at noon for a fun competition on their bikes to kick off Bike to Work Week.
The city is also garnering input from area cyclists about biking in the region.
To fill out the survey and for more information, log onto http://biketowork.ca/news/nanaimo/survey.