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“I can't tell you how excited I am to win the bike trip to Italy! When I saw the email saying my name had been drawn, I thought someone was pranking me” – Shelley Klein, the lucky winner of the grand prize cycling adventure trip for exploring the picturesque vine-covered hills of Prosecco, Italy (sponsored by Exodus Travels).
Klein makes it a point to ride her bike during the annual Bike to Work Week, “it’s great living in Vernon with all the new bike paths.”
The new bike paths in Vernon make the world of difference for residents. Klein says, “I didn't used to ride my bike because I didn't like riding it on the busy highway; but, with the new bike paths, it is such a relaxing ride, and I don't even have to worry about parking.”
My bike feels like more than a metal frame with rubber tires, it feels like an old friend. I remember the time I flipped over my handlebars -I had foolishly hung a grocery bag off the end of them and when something in the bag became lodged between the spokes of my wheel it brought my bike to an abrupt halt and catapulted me onto the pavement. A man who had been driving past stopped to help and when he approached me my first question was, “Is my bike ok?” His brows made knots, confused by my misplaced priorities. My bike could easily be replaced, my head on the other hand couldn’t.
In light of the time of year, this week’s post is all about bicycle related initiatives across British Columbia that give back to our communities.
1. Giving bikes to refugees and newcomers.
“I can’t even explain how I felt … first I was in disbelief, I mean, I’ve never won anything that comes even close to this!” – Thomas Weimer, the lucky winner of the grand prize cycling adventure trip for two to Sicily, Italy sponsored by Exodus Travels.
Riding a bike to the store with her granddaughter is one of the moments Margaret Harris cherishes. Margaret has been on her bike since a kid. Now in her 70s, she watches her granddaughter, Hannah’s love of cycling blossom: "I was inspired by grandma who got me into biking," she says, "it's fantastic, it's fun, I love it!". They both love riding their bikes and spending time together so it just makes sense to GoByBike together. Watch this video and listen for their safety tips and advice about how to teach youth to be safe on bikes: CLICK HERE
The best way to Go By Bike is to create a route that suits your cycling style and make it yours. This video has ideas and tips to help you plan your bicycle trip so it’s comfortable and fun. GoByBikeBC is encouraging people to try to bike for transportation. Learn from those that already ride for transportation. CLICK HERE to watch.
By: Kaitlyn Bailey
MSc, University of British Columbia
“We are neither expert cyclists nor physical fitness fanatic,” says Dan [Burden]. “We simply see the bicycle as an excellent tool for more fully appreciating our environment.” (National Geographic, May 1973)
In the 1970’s Dan and Lys Burden, along with Greg and June Siple, set out to ride their bikes from Anchorage, Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentine. During their trip they wrote an article for National Geographic about the unique vantage point that a bike provides travellers.
“The very struggle to get over [mountains] gives you a more intimate understanding of their size. You become acutely aware of the contours, even of the changes in temperature and environment as you change altitude,” writes Dan in the article. “With our modest physiques and merely adequate stamina, we four offer living proof... read on
I get it, sometimes the allure of driving is strong –maybe it’s raining outside, or you’re feeling tired. Even though you always feel great once you are biking, when you have other (maybe more convenient) options at your fingertips it can be difficult to motivate yourself.
There is a theory about different levels of motivation developed by two psychologists. It’s called the Self-Determination Theory (1), and it might provide some valuable insight into how to stay motivated to choose biking over other forms of transportation.
The Self-Determination Theory ranks sources of motivation along a continuum with the highest sources being the best sources of motivation for sticking with a new behaviour in the long term... Read More
When most people think of cellphones and cycling, “safety” is not the first word that comes to mind. And, no, of course using your cellphone while you are biking is dangerous. However, as long as you pull over first, there are a number of new apps that can help to make riding a bike safer and decrease bike theft. I’ve picked a few below that I think are very useful.
1. 529 garage: If you’ve ever experienced the gut-wrenching feeling when your bike is not where you left it, then you will appreciate 529 garage. All you have to do is register your bike on their app or website, and attach their tamper-proof registration sticker to your frame. Then, if your bike goes missing, an alert is sent to fellow 529 users in your community to be on the look out for it. In many cities local bike stores and... read on
Just as there are scientists searching for a cure for cancer, there are also scientists whose life’s work it is to uncover the secrets of living a happier life.
Two such “happiness researchers” from Harvard University wanted to know which daily activities make people the happiest, and which make people the least happy(1). To test their question they developed a smartphone app that sent their participants texts randomly throughout the day asking:
- How are you feeling right now?
- What are you doing right now?
The results? One of the least enjoyable activities that people reported during their day was commuting/travelling.
The average Canadian spends about 52-minutes a day just commuting to and from their workplace(2). When you include other trips this is likely more than an hour for most people.
Biking to work and school is a healthy, eco-friendly way to commute to work and school ...saving you money on gas and helping you get physical activity on your way to work or school! However, biking can get a little more complicated in inclement weather. These tips can help you whether you are dealing with a thunderstorm, or a light shower: Click here to Read THEM!
Peter Wood, of Vancouver, BC, sold his car in 1996 and uses his bicycle primarily for transportation, “it’s a great way for city transport for my lifestyle,” says Wood. For longer trips, he adds public transportation, “the combination of my bicycle and public transport is generally sufficient for all my needs.”
Wood has been participating in Bike to Work Week for the last four years, “I fully support and appreciate HUB and all that they have done to advance cycling in Metro Vancouver,” he states. “I enjoy participating in Bike to Work Week! It’s nice to bike out in the morning to the Celebration Stations, have coffee, visit with other cyclists, and enjoy the comradery it brings. I really appreciate the bike mechanics that donate their time and skills at each station as well.”
When asked how he felt about winning the trip to Croatia, he says “I was shocked and ecstatic... read on
Joel Carter took the Cycling Vietnam trip sponsored by Exodus Travels in January, 2017 with his father, Stephen Carter, where they travelled from Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City in the South to Hanoi in the North. “We cycled a total of 500 kilometers!” says Joel. “We went to the Mountain Town of Da Lat, the 16th century trading port of Hoi An, and many places in between.”
This was Joel’s first cycling adventure trip and he discovered that he thoroughly enjoyed traveling and experiencing the culture by bike. “We learned to take our time and we explored places you would normally drive by and wouldn’t get to explore if you were traveling by vehicle.”
“Being on a bike versus a vehicle offered a unique perspective. Much of the trip was on side roads, avoiding the main highways where very few tourists visit. People were very friendly, and the children loved running out to practice... read on
Joel Carter, Information Systems Infrastructure Team Member, Kal Tire, Vernon, BC
Joel Carter started participating in Bike to Work Week 10 years ago when he worked at BCIT in Burnaby. When he moved to Vernon, he found it enjoyable to bike to work during most months of the year—although he admits the Okanagan snow makes it a little difficult to bike commute in the peak winter months.
Carter and his family aim to operate one vehicle in their household and biking to work enables his family to achieve this environmentally and economically-friendly goal. “I also find it difficult to find time to exercise with a busy schedule and by biking to work it serves two purposes: it enables me to get some exercise; and it is great form of transportation to and from work.”
He adds, “…and when I arrive at work, I feel awake and alert. I may even be more... read on
I have participated in bike to work week for a few years in Canada but had also done it in Australia before we moved here 4 years ago. This was the first year that my daughter was involved however (in the photo). I leave for work early before my wife and daughter are awake. My wife drops my daughter and bike trailer off at daycare in the morning on her way to work. I leave work early on my bike and attach the bike trailer and ride my daughter home from daycare. My ride is 30 minutes each way but my daughter is only in the chair for 10 minutes on the way home.
She likes the trailer but hates the helmet, she is getting better with practice though. We have got efficient enough at this that we did not re-register one of our cars for the summer months but will re-register it in winter when it isn't safe for Harriet and I to ride.
Chris and Harriet O'Hara, Kamloops BC
Check out this short “How to Bike to School Safely” video made by a grade 5 student in Smithers? It is REALLY well made and easy for kids to relate to and learn from. Teaching kids about the rules of the road and how to bike safely at a young age is very important for all road users and this video does a FANTASTIC job of it: https://vimeo.com/166741641
Sarah Deagle, Assistant Registrar of North Island College in Campbell River won the 2015 Exodus Travels Grand Prize Cycling Trip in Europe. Here’s what she has to say about it…
Sarah Deagle took the trip with her husband, who had never been on a cycling trip before, during the first two weeks of October, 2015. Sarah has been on numerous cycling trips before but found the experience with Exodus Travels more liberating because she did not have to arrange all the details herself and she didn’t have to take her own bike from one location to another. “The excellent organization and planning undertaken by Exodus in Canada and Headquarters in Europe made me aware of how terrific organized travel can be and what you can see differently travelling in this way.”
Although she’s been on vacation cycling adventures before, Sarah... read on
Use locks that are theft proof. Do research and purchase a lock that comes with insurance, such as the Abus locks.
If possible, store your bike in a safe location, preferably in a locked area.
If you are leaving your bike unattended on the back of a vehicle, lock the bike to your vehicle.
Never lock your bike by the front wheel only. Always lock your bike with two quality locks — preferably a U-lock and a cable lock.
To be safe, take the extra step of removing the seat or a wheel.
Ensure you have a photo of the bike and record the serial number so that if the bike is stolen, it can be identified if located.
Insure your bikes. Your house insurance or renters insurance will cover your bikes up to a certain value if theft happens outside your... read on
Cam Zaremba of Prince George, was the winner of last year’s Bike to Work BC Grand Prize of a Cycling Trip for 2 in Cuba sponsored by Exodus Travels.
Cam and his wife, Joan, took the trip March 19-26, 2015 and also added some extra time to relax on the beaches in Cuba: “I want to thank both Bike to Work Week and Exodus Travel for the biking prize trip to Cuba. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience, both from a guided tour (first time) and biking in a foreign country (first time) perspective. The information and service provided by Exodus prior to and during the trip was excellent. We felt well-prepared before arriving in Cuba and the time spent on the bike was fun and informative, and gave us a good head start to the biking season here in Northern BC! We took the opportunity to add on an additional week within the country at the end of the bike tour and the... read on
“I am riding to work today, sun is out, sky is blue. I can hear the birds chirping, and bunnies are peeking out through the long grass. I am looking at the different flowers growing on the side of the path. As I slip past them, my blood is pumping. I have a smile on my face. Out of the blue a huge eagle soars over my head. It was so close I could see it’s talons. I would have missed all that if I was in my car.”
- Shaw Cable Staff Member (requested to be un-named), Nanaimo
Horsefly Elementary Junior Secondary, a small K-9 rural school of 51 students, had 45 students and 2 staff Bike to School this Bike to Work Week! The school, located in the community of Horsefly BC, which is 40 minutes east of Williams Lake, ran a Bike to School week event all week and won a prize as the largest team in the Williams Lake area. "Our student leadership team designed a student led inquiry project this year based on the question 'How can our school reduce it's Carbon Footprint?' " says Principal Calvin Dubray, "we have been involved in many projects and programs based around that so Bike to Work (School) Week fit in quite nicely."
Cameron Zaremba started participating in Bike to Work Week 8 years ago when he was living in Kelowna and has continued to participate in Bike to Work Week in Prince George where he has resided for the last three years. Zaremba says that each year Bike to Work Week is a reminder to get his bike out to commute with for the summer season and he continues cycle to work once or twice per week after Bike to Work Week through the summer months.
When asked if he notices any health benefits from using his bike to commute Zaremba says, “It is good cross-training for winter activities such as downhill skiing and snowshoeing.” He adds that he always feels “invigorated” when he completes his bike commute in either direction!
Bike to Work’s mandate is to encourage and promote the use of the bicycle as transportation to work. For more information on our mission, goals and principles visit the "About BTWBC" section.
Bike to Work BC Society is excited to launch this brand new website and registration tool! Look in the "Communities" menu above for your region and take a look at what Bike to Work Week events are being organized in your area.
The David Suzuki Foundation has developed 5 Easy Ways to Green your Workplace, and at the top of the list is "Commute Smarter" by biking or bus + bike to and from work instead of driving a single occupant vehicle. The second thing recommended is to "Save Energy" and turn off and unplug equipment that you aren't using. The third thing is to "Live Healthier" by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and choosing local, organic, sustainable foods. The forth is to "Waste Less" and fifth is to "Conserve Water." Read more here.
So you see, Bike to Work and Green your Workplace!
By Kaitlyn Bailey, MSc University of British Columbia
Self- efficacy works the same way regardless of what behaviour you’re trying to change. If you aren’t very confident that you can bike to work everyday of the week, you probably won’t change your behaviour to bike to work everyday. If you aren’t confident that you can stop eating sugar, you probably won’t stop eating sugar.
How frustrating right!? The biggest thing holding you back is that you don’t think you can do it.
Sarah Deagle, Assistant Registrar of North Island College in Campbell River
Sarah Deagle started participating in Bike to Work Week about 11 years ago while she was living in Metro Vancouver. When she moved to Quadra Island last fall from Northern BC, she started cycling three times a week from the ferry terminal with a number of other cyclists to get to her office at North Island College in Campbell River. She does this year-round, but states she particularly loves riding in good weather. “I love riding to work - it's a lovely way to connect with what's happening outdoors—whether it’s plants or birds. I have long days so it’s also nice to get some exercise during the day without having to think too hard about it,” says Deagle.