Your Stories

Below are some feedback we've received from people accross BC. If you'd like to submit a testimonial about how Bike to Work Week has effected you, please send it to Terri-Lynn Gifford, Program Coordinator, terri-lynn@biketowork.ca.

"Bike to Work Week gave me that extra push I needed to get out riding. Once I have done a few rides, it becomes more routine and I ride more often."

Sandra F., Kamloops

“Riding my bike home has taken an hour and a half and a 3 km hill to attack after 9 hours of work.  Thus I set out to challenge myself before the BTW started and to learn something new:  how to put my bike on the bus and to take it off.  After confessing to the bus driver that I was just learning, he offered a few hints to make the job easier. After a few weeks of riding to work and then bussing home I felt pleased with myself that I mastered this skill.

The BTW week started and I felt confident with my new bike and bus knowledge. On the road at 6:30 am it was great to see friendly faces at the BTW kiosks, a few stories were exchanged and then on my way to work. My 12.6 km ride to work gave me an amazing start to the day – I was more energized  (I am sure my riding to work is better than coffee).  After BTW week was over, I can honestly say that I missed seeing my “BTW” smiling kiosk people.

I have tackled really windy days, super muggy hot days and a few wet days, but I am prepared. I can ride my bike or I can make excuses. I have ridden my bike 17 days and totaled 215 km and my next task to complete and conquer is to bike more than 50 days. Thank you BTW for inspiration to accomplish this.”

Christene Mackay, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops

“It is almost impossible to write a testimonial on the benefits or rewards of participating in Bike to Work – least wise, not one that can be written in a single paragraph.  The rewards are innumerable, the benefits are lifelong… Bike to Work –

B – Be organized… from getting up earlier, packing and gathering all you will need for your day… from cleaning yourself, maybe a change of clothes, or wearing the right clothes, from packing a purse to filling a backpack, or a saddle bag… lunch – one that won’t get squished… something to drink…dry socks!  You will be amazed!

I – Invest in yourselfThis is your life, and when you make Biking to Work  a part of it, you are investing in more than just saving a few dollars in gas, the emissions, the fossil footprint, all the political jargon that is important, but, not as important at the investment in your health, your vitality, your energy.  Your lungs, legs, heart, mind, will thank you… maybe not so much at first, but if you stick with it, you will find yourself embracing a whole new you! You will inspire others to begin this same journey of fitness – while encouraging other to keep those tires rolling, “slow and steady!”

K – Kicking the Couch – when you get on your bike, for the first time, it takes time…sometimes it hurts, sometimes it hard, and sometimes, you walk more than you bike – the hills are hard around Kamloops – but when you let go of the couch, you find yourself, mentally challenging yourself – conquering one hill after another, until you not long need those tiny gears to get to the top…and that transfers to many other goals your start setting for yourself.  Those “finish” lines become “start” lines!

E – Energy... the early morning wake up rides, the other fellow bikers you start noticing on your route – the birds, the flowers, the kids playing in the yards, that feel good feeling your get just breathing in all the life around you.  That translates to energy in your body and mind!  The places around the city, that you have never noticed by car, you begin to delight in, on your bike.  Moments that step you back to your childhood…carefree, moments that make your smile, when a stranger waves hello, or encourages you on your climb up the next hill.  All in all, Bike to Work is so much more than riding your bike!

Now, Bike to Work Week– from the countless Volunteers, who work endless hours organizing this event – to the cheering squads at all the stops, words of advice from seasoned veterans of the road, to the enthusiasm of new bikers first accomplished milestone, this week is really the “starting” line for so many people.  Their start out goals may be different- some need to save the money, some need to get in shape, some need that time alone to reflect on the simpler moments in life.  Whatever the motivation is, the end result is so much more than one would anticipate… the camaraderie, the sense of teamwork, the feeling of belonging to a group much bigger than oneself…. Or simply participating in an event that connects so many communities on a bigger scale – setting an example for each generation to follow.

Whether is this the only week you ride, or if it’s the first week of a lifestyle change, everyone who stays with it, discovers something, and adds something, far more meaningful to their lives, than just peddling two tires down a road to a destination.”

June Carscadden, Atlas Information Management, Kamloops

“For a commuter cycling advocate, there is nothing more pleasing to the eye than to see a rack full of bicycles. Add in parents and kids bustling around, locking up bikes and bumping into one another and chatting about the day ahead, the scene buzzing with life and interactions - my heart felt as if it grew about 10 sizes!  

Organizing the first ever Bike to School Week event at Beattie School of the Arts was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. The event was well received by the school, with more than 15 intermediate students (as well as a few kindergarteners and their parents) participating in a bike train, commuting from a nearby transit exchange to the school in the morning.  The bike train was welcomed with a celebration station, with prizes, information and some tasty snacks. Two primary classes (grades 1s and 2s) participated in bike rodeos in the morning, which consisted of four stations including a bike check, a helmet check, a starts and stops station, and a scanning station.  There was also an activity area and warm-up pit for the kids waiting for their bike and helmet checks.  The students made a beautiful cardboard bike, which was displayed in the entrance of the school for the rest of the week.

The success of the event is attributed to a wonderful team, which consisted of the vice principal, two teachers, the bike to school week coordinator, and many parent volunteers.

Big thanks to the Bike to Work Week provincial organization for officially endorsing Bike to School Week. Having a dedicated coordinator made our event possible.”

Marcia Dick, Beatie School of Arts, Kamloops

“I loved the bike to work week!

My story for you was this…

I always wanted to bike to work.. But am too Lazy…and my late nights stopped me from getting up that little bit earlier to make the bike to work thing happen.

There are 3 Josh’s at my work… me being one of them…After I found out the other 2 were participating.. I had to join the crowd.

It’s the fun and funny things in life that make us do what we do… and for me being the only Josh out of the program just wasn’t going to work.

So happy I did and so happy your people came up with the program to get people biking more!

I plan on riding my bike to work 2 days a week going forward… and even more in the summer once the students are gone and my work load changes.

Josh Bouthot, Chilliwack School District, Fraser Valley

“I thought I would share my story and hopefully the motto “rain or shine” might persuade more people to hop on those bikes even if it does rain!

My story:

Monday morning, roll out of bed… the thoughts going on in my head….work? really? Oh yeah it’s bike to work week, get your butt out of bed!!

I throw on my riding clothes, donning the excellent Bike to Work t-shirt, but take a look outside… why is it so dark still? Is that rain?? Better put on something fluorescent so everyone sees me! Head upstairs to pack my lunch…. Is it raining harder now? I better leave soon…. Throw everything in my backpack… is it raining even harder now? Go outside, unlock my bike, and walk it onto my driveway – how am I soaked already??? Go inside, how am I going to ensure my backpack with my work clothes doesn’t get soaked by the time I get to work…. Luckily my husband is still home – would you be a dear and drop my backpack off at work on your way? So off he goes thinking I’m totally crazy, but I am determined as I committed to Bike to Work week and am only able to ride Monday and Tuesday! I’m no quitter : )

I jump on my bike and if it is possible, it starts to rain even harder, but now it’s diagonal rain that slaps, very unceremoniously in my face! I am riding as fast as I can, which, let’s be serious, is not actually as fast as I think it is. I am proudly wearing my shirt, with rain dripping down my face, and not one driver seems overly impressed with me, but I put my head down and pedal towards the office, so delighted with myself that I catch up to the same truck 3 times as he has to wait for all the lights…. Riding just might be as fast as driving at this point!

I finally get to work, lock up my bike and walk inside – face dripping, take my helmet off, with my hair stuck to everything, needless to say, I’ve definitely looked better – but you’d think I was a local celebrity…

The response from my co-workers was completely unexpected - I figured they would look at me like the drivers I encountered… wondering what the heck I was doing in the pouring rain on my bicycle…. But was I ever wrong…

They cheered and praised me for my commitment, which was completely embarrassing, but…. what I thought was just a funny, ridiculous ride in the rain had a real effect on others…  Can’t wait for my next biking adventure : )”

Kristy Hodson, Fraser Valley Regional District, Chilliwack, Fraser Valley

“This year to avoid ICBC’s grip on my wallet I sold my truck and committed to riding to school.  It has been an opportunity to reconnect with nature.  I have seen deer, rabbits, squirrels, possums (surprisingly they can cross the road without being killed), and birds—flickers, herons, mallards, Canadian geese, and the bald eagle that swooped down to snatch mid-air a young crow nothing left but a few feathers floating down to mark the carnage.

I have felt the sting of rain and frosted air, been embraced by the sun, pushed by the wind, and even challenged by the slight inclines of the land that one never notices while driving. 

It has allowed me to feel more connected to my surroundings, and to have a quiet prayer time.

My wife, who is also a teacher, invited me to use our car today while she participated in Bike to Work Week, I told her, ‘No thanks’.“

Jim Williams, Mennonite Educational Institute, Abbotsford, Fraser Valley

“Thanks so much for all your work with Bike to Work Week. Bike to Work Week is always a good incentive for me to get going on my first ride to work of the year.

And I won a helmet which Life Cycles readily exchanged for a different (higher visibility) colour and I’m really pleased with it. Thanks again and I look forward to participating again next year.”

Brenda Philip, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Fraser Valley

“I participated in BTWW because I have a short commute and just required me to make a few schedule adjustments so that I could incorporate it into my day.  Bike to Work Week has helped me to continue with it, with those minor adjustments and even bike home for lunch.  I feel like I have found a way to get some exercise without having to make additional time for it in my busy life.  The bonus is that my tank of gas seems to last forever now!  I will definitely participate next year.”

Kelly Kitsch, Forest Technologist, District of Mission, Fraser Valley

“I Love Bike to Work Week! In our little valley it's well supported! My route along the beautiful Dyke road between Comox and Courtenay is a beautiful ride and every year there is a tent set up to cheer us along and riders tend to wave at each other enroute!  Comox has a huge hill that was my deterrent for years, but once I started doing it I found out I could- it’s now a matter of pride to never walk it ( and perhaps the day I need to will be time for an EBIKE)  Great event and I encourage others to join us!!”

Cheryl Taylor, VIHA, Comox Valley

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