There are many reasons to ditch your car and ride your bike to work. And what better time than next week during Bike to Work Week May 28 to June 3?
The Sunshine Coast is one of 22 communities in B.C. hosting a Bike to Work Week event. Last year more than 15,000 people province-wide joined 2,400 teams that saved an estimated 170 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere in one week while cycling three-quarters of a million kilometres. Those are pretty impressive numbers.
Throughout the past month, Coast Reporter, along with the Sunshine Coast Regional District and several other cycling advocacy groups, has been presenting a series of articles on biking the Coast. We’ve talked about everything from trail building to the wonderful Sprockids program to, in this issue, Bike to Work Week.
We’ve talked about the benefits to cycling — and there are many. Cycling helps improve public health, produces less traffic congestion as it brings vehicles off the roads, and helps contribute to safer streets. Then there are the environmental benefits — a cleaner, safer environment with lower energy use and less greenhouse gases — all things that make cycling that much more attractive.
Many people choose cycling for fitness and activity reasons. And studies have shown that people who ride to work are more productive at work. Their energy levels are higher. They are more alert and in general are just a little bit happier. A happy worker is a more productive worker.
This year’s Bike to Work Week is shaping up to be the biggest and most successful to date with more than 40 teams already registered to take part.
Transportation Choices (TraC) is a new Coast society dedicated to promoting the benefits of cycling and increasing cycling opportunities on the Coast. They are helping to co-ordinate activities next week along with other community partners. Among the activities will be cheering and food stations set up in various locations for riders, a bike clinic and a Friday celebration and prize event at the Gumboot in Roberts Creek. TraC is also gathering input (www.transportationchoices.ca/bike-rack-survey) from the public on where to place 43 new bike racks on the Coast.
Along with TraC and many other cycling advocacy groups, governments are also stepping up to promote the benefits of cycling.
A recent highway improvement in Davis Bay and Selma Park has now made it much safer for cyclists and motorists to co-exist.
We as a community need to continue to work with government and urge our politicians to look at further cycling improvements and safer access for riders, build more bike trails and paths and promote the benefits of cycling.
A healthy and safer community benefits us all.
Enjoy Bike to Work Week. You have your ticket to ride.