Buddy up with a bike

Raising gas prices are making many people consider alternative modes of transportation to get to and from work. Why not take advantage of B.C.’s 17th Annual Bike To Work Week to get acquainted with a bicycle?

Raising gas prices are making many people consider alternative modes of transportation to get to and from work. Why not take advantage of B.C.’s 17th Annual Bike To Work Week to get acquainted with a bicycle?

In 1995, Bike To Work Week was introduced to Victoria to encourage residents to consider alternative methods of transportation instead of driving to and from the work place. Now the initiative is celebrated throughout 17 communities province-wide.

This event – May 20 to June 3 – does not require a team or pledge donations, and registration is entirely free.

“If you work in a workplace where you’re the only person thinking about getting on a bike to work, that’s okay,” says Ken Wuschke, chair of Abbotsford Cycling Action Group.

Draw prizes are offered throughout the week, and prizes include gear donated by Chilliwack’s Pedal Sports, and a Rocky Mountain Metro bike donated by Life Cycles Bike Shop in Abbotsford.

“And it doesn’t matter if you’ve travelled a lot or a little, everybody who enters is eligible to win,” Wuschke says, “So if you have a one kilometre commute, you’re just as eligible as somebody who’s cycling between Chilliwack and Abbotsford.”

Peter Epp has been biking ever since he lost his training wheels.

“I’ve just always like being on two wheels,” he says.

Epp rides his bike throughout the spring and summer as soon as the weather turns nice, and averages a bike ride to work twice a week. His commute is from Yarrow to downtown Chilliwack, roughly 36 kilometres roundtrip.

He says that biking really is the best way to see the city’s stellar landscape. “It’s a beautiful area that we live in, and it’s a great way to see it all… you can hear everything and you can feel everything, it’s a much better experience, I think.”

Bike To Work Week is a program that “allows us to think of different ways of getting around rather than just hopping into the car,” Wuschke said during a press release on May 10.

Wuschke encourages people considering the switch from car to bike to “get out there and enjoy it… just have fun.” A change in lifestyle such as this can be intimidating, but, “Don’t compare yourself to anybody else. If you’re out there and you see some guy who has all the Spandex on, don’t compare yourself.”

“Think about what you want to do and how you can do it,” he says, “for most people [biking] is amazing.”