My Ladyfriend didn’t even know how to ride a bike before she met me. I’d like to think that I inspired her to get into cycling with my shiny titanium road bike and snug cycling jersey. Or maybe it was the cycling tanlines that proved that I’m not just an indoor geek who spends 12 hours a day in front of a computer screen… for the record, I only spend 10. In reality, it was none of the above. Complete strangers got her riled up about cycling – thousands of them.
It was the inaugural day of Whistler Gran-Fondo and we were surrounded by hoards of cyclists in full-kits, men and women, ready to tackle this seeming huge challenge. I remember the ways her eyes lit up as she looked around in awe and said, “This is so cool!”. Not: “That looks healthy, responsible and so adult-like. Like eating alfalfa sprouts.” When it comes to cycling, I believe that organized events bring more than just attention to the sport – people are inspired to participate because of the huge fun factor. There’s nothing like being surrounded by a community of people who share your passion.
In less than a month, HUB Bike to Work Week will be such an event. We can go on and on about the merits of how cycling benefits your health decreases vehicle congestion, reduces impact on the environment, etc. Yup, everyone already knows that and it’s all true. But we should also remember that it’s a heck of a lot of fun. Between May 27 and June 2, HUB and various sponsors will be encouraging everyone to ride your bike to work or school. Take a week off from driving or public transit and pedal to your destination for a chance to win prizes like a new bike. Throughout the city, you’ll find Celebration Stations on bike routes giving away free snacks, coffee, water, bike tune ups and daily giveaways. Did I mention that you can win prizes? Track your commuting progress on the BTWW online tracker to win!
Photo: Andy Koo – AK Photography
Remember, the social aspect is half the fun so tell your friends and try out some new ways to get your workplace involved. Trump up a little friendly competition among your colleagues or even other companies. Give the term “rat race” a new meaning! Not part of the 9-to-5 world yet? Remember that schools can get in on the action too. Participating schools teach your kids about cycling through games, giveaways and workshops.
New to commuting on two-wheels or concerned about letting your children ride to school? HUB provides cycling education courses to teach you how to feel safer & more confident on the road. There’s still time to attend one of HUB’s Streetwise Cycling Courses before May 27th – City of Vancouver residents can sign up for only $20.00!
When I first got on a bike, I wasn’t worried about the ozone layer or my carbon footprint. I just wanted to go fast and get to where I needed to go. If you like cycling simply because you get a thrill from the wind whipping through your hair or getting to your favorite restaurant without the hassle of parking, then knock yourself out. All the benefits that come with cycling will simply be a cherry on top. Share the experience with a friend and they’ll thank you later. I’d still like to think that it was my knicker shorts that got my Ladyfriend on a bike.