What: Bike to Work Week – Vancouver,BC
When: Nov 1 – 7, 2010
Being a ‘newish’ transplant to Van, this was my first time participating in the city’s Bike to Work Week. Organized by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC), Bike to Work Week is a semiannual event aimed at increasing ridership and elevating awareness that cycling is both a viable and enjoyable means of transport. Throughout the week, participants were tasked with logging their daily commutes online to track their distance traveled and amount of CO2 diverted via their riding.
And while Monday’s MONSTER bad weather may have had things off to a slow start, the remaining days brought sunny skies and saw all ‘walks’ of riders take to our streets. I rode with a small but eager group of colleagues who, as of 5pm today, had logged close to 500km and diverted some 90kg in CO2 emissions … while also burning more than 14,000 calories (beers and burgers were earned in big form!). Citywide, the VACC tallied a total of 170,370km biked and a whopping 35,473kg in CO2 savings. BAM!
Throughout the week it seemed as though there was a visible increase in ridership during my morning commute – particularly over the Burrard Bridge where I peddled amongst a steady stream of riders each day.
Sure, we have miles to go before rallying biking vanguard Coppenhagen for the urban cycling belt, but it seems Vancouver’s biking culture is cranking forward at steadily growing pace. And thanks to renewed hipster love for the 10-speed and the many initiatives of this city’s EAGER GREENIES – who, with the installation of new bike lanes, are literally paving the way to a more cycle friendly city – I am confident our happy trend will continue.
Yes our biking culture, for the vast majority, may not be as fashion-forward as our European counterparts, but it’s ours and I’m damn proud of it, rain wear and all. BIKOUVER is here to stay.
A huge thanks to the VACC and their sponsors/partners for keeping us riders warm and fed at the many commuter stations set up around town – each of you deserve the happiest of wheelies raised in your honour!
And a special nod to Whole Market Foods – who can be credited for afflicting me with my newest of addictions (energy bars have never tasted so good!).