Credit: Lesa Dee Tree

Pictured: Helen Camisa and
Genny Krikorian plan on
commuting by bike to work
at the Vancouver Museum
during Bike to Work Week,

May 11–17, 2009.

Did you know that cars and trucks are responsible for 75 percent of the pollution that is created in the Metro Vancouver? Good reason to leave that car at home, pull out your bike and gear up for Bike to Work Week, May 11–17, 2009. Communities all over the province will be joining in for this third annual event.

“I have a car and live close enough that I did not want to drive, so I got a bike as exercise and guilt-free travel,” says first-time Bike to Work participant and new cyclist Helen Camisa, development coordinator for the Vancouver Museum.

Where one in every three commuter cars is only carrying one person, Bike to Work Week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of bike commuting to work year-round. “My main reason to bike to work is to get transportation and exercise at the same time,” says Genny Krikorian, marketing assistant for the Vancouver Museum. “It takes the same amount of time for me to cycle or take transit.”

Organizing the bike-trazavanza is the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC), which will be offering incentives throughout the week, with bike-a-day giveaways at city commuter stations through donations from Fab bikes, Different Bikes, Raincity Bikes, Caps Cycle, Bike Doctor and Reckless Bikes.

“I think a lot of [Bike to Work Week], for me, is the celebration part” says Erin O’Melinn, organizer for VACC. “I mean, you can cycle anytime, but you don’t always have these opportunities to enjoy it with other people. People come together and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing something great for ourselves,’ and that comes out in the parties and at the commuter stations, and hopefully, in the workplaces.”

To participate in Bike to Work Week, you can register and log your commute to work through the VACC website, where prizes will be awarded based on categories such as the size of the rider, trips logged and the number of kilometers; there are prizes for all participant levels.

Commuter stations all over the region will provide food, coffee, maps, cycling routes, advocacy, bike mechanics and draw prizes. Giveaways—fenders, helmets, lights and gift certificates—will be found at the stations during peak commuter times, 6:30–9:00 a.m. and 4:00–6:00 p.m.

For more information about Bike to Work Week, contact Erin O’Melinn or visit Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC).