Bike to Work BC Society: Media Release

Cycling to work boosts morale and has huge health benefits

Bike to Work BC launches Bike to Work Week 2011, May 30-June 5 in communities throughout British Columbia

VANCOUVER, May 24, 2011 /CNW/ - Bike to Work BC is launching Bike to Work Week 2011, May 30- June 5, in more than 17 communities throughout British Columbia, to encourage people to try something new and cycle to work instead of taking the car and have fun and feel healthier along the way.

"Cycling to work even one day a week can make a big difference to your health and make you feel a lot better about yourself, as well as help boost morale in your workplace," says Dr. Richard Backus, volunteer president of Bike to Work BC, a non-profit organization coordinating bike to work week events through the province.

Backus, a Victoria sports medicine physician has been cycling to work for over 30 years and has seen direct benefits for himself and patients. "You can convert the drudgery of the morning commute to the fun of sailing to work through the morning air, and convert the drudgery of the afternoon commute home to a space where the workday worries evaporate, and the transition to home becomes refreshing and energizing," he says.

Backus notes, "We encourage people to form or join a team, or they can be a team of one. Register at www.biketowork.ca." He adds, "Your workplace cycle commute team is far more effective than your last set of workplace bonding and teambuilding exercises. It's a lot of fun, and you do not need to be an athlete or purchase special cycling clothes, other than a helmet. Cycle to work in your power outfits: black skirt, high heels; steel toed boots, coveralls; business suit, ties!"

For those who are retired or do not work, riding to do an errand, to shop for groceries or to meet a friend all help. "In several communities, grocery stores are offering free delivery during bike to work week if you cycle to shop," Backus says. "The important thing is to take part and let us know by registering and recording your results."

"The focus is on celebration," adds Backus. "Most of our participating communities have celebration stations on popular routes with refreshments, prize draws and free bike tune ups, and many have wrap up barbeques with entertainment."

Backus stresses it is important to be visible on your bike and suggests making sure your bike is tuned up if you have not been on it for a while.

This year, thanks in part to generous support from the Province of BC, 17 communities throughout B.C. are participating in bike to work week with 2,300 teams and 16,000 individuals expected.

The provincial government is committing $178,000 to Bike to Work BC to encourage commuters to cycle to work. This investment supports the ongoing work of Bike BC to create new, safe and high-quality cycling infrastructure, such as trails, bike lanes, and bike lockers.  This infrastructure provides opportunities for people to get out of their cars and be physically active.

Bike to Work BC Society is a not for profit organization whose mandate is to encourage cycling to work as an alternate form of transportation, for fun, health and to lesson our impact on the environment.

For further information, or to register for bike to work week 2011 visit: www.biketowork.ca

Cycling to work (or anywhere) tips:

  1. Make sure your bike is tuned and ready to go (or get to the nearest celebration station with bike shop support)
  2. Wear a helmet
  3. Be visible-wear a bright coloured vest or jacket, or armbands and make sure you have lights for riding after dark
  4. Check your local municipality's web site for cycling routes
  5. Make eye contact with drivers
  6. Take a good lock to work
  7. If you feel your cycle is a long one consider taking your bike part way on transit or "park and ride" with your car

SOURCE Bike to Work BC Society

For further information:

For media information or to set up interviews:

Penny Noble, Executive Director, Bike to Work BC, 604 805 5637

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Bike to Work BC Society

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