Opinion

EDITORIAL: Take advantage of biking weather

The recent pleasant temperatures in Greater Victoria have prompted many people to haul their bicycles out of the storage shed and put on a few extra kilometres.

With Bike to Work Week upon us – it officially runs Monday to Sunday (May 26 to June 1) – now is the opportunity to test your stamina and your travel route into town from the West Shore.

Colwood Coun. Judith Cullington, who regularly bikes down to city hall from her home, was cheerily on the losing end of the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week commuter challenge on Wednesday against cyclist Randy Scott. The pair started from Colwood Corners and made their way to the Starbucks at Blanshard and Fort streets downtown.

Scott got there in a cool 24 minutes, edging Cullington by a few minutes.

He was one of 17 cyclists, including a perfect three-for-three who started from the West Shore, who finished ahead of their driving counterparts. The drivers also had to find parking at the end of the route and only six won the race.

The annual test is a way to show commuters heading downtown that if traffic tie-ups are your biggest complaint, jumping on the bike and cruisin’ down the Galloping Goose – if you live on the West Shore – is an option to consider.

It’s a chance to have fun, get some exercise, save a few bucks or more on gas. This year’s 20th annual event will see more than 550 teams participating, many of which are based out here.

No doubt more than a few individuals will make the switch and figure out ways to make cycling more a part of their daily routine.

According to Victoria’s Vital Signs, 5.9 per cent of commuters did so on their bike in 2011, compared to 1.3 per cent nationally. Then again, we cycle more often because we can.

For people using the Goose to get into town from the West Shore, why not give yourself a little pat on the back for taking a green and heathy initiative? A Bike to Work Week celebration station with goodies will be set up on Tuesday (May 27) from 4 to 6 p.m. on the trail, opposite the entrance to Royal Roads.

You don’t have to be Ryder Hesjedal out there, just enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

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