Last week, a record-shattering number of commuters took to their bicycles and registered for HUB Bike to Work Week.
7,579 people registered online for the event, up from 4,604 people in spring 2013. Participants logged their commutes and engaged in a friendly competition to win prizes and top spots in various team cycling categories. Thousands more attended free events throughout the week, including celebration stations with bike repair stands and food areas that were open to the public.
This year’s numbers included 1,668 new bicycle commuters, like Pam Leech, a 53 year old City of Vancouver employee who got on her bike for the first time in over 40 years.
“I was recently injured, and my physiotherapist said that cycling might actually help my injury, so I decided to give bike commuting a try,” said Leech. “I was a little nervous at first but it was really fun! The added support from coworkers during Bike to Work Week made it so easy to start. I’ll definitely be continuing to ride my bike to work.”
Bike commuting is gaining substantial momentum as a convenient, enjoyable and healthy mode of transportation in Metro Vancouver. “We are delighted to see such an increase in participation rates this spring”, says Erin O’Melinn, Executive Director of HUB Cycling. “The jump is likely due to new prizes for participation, increased support from the business community and continuing improvements in infrastructure” adds O’Melinn.
Workplace teams representing almost 600 organizations across Metro Vancouver participated, and O’Melinn credits employers for recognizing the numerous benefits they gain from encouraging their employees to bike to work. “An increasing number of employers are realizing that they benefit from healthier, happier and more productive employees. They also save money on parking and healthcare costs,” explains O’Melinn.
Of all registered participants, 58% were female, up from 41% in 2013. An increase in female ridership is often acknowledged as an indicator of safer bike infrastructure.
The objective of HUB’s Bike to Work program is to support the growth of bike commuting, the fastest growing mode of transportation in Metro Vancouver. Bike to Work Week plays a pivotal role in helping people make the switch to cycling on a regular basis.
Since the first HUB Bike to Work Week in 2007, over 9,500 registrants have tried bicycling to work for the very first time.
More information and resources at bikehub.ca/btww.
Spring 2014 Bike to Work Week Results
Bike to Work Week Organizational Award Winners:
Best (size 1-10): Boni Maddison Architects
Best (size 11-25): AMS Bike Coop
Best (size 26-100): Zaber Technologies
Best (101-250): Automotive Fuel Cell Corporation
Best (251-500): Arc’teryx
Best (501-1000): City of North Vancouver
Best (size 1000+): University of British Columbia
Best in School: Hamber Secondary School
Best in Health: Vancouver Coastal Health
Best in Business: Mountain Equipment Coop
Best in Other: BC Hydro
Best in Not for Profit: Science World
Best in Higher Education: University of British Columbia
Best in Government: City of Vancouver
Image by Mikael Colville-Andersen