Peter McCaffery

Peter McCaffery

Bikes win commuter challenge

NANAIMO – Bike to Work Week set for May 25-31 in Nanaimo.

A commuter challenge pitted cyclists and drivers against one another to see if cars or bikes were faster getting from Bowen Park to Terminal Park mall and back.

The race kicked off events leading up to Bike to Work Week from May 25-31.

Bikes beat the cars with Dee Montie, Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club board director, first back to Bowen Park.

With three weeks until Bike to Work Week, people pondering pedalling have time to dust off bikes, pump tires and get in practice riding to workplaces.

This year Bike to Work Week includes Bike and Walk to School Week.

Students and teachers from Pauline Haarer Elementary School and Woodlands Secondary School joined the commuter challenge for lunch and to compete in relay bike races.

Deborah Beck, city recreation and Bike to Work Week coordinator, tallied eight elementary and two secondary schools that have registered for Bike and Walk to School Week.

Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum MLA, and Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, promoted cycling at the commuter challenge.

“It’s important, I think, for all of us to maintain our fitness, but also our outlook on life and to appreciate the environment that we all enjoy,” said Routley.

Stilwell, a Paralympic multiple gold medallist in wheelchair racing, said biking is something her family can do together.

“Another passion of mine is riding my bike and to be outside and have an activity I can do with my family – something I can do with my son and my husband and an activity that we can do together,” said Stilwell.

To boost registration, Arrowsmith Bikes and Oak Bay Bikes have each donated a bike be drawn as grand prizes at the Bike to Work Week wrap-up party on May 29.

Cycling promotional events will happen throughout May, including the Heritage Bike Ride on May 24.

The Rhodo Ride on May 30 meanders through Naniamo’s parks and neighbourhoods to view rhododendrons in bloom.

To learn more about Bike to Work Week events and ways to get involved as team, solo rider, volunteer or sponsor, please visit www.biketowork.ca/nanaimo.