Commuters make a shift during Bike to Work Week

NANAIMO – Commuters prepare to swap cars for bicycles during Bike to Work Week with lead-up events and contests scheduled throughout May.

Tara Fedosoff

Tara Fedosoff

Commuters are digging their bikes out of garages, cleaning off the cobwebs and pumping up tires to take part in Bike to Work Week May 27-31.

Many who regularly ride to and from their jobs won’t have a problem with what has become an annual celebration of cycling, but new or unseasoned cyclists won’t have to worry about hopping on their bikes cold turkey.

Newbies can warm up with community rides to acquaint them with the best cycling route and get a little time in the saddle.

“We’re doing one in the north end and one in the south end so people can see the best ways to get through town and learn a bit about the E&N Trail,” said Deborah Beck, Bike to Work Week coordinator. “We’ll be connecting with the Starbucks at all three locations for some treats and snacks and celebrating a nice bike ride.”

The first 10-kilometre community ride leaves from Starbucks at Woodgrove Centre at 5 p.m. Tuesday (May 14).

The south-end community ride and Commuter Challenge happens May 24. Participants meet at Diana Krall Plaza at 5 p.m. to watch the Commuter Challenge participants race to the finish at 5:15 p.m. The 10-km community ride leaves at 5:30 p.m.

Throughout Bike to Work Week, celebration stations will be hosted daily at local bike stores. Daily draws will be held at all celebration stations where ballots can be entered for prizes.

A wrap-up barbecue happens at Country Club Centre Friday (May 31). Activities include bike polo, mini tune-up and lots of prizes including a Kona Dew bike from Oak Bay Bicycles and a weekly loaf of bread from Cob’s Bread.

Keep a good thing going with upcoming bike courses and rides, including a bike tour of historical trees with city arborists, summer cycle camps for kids, a weekend rider safety and basic bike tune-up courses and introductory courses to mountain biking and road racing through Nanaimo parks, recreation and culture.

To learn more about Bike to Work Week or to create a team to take part in the week’s events, please visit the Bike to Work Week website at wwww.biketo