Editorial: It’s a nice day to bike to work

Bike to Work Week starts Monday (May 25) in Nanaimo and around B.C.

If there’s a monsoon next week, blame Bike to Work Week.

All joking aside, cyclists should be able to look forward to some sunny skies. That hasn’t always been the case in past years, but it would be appreciated, because we hope Bike to Work Week is successful. The annual cycling awareness event starts Monday (May 25) in Nanaimo and around B.C. as part of a provincial government initiative to get more people pedalling.

Commuters are invited to challenge themselves by registering for Bike to Work Week as individuals or as part of a team, and they’re encouraged to cycle through ‘celebration stations’ where they can enter prize draws and receive refreshments. Students can also participate by signing up to bike to school.

If people commit to two-wheeled commuting, or if they don’t, there are indications that Nanaimo is becoming a more cycle-friendly city. New bike lanes have been built and painted in recent months on Bowen Road, Bruce Avenue and Bush Street, with the expectation of more to come.

Nanaimo’s previous city council clearly set out cycling as a priority when it approved, one year ago, a transportation master plan that seeks to quintuple bike trips over the next 25 years. That mindset could even carry over to other types of city planning, as the municipality envisions development densifying into community hubs with shopping and services concentrated for ease of travel for cyclists and pedestrians.

And there are dreams of a rail trail pathway that could create bicycle tourism, especially if other Vancouver Island communities have the same idea.

We support those who wish to be spokespeople – pun intended – during Bike to Work Week, and we hope everyone else will at least share the road.

It’s a nice day for a bike ride, and it’s always a nice day to contribute to a cleaner city.