It’s bike to work week
Try biking to work this week. It’s Bike to Work Week after all.
From June 16-22, Winnipeggers, and U of M faculty and staff, are encouraged to bike to work. Throughout the week you’ll notice “pit stops” along your commute. These pit stops are for people on bikes though (sorry car goers).
The U of M’s Recreation Services and Food Service are co-sponsoring a pit stop, along with Recycle Every Where, on Friday, June 20 from 6:30-9 a.m. at the corner of Chancellor Matheson Road and University Crescent. There will be prizes, free coffee and muffins, and a make-your-own-smoothie-with-a-bike-blender station.
If you ride a bike, be it for commuting or just for fun, then Bike Week is for you. Sign up to get e-newsletter updates on all the activities at Bike Week Winnipeg.
Before you head out, though, make sure you have a proper fitting helmet. The U of M’s Ryan Zarychanski, assistant professor of internal medicine in the College of Medicine, is an avid biker and has studied bike helmet safety measures. (A quick breakdown of other bicycle safety tips and traffic laws can be found here).
MEET SOME COMMUTERS
Name: Jack Rach
Position: Web and New Media Coordinator, Marketing Communications Office
Commutes by: Bike/Carpool
Commutes from: River Heights
Commute distance: 10km
Commuter advice: “First, try riding your bike. It’s a lot easier and safer than most people think. Second, with the number of people coming to campus there is bound to be someone in your area driving this way too. Make the most of it and enjoy some company as you get to campus.”
Name: Cameron Neufeld
Position: Manager, Parking and Transportation Demand Management, Parking Services
Commutes by: Run/Bike/Car
Commutes from: St. James
Commute distance: 10 miles
Commuter advice: “I started running to work while training for the half marathon in 2013 and I was finding it difficult to fit the long runs into my schedule. Initially it seemed like a daunting task, but I found it really rewarding. I thought it might tire me out too much, but I actually find it has the reverse effect and it gives me an energy boost for the day.”
Name: Randall Kinley
Position: Office & Building Manager, St. Paul’s College
Commutes by: Bike
Commutes from: Lindenwoods
Commute distance: 9km
Commuter advice: “Cycling is a great way to start the morning and end the work day. Any stress from the day is gone by the time you have ridden home. Buy a gym pass so you can take a shower and not offend your colleagues. Bring a change of clothes and leave it in your office or locker so that you don’t have to carry your wardrobe with you every day.”
Name: Gary Anderson
Position: Associate Head / Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Commutes by: Bus
Commutes from: Fort Garry
Commute distance: 8km
Commuter advice: “Although my route is relatively short I do read on the way to work. So take a book and read.. I regularly read scientific papers on the bus.”
Name: Anita Ens
Position: Education Specialist, Department of Medical Education
Commutes by: Run/Bike
Commute distance: 3.5km
Commuter advice: “If you’re biking and don’t feel comfortable on city streets, find someone who is experienced and confident and ask to ride behind him or her. You can watch how to navigate tricky surfaces, unpleasant motorists, or lights.”
Name: Laura Loewen
Position: Associate Professor, Faculty of Music
Commutes by: Bike
Commutes from: River Heights
Commute distance: 12 km
Commuter advice: “Life is so much better without daily use of the car – I can read or daydream on the bus, and love the exercise and fresh air I get on my bike. My basic stress level is much lower because of active transportation, and I find that I am more calm and able to problem-solve in a more creative way on the days I use my bike. I highly recommend it!”
History of Bike to Work Day/Week
Bike to Work Day Winnipeg began in 2007 when bicycle enthusiasts hosted an event to raise the profile and allure of cycling in Winnipeg, and to advocate for better cycling infrastructure.
Similar events have been held throughout North America including events like Bike to Work Week or Bike Month.
In 2011 the event was reformatted and organizations from all over Winnipeg were invited to join. By allowing various groups to host a pit stop, the event’s profile was raised and it became more accessible to commuters in all parts of the city. Registration and participation boomed in both 2011 and 2012.
Building on the success of 2011 and 2012, Bike to Work Day expanded programming and event locations again in 2013 by adding more pit stops.