Dozens of Oak Bay cycling commuters stopped by municipal hall on Tuesday afternoon to take advantage of the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week celebration station.
The pop-up celebration stations move around the region, offering treats, prizes and tune-ups to promote commuting on wheels.
“The idea is to celebrate people commuting by bike, by encouraging people who are a little hesitant to give it a go,” said Hannah Sparwasser Soroka, Bike to Work Week program coordinator. “What we find is that if you try biking to work, you’ll like biking to work. It’s good for your body, it’s good for the environment.”
Speculation is that this year’s turnout for Bike to Work Week is especially high thanks to a weather forecast in the 20s. Registered participants are eligible to win more than $30,000 in prizes including a trip for two to Whistler, a Bike-a-Day and much more. Greater Victoria participants are also eligible for the provincial grand prize cycling trip for two to the Prosseco Hills in Italy.
Since its inception, Bike to Work Week has introduced more than 14,000 people to commuter cycling and celebrated with more than 100,000 cyclists in Greater Victoria alone.
However, it’s not all roses, as Oak Bay’s remains without the cycling infrastructure that other municipalities are implementing, said Jane van Hoorn, Oak Bay resident.
“Bikes rule, except in Oak Bay,” van Hoorn said. “There’s very little infrastructure here, I’m disappointed… if you compare Oak Bay to other communities it’s somewhat lacking. It’s unfortunate because we have these lovely streets and wide avenues and we could easily be [building bike lanes].”
That said, having the Bike to Work Week celebration station is welcome, van Hoorn added.
“These are the highlights for cyclists, freebee stuff, food, really good things and I’ve won a few things over the years, it’s great for cyclists.”