Bike to Work Day

21_Tessier_20110605a

This morning, commuters across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area hopped on their bikes in support of Smart Commute's Bike to Work Day. It was inspiring to see so much enthusiasm for this event, especially in Hamilton. I'm proud to work for Metrolinx, the organization behind the Smart Commute program. Each day, we strive to inspire and motivate people to be more active in their commutes. For the past five years my colleagues have teamed up with the local Transporation Management Associations across the region to organize Bike to Work Day events, and each year more and more people have participated. This event provides an opportunity for commuters who have given thought to cycling to try it out with friends and community members who are avid cyclers. Jacklyn bikes to work everyday -- rain, snow, nothing stops her. Her dedication is amazing. And if you are like me, and work quite far from your home, public transit vehicles across the region come equipped with bicycle racks so cycling can become an easy part of your journey.

Cycling to work, and in general has obvious benefits -- it is better for your health. Did you know cycling for half an hour burns an extra 298 calories? I can't say that burning fat is a real concern of mine. But in case you care, when you compare  it to the 90 calories you would burn by walking and taking public transit, the stat is pretty impressive. More importantly, cycling also eases traffic congestion and reduces your personal environmental impact. The greatest advantage I have experienced personally is when I ditched my car, moved back downtown and invested in a bike. This change resulted in $500 monthly savings on commuting costs.

20_Tessier_20110607

This morning on my commute, I followed the real-time bike tales of participants on Twitter as they shared their experiences with the #biketoworkday hashtag. CBC Hamilton also has a pretty cool interactive map as part of their Bike to Work Day story. You can check it out here. If you participated in the event today, I hope you had a great bike in to work. Jacklyn and I love biking around the city. We hope you'll consider making cycling a part of your daily journey too! Be sure to visit smartcommute.ca, a great source for information about commuting by bicycle in the GTHA. Here you can access route maps, safety videos, tips on forming Bicycle User Groups and information about taking bicycles on transit.

Photos by Jeff Tessier