EDITORIAL: Good time to try biking to work

West Shore residents encouraged to give it a go during Bike to Work Week

This week marks the 21st annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week. While the majority of cycling commutes are less than 10 kilometres in the region, this cycling and fitness celebration offers a good opportunity for West Shore residents to give biking to work a test run.

We often hear complaints about the traffic gridlock that grips the Trans Canada Highway from Monday to Friday in the mornings and late afternoons. But let’s not forget that there’s a comparatively quiet cycling and pedestrian “freeway” that runs roughly parallel to the TCH and Douglas Street for much of the trip into town from our area.

The Galloping Goose Trail, which runs through four of the five West Shore municipalities – Highlands is the lone exception – is as good a human-powered traffic network as any around.

In some cases, as last week’s Bike to Work Commuter Challenge showed, it can be a faster route into downtown Victoria or Saanich on those work mornings. The four West Shore challenges in that event finished in a sawoff, with the two Langford drivers edging out the riders and the two Colwood riders reaching their downtown destination quicker than the drivers.

We understand that not everyone is able to tackle riding 30 to 40 minutes to work, either from a fitness standpoint or due to work considerations – no showers at the end? But Bike to Work Week, held when the weather is generally good, is a perfect time to determine whether you enjoy starting your day with vigorous exercise, and to simply test your fitness level.

The benefits of this kind of activity are indisputable (who needs coffee to get perked up when you start working?). It may even be something you crave after trying it a few times.

Who knows? You may find yourself continuing this morning routine after Bike to Work Week is over and done with.

And if you help take a vehicle out of the Crawl, then everybody wins.

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