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Bike to Work Week rolls in on Monday

Bike to Work Week is gearing up again next week! (Sorry for the short notice!)

Get on your bike and join other cyclists on Metro Vancouver streets from Nov. 17 to 23. It’s a great chance to try cycling to work if you’ve never done it before, and to celebrate cycling to work if you already do.

The event, which is run by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC), is the third Bike to Work Week since May 2006 and the first winter Bike to Work Week in the Vancouver area. So this time around, you can learn how to cycle to work in the rainier months!

Workplaces can win prizes based on participation and distance travelled — register your office at the official website, so your team can log their commutes. About 1500 people have already signed up!

And keep an eye out for commuter stations set up around the Lower Mainland—they’re tents set up along bike routes where you can take a short break from your ride, have a snack, meet other cyclists, get a cycling map and even join the VACC. Here’s a link to the locations and times of the stations. As well, check out stories from participants in previous Bike to Work Weeks.

And to help get you ready for the road ahead, here are some handy tips for biking to work in the winter.

  • Fenders – get your local bike store to install them so your tires won’t splash water back on you when you ride through puddles. They’re simple and affordable and make for a comfy ride.
  • Stay warm and dry. Try waterproof pants, jacket and gloves (or a dollar store poncho/rain cape), a head cozy and/or hood under your helmet, ear warmers, and waterproof shoe covers (plastic bags will do in a pinch).
  • Layer – avoid cotton next to your skin. Try quick drying, insulating fabrics like polypropylene, silk or wool.
  • Take advantage of showers or lockers if your company offers them.
  • Be visible – reflectors, vests and lights, lights, lights! LED lights are bright and last a long time. Small turtle or blinkie lights are cheap and easy to clip on or off.
  • Use waterproof panniers (or line your regular ones with plastic bags).
  • Bring a stainless steel coffee thermos for a warm drink on a longer ride!
  • Join your regional cyclist discussion group. Post any question you have about safe routes/winter hazards. Someone will answer it!

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