How to Ignore Excuses Not to Bike (Try It!)

What’s your excuse NOT to bike to where you’re going?

“It’s cold out.”

“I’m tired.”

“I don’t want to arrive all sweaty.”

It’s easy to come up with excuses — until you’ve tried it — that is.

That’s part of what spring and fall Go By Bike Weeks (formerly known as Bike to Work & School Week) is about — encouraging people to get out on their bikes to enjoy the benefits that can only be understood with experience.

NOTE: some communities put on a  “Bike to Work & School Week” event, while others have separate “Bike to Work Week” and “Bike to School Week” events. Whatever the destination, the GoByBike BC Society is all about helping people discover the joy of using their bikes for everyday transportation.

The “Bike to School” aspect offers BC schools a way to encourage students and their families to benefit from cycling. Making cycling part of their weekday routine gives kids some of the physical activity they need (which helps them focus in class), while reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.

A while ago, we met up with Lise Richard when she was the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society’s Bike Skills Coordinator. She is very convincing when it comes to encouraging pedal power. She also has a handy trick for remembering some of the keys to cycling safety.

Here are her top cycling safety tips:

  • Be Maneuverable – give yourself enough space to get around
  • Be Visible – be seen in bright colours, reflectors and lights
  • Be Predictable – communicate with those you share the road with by signalling and direct movement
  • Be Communicative – demonstrate your intention on the road with eye contact, body language and signalling.

If you’re hesitant to get on a bike, Lise recommends talking to anyone who already rides a bike and they’ll help you understand how easy it is and all its benefits: improving mental health, improving physical health, improving your financial health and diminishing your carbon footprint.

Go ahead and watch the video. If you haven’t considered biking to work already, we’re pretty confident you’ll think about switching gears.

Learn about what the ministry is doing through Active Transportation initiatives to improve cycling in your community.

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1 comment on “How to Ignore Excuses Not to Bike (Try It!)”

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  1. How about doing what the Dutch do and use yield signs everywhere we would use a stop sign (except in cases of very limited visibility), 30 km/h traffic calmed minor roads, cycle tracks complete with protected intersections or simultaneous green on the main roads, abundant bike parking everywhere, and abundant does not mean 5 racks at a grocery store where there are more than 1000 car parking spaces, and diverting motor traffic onto few arterial roads, medium number of one lane/direction distributor roads with roundabouts at intersections between them and high volume access roads, and not the collectors or local roads, with lots of shortcuts for cyclists. This makes people feel safe to ride, and makes it efficient by removing stop signs, by allowing right turns on red, by creating roundabouts with dedicated and protected cycling space, and you can have priority on your annular cycle track, removing another reason to stop, having bypasses at bus stops, allowing you to cycle regardless of buses that may be stopping, and having fully actuated traffic lights, maximizing efficiency, even though Dutch traffic lights almost always use separate signal stages for turning traffic and cyclists. It makes their streets the safest in the world to cycle on and makes millions of people cycle each day, 5 million per day in a country of 16 million. In cities this is even higher, with 28-60% of people using bicycles.