In British Columbia, Bike to Work Week started in the city of Victoria—home to Carmanah’s head office—23 years ago with 500 participants as a way to promote commuter cycling. Today, communities across the province take part, with participants numbering 37,000 in 2016. In Victoria, the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society continues to organize this free community event every spring. Celebration Stations along key bike routes offer food, beverages, bike check-ups, and prize draws for participants. Last year, the Victoria region included over 6,500 people—from novices to regular cycling commuters—who embraced the cycling lifestyle in the city for the week.
Carmanah regularly participates in this event with our team, the Carmaniacs. This year, the 23rd annual event was held May 29 to June 4 and included 32 Carmanah staff members from all departments of the company commuting from all areas of Greater Victoria. We logged a total of 220 trips and 1,342 km. Of the 2,263 registered teams, and the 1,635 teams that logged rides in the online dashboard, Carmanah placed 7th overall for trips logged and 36th overall for total kilometres.
Beyond the competition, we even did our part for the environment, something that we as a company care about as part of our triple bottom line strategy. By choosing to ride our bikes instead of driving, our Bike to Work team kept 291 kg of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. We are proud to report that about 29% of staff commute to work regularly via active transportation via biking, walking, or public transportation—but the bike locker was even fuller than usual during this year’s event. We celebrated the success of our team with a staff-wide BBQ and prizes for participants to encourage cycling to continue throughout the year.