By Roy L Hales
Vancouver just held its’ Eighth Annual Share the Road Challenge. There were 13 teams, each composed of someone driving a car, someone with a bike and someone using transit. They started from different locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver, anywhere from 2.4 to 10.4 kilometres from the finish line at the downtown London Drugs. The distance did not matter, as long as each team started from the same point, because this was a race to see which form of transportation moved through rush hour traffic faster. This was the first year in which all the bicycles triumphed over cars and transit .
Bicycles Triumphed Over Cars And Transit
“This was the first time it was a clean sweep. Last year it was close. In the eight years we have been doing the event, the bikes have actually won about 66% of the time, cars 24% and transit 9%,” said Laura Jane, Director of Corporate Engagement and Events at HUB Cycling.
She added, “We also take into consideration how enjoyable the commute was and how much money they spent. The bikes tend to do well on that as well. “1
Gert Heijkoop, The Consul General of the Netherlands, told a televisions crew, “The future is for bikes more than cars in inner cities.” 2
Laura Jane says that 40% of the trips in Amsterdam are made by bicycle and she was encouraged to witness the Consul General’s support of cycling in Vancouver.
He was the only competitor to use an e-bike, classified as a “bike” for the competition, and beat both the car and transit members of the Netherlands Consulate team.
“The idea was commute through rush hour, with the goal of arriving by 9:00 AM. We try to simulate a morning commute to work. Obviously all team members left at the same time because that is the only way we can see who arrived first. There were some people who arrived fifteen minutes before 9 and a few who arrived after,” said Laura Jane.
The first person to cross the finish line this morning was a bicyclist from the Vanity Team.
Though the City of Vancouver cyclist won, this was not a rematch of last year’s event – when city councillor Andrea Reimer (transit) beat fellow team mates Mayor Gregor Robertson (bike) and councillor Kerry Jang (car). This year’s team was composed of city staff.
TransLink, Lafarge, Bike Doctor and were among the other entries.
Bike To Work Week
Vancouver’s Share the Road Challenge is the kick-off event for Bike to Work Week runs from Monday, May 30-June 5.
Registration is free, and participants can create teams, map routes, log trips, and see their calories burned online. Prizes include 6 brand new bikes and a trip for 2 to Amsterdam on KLM. Participants are entered by logging their bike trips on the HUB Cycling website during the event week: May 30-June 5. Visit www.bikehub.ca/btww for more information.
Celebration stations are located around Metro Vancouver throughout the week. The map and schedule can be found here.
Top Photo Credit: The Finish Line: at the London Drugs on the corner of Granville and Georgia – Courtesy HUB Cycling