Gearing Up for Bike Month 2017
Biking to Work: The Journey from Hamilton to Toronto
Biking even part of the way can do wonders for your health and save you time. Meet Brad who lives in Hamilton, commutes via GO Transit to Toronto and then jaunts up to Metro Hall where he works. Brad uses a mix of biking, transit and walking to get around the region quickly while reducing congestion on the roads.
Brad begins his cycling adventure in Hamilton. “I bike to the local GO Station, park my bike in the secure bike parking area, and then hop on the train heading for Toronto,” he says. “Riding my bike to the station saves me time, is a moment of solitude in my hectic day and gives me energy in the morning,” says Brad. That triple benefit is derived even before the day hits 9:00 a.m.
Access to a bike increases an individual’s mobility without the cost of owning a vehicle. “I grew up in Sault Ste. Marie – bicycling translated into freedom. In a small town you can get anywhere on a bike; in the city you have the advantage of transit as well,” notes Brad.
And that’s exactly the purpose of bike share programs like Hamilton’s SoBi or Toronto’s Bike Share. For the latter, Metrolinx partnered with Toronto Parking Authority, pitching in $3.9 million to fund the expansion of the Bike Share system to over 2,000 bikes. The cost of a Bike Share membership is $90/year, and as part of the program with Metrolinx you can get 50% off right now if you have a PRESTO card.
Brad balances his bike-transit-walk commute with the role of being a full time parent to three kids. “I don’t believe there are many barriers to using bikes as a mode of travel, except weather. That and there are days where I have to pick up/drop off the kids,” says Brad. And that’s alright. There will be days when biking is not an option – but for other days, incorporating biking into part of your commute can save you money and get you energized!
Biking to School: Getting Around Peel on Two Wheels
Biking adventures aren’t limited to those pedaling to work. Meet 14-year old Tyler who is excited that his school, Lorenville PS in Brampton will be participating in Bike to School Week. Tyler has already begun incorporating cycling into his routine as he’s already biked about 20 times to school this year.
The benefits, especially for school aged children, between active transportation and children’s health are linked. Tyler knows this first hand. “Riding my bike is an easy way to get daily exercise,” he says.
Beyond health, his bike is a means to connect to his community and explore the world around him. “I can also travel further distances and it’s more time efficient than walking to school.”
Bike to Work Day is May 29, 2017. Bike to School Week is from May 29 to June 2, 2017. Join by visiting www.bikemonth.ca.