|Written by Mike Buckthought|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 21:00|
May is Bike to Work Month in Ottawa. Cycling to work provides many health and environmental benefits. It increases the productivity of employees, and reduces rates of sickness-related absences. It is a key way to reduce our community’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
“Cycling is a convenient, fun, healthy, and cost-effective way to travel. Small steps can have a significant impact to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, road congestion, plus noise and air pollution. Our goal is to give people an incentive to give cycling a try, and to reward those who already do,” says Jessica Wells of the non-profit organization EnviroCentre.
EnviroCentre is collaborating with 65 workplaces across the region to encourage people of all skill levels to cycle to work. The organization is offering an updated information kit, workshops, cycling safety videos, and a chance to win great prizes. Training will also be offered at workplaces for a modest fee. Options include lunch time presentations on commuter cycling or bike maintenance, as well as hands-on cycling workshops with practice sessions in parking lots and on city roads.
Last year, 861 people pledged to cycle to work, covering a total distance of 759,040 km. Participants reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 191 tonnes by biking instead of using motorized modes of transport such as cars and SUVs.
EnviroCentre will be offering free public presentations in Kanata, Barrhaven and Orléans.
“Many Ottawa residents live and work outside the Greenbelt, so we’re trying to reach people in their neighbourhoods and help them become commuter cyclists,” says Ms. Wells.
To participate, sign up online at www.biketoworkottawa.com and you’ll be eligible to win great prizes. Individuals and workplaces can log daily trips and track reductions in energy costs. An events calendar will be available year-round, featuring postings from the cycling community. ■