Commuter Challenge 2018 - It's Time to Rethink Your Ride!

Commuter Challenge

Have you heard of the Commuter Challenge? No? Let me explain.

This is a nation-wide event taking place during Canada’s Environmental Week. From June 3-9, challenge your co-workers and other workplaces in the city to rideshare, walk, bike, run, bus, skate, skip – or use any other active or shared means to commute to and from work.

This is my first year helping out with the Commuter Challenge. Ironically, even though I am part of the planning team to promote active commuting, I realized I’ve never walked, biked or bused to work, so this year, I really want to bike from home to the Health Unit. I know that biking will make it easy to build physical activity into my day and get the 150 minutes of weekly moderate to vigorous exercise recommended for adults but even though it’s only a 20 minute ride, I’m not a very confident cyclist. I need some cycling tips before wheeling to work.

Vincent's Bike
My co-worker Vincent uses a noodle attached to his bike to keep a safe distance from vehicles on the road.

One of my coworkers, Vincent, bikes to work with a pool noodle attached to his bicycle. I couldn’t really figure out why he did that. Did someone dare him? So I asked Vincent and he explained that the pool noodle was to keep the traffic at a reasonable distance from him during his commutes to work. Perfect! All I have to do is attach a pool noodle to my bike and I’ll feel better about actively commuting to work by bike!

Another option to boost my confidence is taking one of Eco Superior’s Safe Cycling Learn to Ride courses. Or, I can also join one of the Commuter Challenge’s Ride Guides during the week. The Ride Guides are located at a variety of different locations throughout the city and will lead you through a safe and fun ride to get to work. Interested in becoming a ride guide during this week? Contact Adam Krupper, mobility coordinator at akrupper@thunderbay.ca or 807 625-2163.

Even though I’ll be riding my bike to work, the Commuter Challenge isn’t all about cycling. It’s about getting to work in any way possible other than driving alone. That means trips to work via bus, paddling, skipping, running, walking or ride sharing are all acceptable and can logged into Commuterchallenge.ca to win prizes.

So don’t forget to register for the Challenge, track your commutes and have a chance to win great prizes. Even just one trip to work by a different means of commuting can enter you to win. And this year’s prizes are awesome: a CAA 1-year membership; gift cards to local restaurants, bike shops and outdoor stores; and Thunder Bay transit packages, which include free passes, to name a few. We are very pleased to have first-time sponsor CAA North and East Ontario support the Commuter Challenge this year, as well as our many other sponsors.

Join me in jumping out of the comfort zone and into trying a new way to commute this June 3-9 during the Commuter Challenge. If you already bus, walk, bike or ride share to work, make sure you register and log your commutes to be entered to win! For more information please visit: http://www.ecosuperior.org/commuterchallenge

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