A record number of people in Metro Vancouver participated in Bike to Work and School Week this year, according to HUB Cycling.
The non-profit cycling advocacy group says 12,000 people registered to participate in 2018 up from 11,128 in 2017.
The number of people who were new to bike commuting rose from 1,730 in 2017 to 1,759 in 2018.
Bike to Work Week manager Tom Skinner attributes the continued growth in the number of people commuting by bike to the "ongoing investment in cycling infrastructure across the region."
Students from 122 elementary and middle schools across Metro Vancouver signed up to participate in Bike to School Week with some holding lunchtime bike parades, prize draws and reporting reduced congestion in school zones.
“The creativity of school organizers always amazes me.” says Alyshia Burak, HUB Cycling’s bike education manager. “Schools really take ownership of the event and make it their own, which is why the event is so successful.”
Students log their progress and its estimated that over 26,000 trips to and from school have been tracked. Schools are currently tallying the results and HUB Cycling will announce the winning schools next week.
The winner of the grand prize, a trip to Portugal for two courtesy of Exodus Travels, will be announced on June 15.
The goal of the event is to encourage people to bike more often and realize the benefits of saving money, support a healthy active lifestyle and connect with their communities, says Skinner.
"Our surveys show that more than 70 per cent of people who hadn’t biked to work before Bike to Work Week are still biking to work two months later,” he adds.
Cyclists logged 57,290 bike trips during the week, which added up to over 540,853 km.
The number of cyclists on the road and trips taken is estimated to have saved 117,257 kg in greenhouse gas emissions.