Bike to Work week starts May 27

A Mission man cycles about 3,000 kilometres a year to his place of employment

For Mission’s Brian Miller, the decision to trade four wheels for two made perfect sense.

He could lose weight while padding his bank account. Miller quickly realized that by selling his truck and riding his bike to work at Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Institution, Miller would quickly improve his health while fattening his wallet by saving more than $4,000 per year by not owning a second car.

“I like the extra 119,000 calories I burn per year just getting to work, noted Miller. “It’s something I have to do anyway.”

Biking the equivalent of about 3,000 kilometres a year, or roughly a trip from Mission to San Diego, the decision is one of many “green” choices Miller and others are moving towards. Buying locally when possible and leaving a smaller carbon footprint is the new normal.

But for the first six months after Miller switched to two wheels, he held on to his truck. But the love of cycling made the decision easy. In the year-and-a-half since he’s made the change he has biked to work almost every shift, only hoping in a car on days when snow and ice make it impossible to safely navigate the roads.

Making it a habit in his life obviously takes a dedication to which Miller was committed. Taking that commitment and sharing it with his co-workers seemed like a natural next step.

When Miller learned of Bike to Work Week last year, he not only encouraged those of his co-workers who have the option to ride to work to participate with him, he also offered to ride with them to help them feel more comfortable cycling in traffic. While the health benefits are obvious to Miller, safety has to be a priority when anyone takes to the roads in Mission or another communities in the Lower Mainland. Traffic out on the streets can be busy, and cyclists are vulnerable.

Miller emphasizes everyone needs to wear a helmet and visibility needs to be a priority. Riders must ensure they have a flashing front and lights on their bikes.

In addition, Miller warns that drivers need to take some responsibility while on the road.

“Give cyclists space when you pass,” he urges, “and remember it is motorists’ responsibility to only pass when safe to do so.”

Miller is encouraging Fraser Valley residents to participate in Bike to Work Week again this year, which is held from May 27 to June 2 across B.C.

Participants can register for Bike to Work Week free at biketowork.ca.