By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

The amenities offered by automobiles make it challenging for most commuters to travel without burning oil, but during some of the most enjoyable weather of the year, Wildsight has taken the initiative to promote Bike to Work Week in Invermere.

Between Monday, May 27th and Sunday, June 2nd, commuters are being called upon to leave their car in the driveway and pedal a bicycle to work.

Were encouraging people to commute to work via bicycle, said Kelly Carlson of Wildsight. Basically, well be promoting healthy lifestyles, prevention of health issues through regular exercise, and also to try and break down the barriers that people perceive from cycling the poor excuses not to cycle.

Another Wildsight concern addressed by Bike to Work Week is the carbon emissions emitted by vehicles. Instead of paying to pollute, commuters are being encouraged to pedal to work and ultimately save money on gas, reduce carbon emissions, and prevent long-term health problems.

The prevalence of chronic disease is expected to increase 58 per cent among the B.C. population within the next 25 years, Ms. Carlson said. So Bike to Work week addresses risk factors such as physical inactivity, and helps lower the risk of chronic illnesses.

While Bike to Work Week B.C. has operated as a non-profit for several years, 2013 will be the first year that Invermere will officially


According to Ms. Carlson, if there is only one week of the year that you will bike to work, then this is it. Participants are encouraged to promote it to other people and help them realize the health benefits of signing up.

Once the week is over, bikers can record their commutes online at, where they register their participation and log their distance travelled.

To find out whats happening locally, visit the Facebook page titled Invermere Bike to Work Week 2013. Local bikers will be eligible to win prizes that will be delivered through social media.

Choosing to cycle to work requires commuters to forego the speed and shelter found in a car, but a little preparation and planning ahead will make all the difference.

If youre worried about the possibility of rain, make sure that you have appropriate gear, and maybe implement a backup plan at your workplace, so if there is bad weather youll have an alternate plan to get home, Ms. Carlson said.

While many short-term benefits come from Bike to Work Week, Wildsight is ultimately aiming to encourage people to more frequently commute to work via bicycle throughout the entire year.

Everybody should participate, even if you can only bike on one of the days, Ms. Carlson said.