The high cost of fuel, combined with the overcrowding on Cayman’s roads has many looking for alternative ways to get to the office. The newly formed 53//11 Crankers cycling club is looking to do something about it by promoting a Bike to Work Week from 21-25 February. It hopes to encourage people to look at their bicycles as a viable mode of transport.
The week will kick off at the Smith Road Oval cricket pitch with participating cyclists encouraged to meet up for a 7.30am departure as the group rides into town for a coffee stop at Piccolos before heading to the office.
According to Barry Jones, president of Crankers cycling club, there are numerous advantages to commuting to work by bike. The commute can integrate some light exercise into your daily routine, making it easier to get the prescribed daily dose of exercise without having to plan a gym session or a run.
“If you live five miles from work and pedaled a leisurely pace of 8mph it would take you about 37 minutes to get to work. It likely takes you at least 15 minutes to drive to work. So why not ride and get healthier,” he said.
There are also fuel savings to take into consideration, as according to Jones, even a five mile commute to the office in a fuel efficient car can add up to more than $371 per year in fuel costs. This can be much higher for a longer commute or a big SUV.
Although there are many excuses for not commuting by bike, Jones says that most of these can be overcome. One of the most prevalent excuses, according to him, is that people do not want to stuff their office clothes in a backpack for their commute to work.
“Drive to work once a week, drop off several days worth of clean clothes at the office and take the dirty stuff home. You can schedule other side trips for Fridays.”
Bad weather is also an excuse often used, but according to Jones there is nothing wrong with being a fair weather biker and just taking the car on rainy or windy days.
In order to encourage commuters to participate in the initiative, Piccolos will offer daily discount, the equivalent of up to a free coffee depending on purchase, with presentation of a daily ticket which can be picked starting on Monday at their Mary Street location between 8am and 8:30 am.
Two lucky participants will also receive a full bicycle service from Mobile Bicycle Repair to keep their trusty steeds in tip top shape. Crankers cycling club will also present a trophy to the company with the greatest number of employees participating in Bike to Work Week.
The event is supported by the Cayman Islands Cycling Association, the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association, the Cayman Islands Road Safety Advisory Council, the National Roads Authority, National Trust for the Cayman Islands, the Ministry of Health and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
For more information on the event, e-mail [email protected]