Bike to work week

Hi, I am Mustafa and I am the Community Outreach Assistant at Campus and Community Planning. Bike to Work Week is May 25-29, stay tuned to this blog for access to interesting stories, pictures, happenings, and updates throughout the week.

I consider myself to be an active person, some of my hobbies include doing yoga, skiing, kayaking, and swimming. Eventhough I enjoy biking for pleasure, commuting on my bike is very new to me. This Bike to Work week I want to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and bike to and back from UBC everyday.

In this blog, I will feature different stories, biking experiences, and photos throughout Bike to Work Week. If you have something to share, feel free to email me with content for this space:


Here's what you'll find below:

- Bike to Work Week, One Week After

- Celebrate good times c'mon - End of Bike to Work week

- Rain or Shine, Bike or Hide - An interview with Kari Marken Educational Designer at the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers (CSI-C)

- This bike business - Mustafa's very first bike ride to UBC


Bike to Work Week, One Week After

It’s one week after Bike to Work Week (BTWW) and the results are in.

According to HUB, 10,924 in the lower mainland took part this spring and 2,943 were new to Bike to BTWW (was that you? Congrats!) A total of 53,750 trips were logged and a total of 534,948 kilometres were peddled. That’s 16,048,044 calories burned (that’s approximately 40,000 UBC granola bars) and 115, 977 KG of greenhouse gases saved!
And how did we do at UBC?  Drum roll please…

UBC, once again came in top place for 1,001+ workplace with 42 teams, 365 riders, 2,087 trips logged and a total of 21769 Kms cycled. That’s even better than last year!



# Riders

Trips Logged

Total Km


Life Sciences Institute




UBC Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences




UBC Campus and Community Planning












UBC Forestry




UBC - Brock Hall




LFS Riders








UBC English Language Institute






The life Sciences team took the lead and made us all proud with a stellar 2441 km total. Not far behind, is the Campus and Community Planning team with a total of 2030 kms. Congratulations to everyone who continued to bike to work every day, started biking anew, and encouraged their colleagues to bike.

But it’s that’s not all that was accomplished.

Many staff that I spoke with during Bike to Work Week were not only feeling inspired and reenergized but many had felt that Bike to Work Week experience had created a stronger sense of connection and teamwork with colleagues.

This was the particular experience of the Pulp and Paper Centre. Here’s what their team leader, Subhashini had to say about her team’s Bike to Work Week experience:

“We are so proud of our first time entrant team " PPC & Engineering Co-op". PPC stands for Pulp and paper center. Together with Engineering Co-op we share a same home located at 2385 East Mall @ UBC. Most of us bike to work every day, however, achieving a goal as a team is very motivating.
With our effort to bike, we want to raise the awareness and motivate our colleagues, students and community at large to be close to nature and stay fit. Being a mother of two, my healthy lifestyle and choices, motivates and guides my daughters as well. She has been equally participating in our adventure through this Bike-to-work week.”


John Madden and Lisa Moffatt, avid bikers with Campus and Community Planning also had an uplifting experience during Bike to Work Week.  While John bikes regularly from North Shore to his work at UBC and back. His colleague Lisa Moffatt, while commuting to East Vancouver from UBC decided to take a special route to joined him for a scenic bike ride to the North Shore and onwards to her residence in East Hastings via the Ironworkers bridge.


Thanks you to everyone who participated in Bike to Work Week last week and especially those of you who contributed to this post and shared their exciting moments with us.

Keep biking, stay happy and healthy! And for those of you still on the fence about biking, we’ll see you in the fall for another Bike to Work Week!


Celebrate good times c'mon - End of Bike to Work week 

“Big exhale, forward fold, sigh, and let it go!”

I recalled the words of my yoga teacher as I reached the top of that ghastly hill on the way to UBC. And I did exactly that – sighed out loud, and it felt awesome! Compared to the first time I biked to work where I was exhausted, this time I felt really good at the top of the hill. It felt just like a settling “forward fold” after an energetic yoga class – refreshing!

And now, it is time to celebrate and look back at our accomplishments during the week. Cheers to everyone who biked to work throughout this week, throughout the year, or even just for one day. Come out to our Celebration Station today at Martha Piper Plaza from 12-2pm.

Here’s what we’ve got in store for you:

·         Free tune-ups by The Bike Kitchen
·         Free cycling route maps & bike bells
·         Coffee and snacks
·         Music by CiTR
·         Safety tips from Campus Security
·         Translink bike rack demos

And we’re very excited to have a HUB cycling instructor on-hand from 12:30 to 1:30pm to provide tips and answer your questions about route-planning, cycling safety and etc. Bring your lunch and grab a spot on the grass with us as we chat about how to make the most of your bike commute.
See you there!




Rain or Shine, Bike or Hide - An interview with Kari Marken Educational Designer at the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers (CSI-C)

She’s happy, healthy and she’s got it together. Yes, she is Kari Marken, a busy mom, Educational Designer at the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers (CSI-C), and an yearlong commuter. On this first day of Bike To Work Week (BTWW), I was able to sit down with her to find out more about what motivates her to ride daily to work through all sorts of conditions and weather.

Mustafa: What fuels you?

Kari: Black Coffee and laughter [Joking]. The whole reason I am biking is because of a colleague -Stephen Sloot - five years ago during BTWW, he asked me, “Why didn’t you bike to work today, Kari?”And I gave him the usual excuses: it is too far, etc. But then he really got it out of me. When I was 18, I got into a terrible accident on my bike, which resulted in a head injury and a separated shoulder. I ended up in a crammed hospital bed. Since then, biking in Vancouver scared me.  The following year, Stephen not only motivated me to commute on my bike, but also coached me. He convinced me to sell my motor scooter, and use the funds to buy a bicycle.He REALLY believed in biking. And now, I can tell you I am in the best shape since I was 18. 

In a city where public transport is fairly decent, why do you bike to work?

It is NOT decent if you live in a particular neighborhood. It takes an hour and half to get to work from where I live. You get passed by the #99 B-line multiple times and it’s frustrating! The #25 bus stop is like the milk run, so unpredictable.  Car2Gos are unavailable at rush hour.  Biking is the only way I can get to work in under an hour.

Getting to work on time is quite possibly the biggest stress for me. I am not a martyr or a fitness guru, its practical.

How does it feel to bike on a rainy day?

It’s the best feeling when you get to work. It feels great to have had a physical workout before you do intellectual work. I bike four days a week. One day I can’t for different reasons, so I put my bike on the bus.

Do you have any tips for new bikers?

Go with a seasoned biker on the bus with your bike and get accustomed to actually putting your bike on the bike rack. Then you can always have a plan B. That’s where I think Vancouver transit is useful. 

What is one thing you hate about biking/bikers?

I hate how many times I slam my shins into my pedals - my legs are always filled with nicks and cuts. Also, the ergonomics of having to carry a pannier and doing chores after work is particularly taxing.  
When I have to pick up my kid from daycare - I used to put the helmet on her, put her on the seat and drag her all the way home on my bike. Thankfully, now I have an after-school service to go to and things are better.


This bike business

Terrible. Nonsense. Bizarre.

These were the words that crossed my mind as I biked up the numerous hills to UBC.  As I kept going, I kept reminding myself that it would end soon, only to find myself struggling on another hill and then another. At last I made it to UBC.  Honestly, I felt accomplished -- but also I just wanted to throw up!

Following my ride in was a great warm shower and a change of clothes, which made me feel even better. I still feel a little light-headed as I write this, but, hey, I haven’t even had my first coffee of the day .To top it all off, I now get to brag about this experience. As I slammed my helmet victoriously on my desk as I arrived at my workplace this morning. I told my boss, and I will tell my father, my mother, my friends, and everyone I know: this is pretty special for me and I want to get stronger and bike to work every single day!

Will my overall day turn out to be more productive? Maybe. Will I be a tad bit fitter? Definitely! Why am I really doing this? To train for Bike to Work Week. That is my ultimate motivation. Yes, I want to log KMs for my team, but I also want to help spread the word about biking and living a more active and sustainable lifestyle.

If you are like me and have never biked to work, now is the time to get motivated! Other bikers may pass you on the hill and they may go faster than you. It may be unsettling at first but then you can harness this into keeping you going and eventually you’ll get to the point where you’ll be passing others on your bike.

Bike to Work Week is next week (May 25-29). This weekend, get your bikes tuned, and ready, and go for a leisurely ride. Cycle to the store or cycle to the gym. If you are scared, find a bike buddy. Start by looking in your own workplace! If I can do it, you can, too.

And once you do, send us your story. We want to hear from you, and so do others.

Happy biking,