Monday, May 31, 2010

Commuter Challenge

My company is taking part in the Commuter Challenge this week and encouraging its employees to join in, so you know I have. Canadians are encouraged to leave their cars at home this week and find an alternative way to get to work, whether it is walking, cycling, taking public transit or at the very least, don't travel alone to work.

As a result, I left my car at home this morning and got a ride in with my colleague Lesia, who passes near to where I live on her way to the office. I was planning to walk home tonight after work but it was sprinkling rain a little bit and there were thunderstorms in the forecast, so I hitched a ride home with her as well. Of course, it didn't end up raining very much and it wasn't quite the 33 degree weather that had been forecasted so I probably could have done the 4.5 km walk without getting wet or overheated but I'll try again tomorrow.

We also had a demonstration of electric bicycles at lunch today, provided by a company called Bionx. They call it an "intelligent mobility system". You start with a regular bike and add the mechanism to make it electric. I was so put off by the $1,700 price tag that I didn't stick around to hear the details of why you might want to do this to a bike, I am assuming it is to motorize the movement and make it a little easier to get around as compared to generating all the energy strictly with your body but please, costs for the conversion units start at $1,700 and that's not including the bike! That seems a little beyond the average consumer's price range to me for an item of this nature, but I could be wrong. I guess if you're willing to do what it takes to help the environment on a regular basis, you might be willing to put down that kind of cash to go farther, faster and easier on a non-polluting mode of transportation. Too bad you can't use a bike all year around up here in the Great White North!

You can read more about the Challenge here: It's taking place all across Canada this week. The various offices in our company are challenged to compete against each other to see who can generate the most "sustainable commutes". The winning office gets bragging rights and a pizza lunch. :)

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