When it comes to Bike to Work Week teams in Revelstoke, no one comes close to BC Hydro. Last year, the MegaWatts’ 28 cyclists pedaled a total of 2,627 kilometres over the course of the week.
The closest team to them in the standings was the Parks Canada Cyclepaths, which cycled 736 kilometres.
The MegaWatts are lead by Bruce Granstrom, who is now in his fourth year as Team Leader. I called him last week to find out how he managed to motivate his co-workers to make the ride to the dam during Bike to Work Week – a distance of about eight kilometres from Mackenzie Avenue.
“I find it really inspirational to see the streets so crowded with bikes during Bike to Work Week. It’s really cool,” he said. “It’s like being in Amsterdam or something. It’s a really great thing for the community.”
How does he get people to make the commute? First, is communication and letting people know Bike to Work Week is coming up. He also helps plan out bike routes and updates the statistics throughout the week.
He also cited consistency. “This is the fourth year I’m team leader so everyone knows what to expect,” Granstrom said. “Some people are really enthusiastic about it and are organizing their own co-workers.”
The Bike to Work Week team leader package provides some tips for motivating your co-workers to bike to work. First, it says to focus on the benefits of cycling, rather than the consequences of not biking.
It also recommends to keep it fun and simple, but also to make it a competition and even try to have prizes for your co-workers.
For Granstrom, the big key is to focus on the health benefits of cycling rather than the environmental benefits. This is also a tactic recommended by the Bike to Work Week organizers.
“People are mostly motivated by personal fitness as opposed to one less car so I think that’s the best tact to take as a bike to work leader,” said Granstrom. For me to drive to work it’s 15 to 20 minutes and for me to bike to work it’s 30 minutes. It only costs me 10 minutes to get a half hour of exercise.”
Last year’s MegaWatts team had 28 participants out of 51 employees. Septuagenerian Jerry Livesey led the way, biking 255 kilometres over the course of the week and even adding on to his already long commute to the dam from Upper Arrow Heights. The team also had one cancer survivor, who started her day by getting a ride to the Frontier and starting her commute from there.
Once someone gets over the hurdle of biking, they realize it’s not that hard, he said. Still he also noted the importance of good weather. Last year’ s sunny week was a key reason his team’s numbers doubled over the drizzly, dreary week in 2010.
Revelstoke Bike to Work Week takes place from May 28 to June 3. It’s still not too late to register your team. To do so, visit www.biketowork.ca/revelstoke and sign up your workplace.