Workplace Profiles: MMM Group
The MMM Group office on Hunt Club Rd. has a dedicated team of cyclists, some experienced, some newer to commuter cycling, that show that cycling to work outside of the downtown core is feasible and enjoyable!
Newer cyclists were encouraged to give commuter cycling a try because of the office’s location near designated cycling routes, the element of personal challenge, as well as a small but growing network of fellow commuter cyclists. They also see commuting by bike as a great opportunity to train for a serious bike trip later in the summer. Bet you didn’t know that the Sawmill Creek path is a great place to spot wildlife, including muskrats, groundhogs, rabbits, and plenty of bird species!
There are so many advantages to cycling to work, including getting to enjoy scenic pathways every day, setting one’s own schedule, and exercising as part of the daily routine. Team M&M’s office is equipped with showers and indoor bike racks to facilitate cycling. The team has also advocated to their building management on behalf of commuter cyclists and their needs, showing that sometimes extra effort is required to make a workplace that is truly bicycle-friendly.
In terms of making the ride to work easier, they would recommend a pathway south along the Airport Parkway, connecting to the Sawmill Creek bike path, to improve access between downtown and the south end. The team shared a positive bike anecdote from Toronto: seeing pop-up maintenance areas along cycling routes to address flats, brakes, and other quick fixes conveniently. We love this idea, and think it would be a hit in Ottawa!
When commuting by bike, carrying one’s belongings is always an important consideration. On this team, panniers outnumber backpacks. The majority of the team are spandex-wearers, although some opt to cycle in street clothes. When it comes to food preferences, this team is fuelled by healthy fruit and spinach smoothies.
If Team M&M were a type of bike, they’d be a hybrid, because it offers something for everyone.
Workplace Profiles: Abbott Point of Care (APOC)
Located in Nepean, Abbott Point of Care works to advance patient point-of-care testing and diagnostic technology, enabling professionals to make the best critical patient care decisions. There must be something in the air in Nepean because the team is comprised of an impressive 23 cyclists – some experienced year-round commuters, and others for whom cycling to work is newer. With such a committed group of cyclists, having secure bicycle racks and showers at the office is key.
Some may think that cycling in Ottawa’s suburbs is out of the question, but Team APOC proves that thinking wrong. They cycle to work to enjoy the natural surroundings, to reduce stress, and to arrive at work feeling relaxed and focused. Team members who weren’t regular cyclists were encouraged to try commuting by bike to get or stay in shape, save on fuel costs, and take advantage of the NCC path system between home and work. A banana is the preferred post-commute snack! Mmm, potassium.
Most of the team dons spandex and jerseys for their commutes, while others eschew any special gear, preferring shorts and a T-shirt. Tights, layering, and waterproof panniers are recommended. If the team could give one recommendation as to how to improve cycling infrastructure, it would be that all main roads be equipped with a wide shoulder.
The team shared some anecdotes that other commuter cyclists will likely identify with: getting hit in the face by a bee (!), racing to avoid thunder and lightning on the ride home and getting halfway to work and realizing that you’ve forgotten a vital piece of your work outfit, or your lunch.
If Team APOC were a bike, they’d be either a tandem bike – showing the benefits of team effort – or a hybrid, for its multi-purpose nature and adaptability.
Bike to Work Month 2013: Bigger and Better!
What a great weekend to wrap up this year’s Bike to Work Month! We enjoyed attending Capital Velo Fest, the Bruce Timmermans Cycling Awards, and the Ottawa Velo Vogue fashion show to end the month with a bang.
This year’s edition saw a 12% increase in participation, with 1,410 Ottawa and Gatineau residents making the pledge to bike to work at least once in May. A large percentage (86%) of participants took part in B2W for the first time this year, and 26% were new to commuting by bike, which is great news because engaging residents newer to cycling is very important to this initiative.
We were also thrilled with number of workplace teams: this year, 53 workplaces participated as teams, representing a 36% increase from 2012. With a total of more than 115,825 kilometres cycled by participants who logged their distance, it’s clear that pedal power is a great option in Ottawa!
Despite some unpredictable weather, the weekend’s Capital Velo Fest (CVF), which took place outside Ottawa City Hall on Saturday as well as in the communities of Vanier and Old Ottawa East on Sunday, was a great celebration of cycling in Ottawa. Highlights of the event were a kid-friendly bike rodeo, information booths, vendors, cool bikes, bike polo, prize draws, cycling movies, and Tour La Nuit, an evening ride along closed streets, with live music along the way. EnviroCentre also set up a fun display to engage drivers and cyclists about sharing the road.
During the event, EnviroCentre presented certificates to each workplace team in recognition of their participation in Bike to Work Month. Four workplaces received special awards:
- The University of Ottawa and Transportation Safety Board tied for greatest increase in participation from last year;
- Abbott Point of Care had the most new commuter cyclists on their team; and
- JDSU won the “most kilometres cycled per team member” award.
As part of CVF, the Bruce Timmermans Awards (BTAs) were presented to leaders in Ottawa’s cycling community. The individual BTA went to Spencer Sloan of Infrastructure Canada, for his extensive work promoting cycling to new and experienced cyclists at his workplace, through initiatives such as bicycle safety and maintenance courses, widely-circulated cycling newsletter, and working with building managers to get bicycle repair tools available on-site.
The BTA for an organization was presented to RightBike for their important work in promoting cycling to all ages and skill levels through a community owned and operated bike-share in the Westboro-Wellington West area of Ottawa. Their 65 purple bikes have become a fixture of the neighbourhood and have encourage many residents and visitors to Ottawa to give cycling a try.
To cap off the month, several EnviroCentre staff made their way over to Kichesippi Brewery for the Ottawa Velo Vogue fashion show on Saturday. What a creative and fun event showcasing the many options for cycling fashion!
Photo from Luke Ciesielski, EF Magazine
We look forward to continuing to cycle to work throughout the summer and beyond, and hope that do as well. See you for Bike to Work Month 2014!