Sky-high fuel prices encouraging more Manitobans to commute by bike

As fuel prices reach new heights in Manitoba and across the country, more people are looking at alternate forms of transportation to get to and from work.

Philip Roadley, the owner of Bikes & Beyond, says spring is normally their busy season, but this year it’s been busier than usual.

“It’s been a very good spring, best spring ever,” Roadley told Global News.

Roadley says he thinks the increasing interest in bikes is partially still due to the pandemic, and partially due to sky-high gas prices.

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“Spring is naturally busy, we’ll probably be a little bit busier this year with the gas prices, people are starting to commute a little bit more by bikes. The pandemic, we’re still in (it), people aren’t travelling as much, (they’re doing) cycling as a recreational activity.”

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He says the warmer weather is also an incentive.

“Bikes have always been a good commuting aspect,” he said. “This year the roads have been cleaned finally, the weather is great so it makes for a great way to get some exercise and get to work fairly inexpensively.”

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Bike Week runs June 6-12 in Winnipeg, and Monday marked Ride to Work day in the city – something the organization is hoping will catch on more.

“When we combine that with the pandemic, there certainly was a lot of people that were taking to riding their bicycles, mostly probably for recreation etc. during this last little while,” Bike Week Winnipeg chair Dave Elmore told Global News.

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“And I think we’re seeing more people showing an interest in riding their bikes and maybe taking that next step of using your bike for something more than just recreation.”

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Before retiring, Elmore says he commuted to work by bike for 35 years, in all seasons and weather. He says biking to and from work has environmental, health, and financial benefits.

“If you’re in an environment where you only have the one choice of driving your car, then you are going to be stuck with those gas prices,” he said. “With all of the concern over emissions and our environment, it’s an important step for us to take.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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