For weeks I have been encouraging all in my workplace and community to gear up to participate in cycling at some point during Bike to Work / Bike to School Week May 26-June 1, 2014.

I am a middle-aged mom of teens, a full-time communications officer (read sedentary desk job), not an athlete of any type or regular cyclist. I used to love to cycle and would often pull both kids in a tagalong bike trailer (when they were under 4) around Stanley Park in Vancouver or from Ladner village to Westham Island Bird Sanctuary in the Lower Mainland, or even around Salt Spring Island on a yearly trip. However, after moving to Lake Country in 2009 the demands on my time and my lack of ability to navigate the hills on a bike contributed to my diminishing motivation to cycle.

Regularly driving to work between Oyama and Winfield I was looking forward to the opening of the new Hwy 97 alignment so I could occasionally cycle to work along the flat Pelmewash Parkway. Considering I am a fair weather cyclist with a busy schedule of meetings and appointments to get to after work, and my son rides in the car with me each morning to high school, I have not yet made it a priority to get back on my bike.

All excuses aside preparing for this Bike to Work Week, I asked my son to pull my cumbersome mountain bike out of storage and fill up the tires and check the brakes last week. I donned my helmet, and went for a leisurely evening ride to re-familiarize myself with the gearing pattern and test out the brakes. It felt good.

I had forgotten how much I loved to cycle.

After manning the Bike to Work Week Celebration Station at Swalwell Park early Wednesday morning and seeing two Councillors and the Mayor cycle over to support the event, as well as a few other municipal staffers that regularly ride to work, I was determined to more often choose sustainable active transportation modes (walking, cycling, and car pooling). Despite the wet weather this week, I made it a priority to cycle to and from work at least one day.

Today was the day! I could fit all I needed to haul to the office in a small pouch on the bike carrier, and I didn't have any urgent commitments outside of Lake Country after work. The sun was shining and it was encouraging to see another parent cycling with three kids and a dog, heading for Oyama Traditional School as I was turning onto Pelmewash Parkway from Oyama Road. I felt encouraged by the waves of friends and neighbours passing me in their vehicles, and by those that pulled over slightly or travelled closer to the 50 km speed limit rather than the 90 km habit; and was frightened by the confidence afforded me by those motorists that didn't slow down or give me a wider birth as I hugged the white line in areas where the road shoulder is nil.

Where else but Lake Country could a cycling commuter enjoy a good workout enroute to work while waving to fishermen on the lake, listening to the calls of birds in the early morning, and breathing in the fresh air while being inspired by the peaceful views of orchards, vineyards and lakes?

Bike to Work Week 2014 has inspired this infrequent cyclist to plan more regularly to enjoy the pleasure of a casual bike ride both for exercise and for transportation to local destinations.