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Cyclists spin to lopsided win over cars in Victoria Commuter Challenge

Races peg cyclists versus drivers to see who can traverse downtown faster in morning commute
Bikes beat vehicles once again in races across Victoria for the annual Commuter Challenge on May 8. A cyclist navigates the shoulder in traffic along Oak Bay Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

If getting across town faster is the goal, people gearing up for the morning commute around Victoria may want to consider pedalling over starting their engines.

Bikes once again took an overwhelming win during the Commuter Challenge in Victoria on Wednesday (May 8).

The annual challenge holds a series of one-on-one races, where one local leader rides a bike and another drives a car, to see who can get across downtown faster during the morning commute.

It also kicks off the countdown to next month’s Spring Go By Bike Week.

Capital Bike, a cycling advocacy group, said the race results show that biking provides an efficient, safe and fun way to commute. The challenge also showcases how easy and convenient it is for folks to choose clean, affordable and active travel more often in Victoria, Capital Bike said.

Those riding bikes rolled to victory in 18 of the 21 races on Wednesday.

“Cycling allows you to enjoy your commute and ride right up to your destination, not sit in traffic or search for hard-to-find parking,” Capital Bike event manager Kristin Kain said in a news release.

Among the competitors were Greater Victoria mayors, councillors, provincial ministers and other local officials.

“Cycling is community building, it’s climate action, it provides people an opportunity for affordable transportation and it’s good for our mental and physical health,” said Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Grace Lore, whose bike passed the finish line first in the crosstown race against her vehicle-bound opponent – Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto.

“The Commuter Challenge showcases how easy and convenient it is for folks to choose clean, affordable and active travel more often in Victoria. From daily commuting to sunny weekend rides with family, we’re seeing more people biking and rolling in Victoria than ever before,” Alto said.

Spring Go By Bike Week encourages everyone to try switching out car commuting with active transportation and runs from June 3 to 9. Capital Bike will be running 13 pop-up stations along populate bike routes throughout the week, which will be culminated by a closing party station at Sir James Douglas Elementary on June 9.

Over $25,000 in prizes, including the chance to win one of three grand-prize bikes, will be up for grabs for Go By Bike Week participants.

More information can be found at

READ: Bikes beat cars in Victoria commuter challenge