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Suit Pursuit 2024

 

It was a crisp spring morning with perfect weather for a fun race on April 28th, when four participants met at the starting line at Bike & Brew in Bridgeland. Every year before Bike to Work Day, competitors assemble for Suit Pursuit; an exercise to test if biking is the most efficient way to cover a distance in the city. Participants employ three modes of transportation: cycling, transit commuting, and driving.

Dana Eason stood by her car, keys twirling, poised for the race’s start. Tanya Wiebe wrapped in anticipation and the day’s chill, checked her favorite map app for the quickest transit route. And Tao Saunders astride their bike, was a portrait of readiness, their adventurous spirit shining. Riding with Tao was Bike to Work founder, Lonny Balbi.

The race commenced, and the competitors dashed off towards their goal of being the first to reach Gravity Café in the heart of downtown Calgary. Tao and Lonny powered through the streets, while Dana’s car whirred into motion, and Tanya made a beeline for the bus stop. The race was on.

In the end, Tao’s cycling prowess saw them relaxing with a hot coffee before Dana arrived. Tao’s cycling trip took only eleven minutes and thirty-one seconds to complete. Even though Dana proceeded directly to the café with no traffic or construction delays, the car's route was still two minutes and eleven seconds slower than the bike's. Tao was the clear winner on this beautiful day. Tanya was surprised by how much exercise her transit and walking plan entailed, and it took her thirty-three minutes to get to the café. Tao was the clear winner arriving a full two minutes before any of the other participants.

For 2024's Suit Pursuit, the spotlight shines on Tao Saunders, a former participant turned facilitator in Two Wheel View’s bike mechanics and gap employability programs. Tao’s journey from uncertainty to empowerment mirrors the transformative experience that cycling mechanics courses at Two Wheel View can offer youth. Their artistic flair and problem-solving skills, honed through bike mechanics, have led them to the Alberta University of the Arts with a scholarship in hand.

Calgary’s Bike to Work Day on May 3rd, 2024. It was wonderful to note that each participant’s involvement in the event contributed $1 to Two Wheel View, helping more kids discover the joys of cycling. The total number of participants for 2024 was 2920; so that means Two Wheel View will receive a big cheque for $2920 from Lonny Balbi.

The social, environmental, and lifestyle benefits are clear for participating in Bike to Work Day, and for riding your bike for trips near your home. We hope to see you out on the bike paths!

 

The Suit Pursuit