Seventeen teams took part in the Commuter Challenge Wednesday morning; the majority of winners were on bikes. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Cyclists win Bike to Work Week’s Commuter Challenge kickoff

16 teams of cars vs. bikes raced to see who could reach downtown destination fastest

Greater Victoria cyclists and drivers raced in a friendly competition Wednesday morning to see who could get to their destination faster.

The annual Bike to Work Week Commuter Challenge saw 16 teams start from various locations around the region from Esquimalt to Cadboro Bay with the end destination the Starbucks café at the corner of Fort and Blanshard streets.

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In the end, 12 of the 16 teams saw cyclists beat their motorist counterparts; one team tied and three motorists won.

“Every year it seems there’s a good turnout of people,” said Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday, who raced on his bike from Fernwood and beat his partner by a minute. “It’s a great way to raise awareness about different modes of transportation that are available for people, and to show that cycling is a good alternative in terms of commute time.”

Oak Bay Bicycles owner Karl Ullrich was happy with the results.

“The cyclists had a strong lead, though a few drivers did get ahead,” he said. “That usually happens every year.”

Ullrich drove and lost the race to his daughter, who was cycling.

“To be fair, she was on an electric bike,” he added with a laugh.

The commuter challenge is the first event to the 24th annual Bike to Work Week, which runs from May 28 to June 3. For more information on the week and related events, visit biketowork.ca/victoria.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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Victoria City Councillor Jeremy Loveday took part in the annual Commuter Challenge to kick off bike to work week next week. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

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