Winnipeg cyclists embrace 17th annual Bike to Work Day: ‘I really like it’

At MPI's pit stop at The Forks, where cyclists could get free tune-ups as Bike Week in Winnipeg continues, CityNews reporter Joanne Roberts speaks to some avid cyclists about why they choose to ride.

A 21-kilometre commute – there and back – does not discourage Ruben Salazar from biking to work every day.

For Salazar, who moved from Colombia to Winnipeg a year ago, it’s his way of making sure he gets exercise during his busy days.

“Every day. Because I really like it,” Salazar told CityNews. “In my country, I used to ride on bike all weekends. Now, in summer, I take advantage of the weather and go to my job every day on bike.

Ruben Salazar rides his bike almost 21 kilometres to and from work every day. (Mike Sudoma, CityNews)

“That’s almost 11 kilometres going and another 11 kilometres going back to my house.”

Salazar was one of many people who stopped at the Bike Winnipeg Pit Stop at The Forks Tuesday afternoon – on the 17th annual Bike to Work Day during the 11th annual Bike Week in Winnipeg.

The Bike Winnipeg team helps fix up bicycles at the Pit Stop at The Forks on June 11, 2024. (Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Dave Elmore, the chair of Bike Week Winnipeg and one of its founding directors, says over the last few years there’s been a resurgence of cyclists in the city.

“There was an awful lot of people that jumped on their bikes during the pandemic,” Elmore said.

“Some of those people have now sort of transitioned to riding a little further and little more because they’ve found that they actually enjoyed riding their bikes again.”

Elmore says the group bike rides during Bike Week are the perfect way to give cycling a try.

“There’s also a great number of those people as well that are what we call ‘interested but concerned.’ They’re interested in riding more but maybe a bit concerned about the safety aspects of it. So what we want to is bring those people across from being concerned to being more interested.”

Dave Elmore, Chair of Bike Week Winnipeg, says Bike Week is perfect for people who may be nervous about cycling. (Mike Sudoma, CityNews)

Safety concerns were top of mind for some at the Bike Winnipeg pit stops across the city. Cyclists are urging Winnipeg police to take cycling safety seriously, saying motorists have adversarial attitudes towards those on two wheels.

RELATED: Cyclists say Winnipeg police must address ‘traffic violence’ from drivers

Winnipeg’s bike community was recently rocked by the hit-and-run death of 61-year-old cyclist Rob Jenner, an employee of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR), while on his way to work last Thursday.

Elmore says Bike Winnipeg offers its condolences to Jenner’s family.

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