My Second Shift at a VACC Bike to Work Week Station – finding my Fledgling Volunteer Feet

Undaunted by Monday’s volunteering stint at a VACC Bike to Work Week Station in a torrential downpour, I set off yesterday afternoon to help out at a station near Metrotown. It was a great experience – and this time I was able to help out a little.

In typical Vancouver fashion, Monday’s “hurricane” was followed by a perfect Fall day, gloriously sunny. I easily found the station, on the BC Parkway. Lisa, a dedicated volunteer, was busily helping cyclists to enter the daily competition, select free bike route maps, and join the VACC.

A lot of cyclists were enticed to stop by the smell of the coffee kindly donated by Starbucks. (Apparently both Starbucks and Ethical Beans Coffee are generous and loyal supporters of Bike to Work Week.) In fact there were so many cyclists stopping that I was hard pressed to do my allotted job: counting cyclists. I was pleasantly surprised to see that more than half of the many cyclists stopped.

The number of cyclists has been steadily growing, and this growth helps the VACC in its lobbying efforts. In May 2007 there were 2,778 VACC Bike to Work Week cyclists, and by May of this year the number had grown to 7,285.

Another attraction for passing cyclists was free bicycle repair, this time offered by Logan. Another very hard-working volunteer, Logan is helping out at VACC Bike to Work Week Stations twice a day, every day – wow! Here he helps Eric understand the mysteries of disk brakes.

This was my first time helping out at the VACC’s Bike to Work Week, but it won’t be my last. It was a lot of fun hanging out with fellow cycling enthusiasts, and meeting other bicycle commuters.

It’s not too late to register for the VACC Bike to Work Week and support the VACC’s lobbying efforts – just by riding to work!

Postscript: Check out Alex P’s video of Bike to Work Week stations in good weather.

9 thoughts on “My Second Shift at a VACC Bike to Work Week Station – finding my Fledgling Volunteer Feet”

  1. It was nice meeting you on Tuesday and thanks for volunteering your time at the commuter station! The coffee, bananas and most importantly the people were very bright spot in an otherwise rotten bike ride.

    1. Hi Rob, it was nice meeting you too! My volunteer time is just a tiny dot compared to the other VACC volunteers there. Still, at least I have made a start, after years of just thinking about it …

  2. Vancouver has two bike to work weeks, doesn’t it? (one in June I believe, or is that bike to work month?)

    Kudos to Starbucks for donating the coffee. Unlike the “Canadian icon” who seems to rely solely on car traffic.

    Alex posted a video at one of the commuter stations:

    1. Yeah, Starbucks rocketed up in my estimation after I found out they sponsor the Bike to Work Weeks with free coffee. Wonder where that Canadian icon is …

  3. I’m famous lol. I’m featured on the photo where Logan is helping me and my Kona commuter bike. It was the best thing that ever happened to my commute this year! Loved loved loved <3 the station where I actually got to talk to friendly people, get refreshment on the go without locking my bike and lining up, and just everything you can imagine that would happen there. The reason I was asking help was not because it need repairs but I just wanted to be educated on the mechanics of my bike. :) I read your blog earlier on your course in Britannia. I was thinking of doing that if my schedule allows.
    Which one were you, Joe? How in the world did I ever miss you?

    1. Hi Eric! I added your name to the post, now that I know it. I was the short one counting bikes – pretty inconspicuous. Next time I see you I’ll say hi!

      You should totally go to one of Barry’s courses at Brit – they’re great.

      1. Ah! Now I remember. I hanged around a bit after, and I didn’t really see you again. But yeah, I’ll definitely talk to you next time I see you. Happy cycling!

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