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Is a cycling a realistic commuting option from the suburbs?

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Cycling might shave some time off of your drive in to work if you live in Vancouver, but is it a realistic option for people who commute from outside the city?

We spoke with Dianne Murray of North Vancouver, who tells us her 70-minute cycling trip from Upper Lonsdale to Oak Street and 37th Avenue in Vancouver can be a challenge, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

“As a mother of two children that were athletes growing up, there was no time for me to exercise,” she tells News1130.

“As an athlete myself, I had to build exercise into my schedule. It’s been essential. Now my kids are grown up, but I keep cycling because of the health benefits, the environmental benefits and I love it.”

Groups like HUB are encouraging people to leave their cars at home for Bike to Work Week, which starts Monday.

The unofficial launch happened yesterday with the “Share the Road Challenge.”

Cyclists raced against transit takers and drivers from different points of the city to Library Square in Downtown Vancouver. Cyclists won three of four races, but even event organizers admit the results could have been very different if people were commuting from the suburbs.

Murray could get to work by driving or taking the bus, but she says that’s not her biggest priority in the morning.

“When you get up in the morning and it’s dark and raining, it’s a tough thought to get out and ride,” she says. “But as soon as I get outside my home and the rain and wind hit me, it energizes me. The hard part is getting out of bed.”

Murray’s return trip is a little more manageable.  She rides her bike part of the way, but takes a bus to get her up the steep hill.