Daunting hill no match for cyclist's determination

On Monday, as the morning rush of traffic speeds past her, Lisa Lake will do what very few Kamloops residents dare to do on the best of days.

With her bicycle pointed westward, and with a firm grip on the handlebars, Lake will cast a determined gaze upon the long road rising before her. Then, with all the gusto of The Little Engine That Could, she will pedal and pedal and pedal her way up Columbia Street West.

"As the day gets closer, I'm thinking I should probably try it ahead of time," said Lake, with a laugh, earlier this week, "but I haven't actually worked up the nerve yet."

Monday is the start of Bike to Work Week in Kamloops and Lake will be riding from her condo downtown to her job as a program adviser at Thompson Rivers University.

Despite the challenge of tackling the Columbia Street hill, she said she's truly looking forward to a full week of bicycle commuting.

Bike to Work Week runs May 30 to June 5 and employees from workplaces all over the city will be participating by cycling to work. Some will be experienced bicycle commuters, but many will be novices trying it for the first time - working their way through a host of unknowns, such as route planning, equipment considerations and clothing strategies.

Lake plans to wear cycling-specific clothing. She said she will likely wear the brightly coloured nylon jacket she jogs in and will probably invest in a pair of cycling gloves before Monday. As for her bike, she will be on a hybrid bicycle she purchased last fall - a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike.

"It's more of a city bike," she said. "It's a nice, comfortable bike. My daughters just say it's like an old lady bike, but it's comfortable and it's got lots of gears."

Now, if you're thinking Lake's name sounds familiar, you're right. Her husband is MLA Terry Lake, who also happens to be B.C.'s environment minister.

Lisa said her husband will ride his bike to his constituency office on the North Shore if he is in Kamloops on Friday. "Which, I might add, is a much flatter route than the one I'll be taking," she added, with a laugh.

At least, the minister will be able to take in a Celebration Station at Riverside Park Friday between 7 and 9 a.m. en route to his office. Bike Week organizers have arranged several stations at different locations where morning and afternoon cyclists can get coffee, snacks, a copy of The Daily News, and a bike check from a bicycle mechanic.

There's still time to sign up for Bike to Work Week in Kamloops.

Visit www.biketowork.ca/kamloops or check out the Kamloops Bike to Work Week 2011 page on Facebook. Both sites offer links to road safety manuals, commuter cycling tips, and more.


CELEBRATION STATIONS

Monday - 7 to 9 a.m. - Corner of Columbia Street and Fifth Avenue

Tuesday - 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Valleyview Fire Hall No. 3

Wednesday - 7 to 9 a.m. - Starbucks at Northills Shopping Centre

Wednesday - 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Corner of Columbia Street and Fifth Avenue

Thursday - 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Summit Firehall No. 1

Friday - 7 to 9 a.m. - Riverside Park

Friday - 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Corner of Columbia Street and Fifth Avenue

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