It’s been one heck of a winter, but now that the warm weather has finally arrived, I’m starting to get into the swing of my summer routine. The gardening gear is ready, the windows are open, and I’ve pulled out my bike to get ready for my summer commute. With Waterloo Region’s second annual Bike Month happening in June, there is no better time to bike than now. Biking to work is an easy decision for me. I live reasonably close, so my ride takes about 25 minutes at a leisurely pace. That allows me a half hour mental buffer at the beginning and end of every day, not to mention the exercise. I don’t have to pay for parking, my fuel bill stays down, and I know I’m helping to improve local air quality. Most of all, it is just plain fun. I get to travel through three parks on my ride to work, letting me see more wildlife in a day than I’d otherwise see in a month. We’ve got some incredible momentum around cycling in Waterloo Region. Cambridge was just recognized in Canadian Cycling magazine as the 5th “top-cycling city” in the country, Kitchener recently won a silver Bicycle Friendly Community Award, and there’s some exciting conversation around protected bike lanes through Uptown Waterloo (check out the infographic!). Plus, stay tuned for a fun collaborative campaign called ThumbsUpWR to promote cyclist-motorist safety. Bike Month is a great chance to try this alternative commuting option for yourself and see the benefits. TravelWise has organized Bike-2-Work breakfasts in Kitchener, Cambridge, and Waterloo as a little thank-you for people who are cycling. We’ve teamed up with some local bike shops to do tune-ups, so stop by for some grub and a quick adjustment to get your bike in shape. If that isn’t encouragement enough, there is a bike pledge and some pretty awesome prizes available to help keep up your motivation. And if that still isn’t enough, there’s actually a whole calendar of bike events happening in June. Check out regionofwaterloo.ca/travelwiseevents for more info, and I’ll hopefully see you out there! Be sure to tweet your bike stories and pics using #bikemonthWR.