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From Commute to Community

Back to Our Stories

BC Cancer’s Cycle with Your Colleagues initiative promotes workplace wellness.

Since becoming a regular bicycle commuter, my one-hour commute provides me not only with exercise, but also a time to decompress after a stressful or challenging workday,” shares Adrian White, the Manager of Provincial Programs – Radiation Therapy at BC Cancer.

Adrian enthusiastically joined BC Cancer teams across the province in the 2023 Fall Go By Bike Week (October 16 – 29, 2023), and simultaneously joined a new initiative, the BC Cancer Cycle with Your Colleagues campaign. “Go by Bike Week is an opportunity to blend two things that I enjoy: working as part of a team and riding my bicycle!”

Cycle with Your Colleagues originated from discussions on promoting active transportation among BC Cancer staff, particularly for those not accustomed to regular biking. This engaging project, spearheaded by Dr. Maura Brown of the BC Cancer Planetary Health Unit, brought together the collaborative efforts and leadership of the Energy and Environmental Sustainability team, IPS Commuter Services, HUB Cycling, and GoByBike BC.

Dr. Brown’s inspiration for the campaign was to encourage staff new to commuting by bike to join Go by Bike week. As an option to support new bikers, experienced peers could pair up with new bikers and provide advice on anything from what to wear, to safe bike routes, to bike storage and maintenance tips. This new initiative was supported by prizes, generously donated by the BC Cancer Foundation. Recognitions were awarded in several categories, celebrating new cyclists, mentors, cyclists covering the most kilometres, and participants in smaller teams.

A total of five teams across sites in Kelowna, Surrey, Victoria, and Vancouver registered for the challenge. The program was flexible, allowing teams of varying sizes and structures to participate, whether remote, in-person, or hybrid.

One team that embraced diverse ways to participate in the challenge was the BC Cancer – Vancouver Linear Accelerators, which saw four new cyclists join their team in the fall. New team member Ana Fisic, Translational Research Nurse notes,

Although biking to work isn’t a practical choice for me — I live in Surrey and work in Vancouver — I found that biking around my neighbourhood is just as good and better than driving. I can avoid traffic and get some exercise.”

The BC Cancer – Kelowna New Kickstands team leaned into the community aspect of the challenge. Tracey Rose of BC Cancer – Kelowna and prize winner, found joy in getting to know her new neighbourhood through rides with a few of her team members. Another BC Cancer – Kelowna prize winner, Julia Campbell was motivated by her colleague Liz Wiens: “Liz was my bike buddy and inspired me to get on my bike!”

This initiative not only underscores the commitment of BC Cancer to sustainability but also reflects a shared camaraderie among colleagues striving for a healthier and more sustainable transportation. Pedalling together towards a common goal, BC Cancer continues to foster a workplace culture that champions both individual well-being and Planetary Health.

Laura Oliveira and Adrian White, BC Cancer – Surrey.

What we heard from the teams

“I’ve been biking to work most days of the week for my whole 21 year career at BC Cancer Vancouver. I created a Go By Bike team, the BC Cancer – Vancouver Linear Accelerators in May 2015.

“As Team Leader I’ve met many cyclists from other departments outside of Radiation Therapy that I otherwise may not have. We now have 49 cyclists who have been active with the team in the past year, and are always happy to have more join us! This past October, our teammates cycled 2,914 kilometres, saving 632 kg GHGs.

“I’m fortunate to not have too long of a commute to work so biking is actually the fastest way for me to get to work. I love how I don’t have to worry about traffic, the bus being full, or finding rockstar parking, and I’m fitting exercise into my day, too.”
— BC Cancer – Vancouver Linear Accelerators, Go By Bike Team Lead, Sheri Grahame

“Biking to work has been a great way to avoid traffic, breathe fresh air, and get a bit of consistent exercise. Great bookends to the day!”
—Greg Warren, a research engineer with Medical Physics and new Linear Accelerators member

“You can inspire a colleague to bike even if cycling isn’t possible for you. We can’t all do everything or participate in exactly the same way, but we can all encourage each other.”
— BC Cancer – Kelowna Kickstands, Go By Bike Team Co-lead, Krista Clement

“I am grateful that Trevor and Laura were able to join our team, the Surrey Sprocket Society, this year and promote sustainable transportation amongst the staff at BC Cancer – Surrey.”
—Adrian White on Trevor Howard and Laura Oliveira prize winners at BC Cancer – Surrey


Greg Warren and Ana Fisic, BC Cancer – Vancouver.


Sheri Grahame, Ryan Lou, Ron Horwood, BC Cancer – Vancouver.


Krista Clement, Corinne Thompson, Tracey Rose. Cycle With Your Colleagues 2023 Kelowna