For many, Bike to Work Week is an opportunity to dust off the old bike and get some exercise.
For Thomas Buth, Bike to Work Week is just another week of fun, service to community and employment.
“I ride my bike every day,” Buth said.
Buth, 27, who also enjoys writing poetry and short stories, has been a member of The Grendel Group for more than five years.
The Grendel Group provides programs for skill development to those community members who face cognitive and physical disabilities.
The Grendel Group runs three programs including GrendeLivery, a catering service, GrendelGrow, a gardening program and the Grendel Players, a theatre arts program.
Among his responsibilities, Buth lists, food delivery, picking up the mail, watering the Grendel garden every weekend and other tasks requiring the use of his bike.
“It keeps me busy and it gets me out of the house,” Buth said were the main reasons he enjoyed working with the Grendel Group.
Buth, a bike rider since his childhood, said he’s never had much interest in owning a car and so using his bike to get his errands done suits him just fine.
In addition, Buth has begun a small recycling service.
“I’ve always wanted to work for myself,” he said.
“Just to be doing something and this opportunity just sort of came up.”
Buth cycles to Alpine Estates twice a week to collect paper, cardboard and plastics.
After sorting through the material, Buth then hops on his bike and pedals out to the Smithers recycling depot.
“It can be tiring, it’s just the climb up the hill,” he said.
In addition to the exercise and the contentment he derives from working with the Grendel Group, Buth said he is also aware using a bike reduces his impact on the environment.
“It means I’m not using fuel,” he said.
The Grendel Group places a strong emphasis on reducing emissions by biking whenever possible.
For example, a second-hand bike was recently purchased for the Support Worker to bike to the community gardens.
Vegetables used in the catering business are grown in gardens and greenhouses located next door to the Grendel building on Second Avenue, on property owned by Ellen Hansen, as well as at the community garden at Elks Park.
In addition to using the produce in their catering business, the Grendel Group also supply produce to Groundbreakers Harvest Boxes and Nature’s Pantry Health Food Store.
The Grendel catering business got a shot in the arm last year with the installation of a wheelchair-accessible kitchen.