Daniela was named City of Vaughan’s Most Unlikely Cyclist for 2016. Here she tells us why she loves her new commute.
During Bike to Work Day you pledged to promote a cycling group at work, how is it going so far?
I have been promoting cycling at work throughout Vaughan Public Libraries (VPL). As the winner of the Vaughan’s Most Unlikely Cyclist competition, I have been blogging about my biking adventures and sharing tips and suggestions for new riders. I am also the leader of the Eco-Action Working Group at VPL and have been actively promoting cycling and other environmentally friendly alternatives. I often share my stories about cycling with my colleagues, who have been very encouraging and supportive.
What do you enjoy most about cycling?
I enjoy the feeling of power when riding my bike. It makes me feel strong and fast, like I can conquer any terrain. Cycling regularly this summer has really improved my mood and energy. There is something very exhilarating about biking (as opposed to walking). I guess you could say I’m addicted to the speed! My new wheels certainly ride a lot smoother and faster than my old ones. It’s amazing the nature you are surrounded by when you go outside and explore. So far I have seen baby bunnies, ducklings, chipmunks and even deer! Not to mention the beautiful smell of the fresh air and neighbourhood flowers.
What route do you take to work?
I am just starting out with my bike ride to work and have opted to avoid major roads such as Hwy 7 in preference of less frequented roads. This makes for a much less stressful ride to work, especially for a newbie like me!
Do you have any advice for others looking to cycle more?
Everything is a lot easier when you have the right gear. My checklist of helpful things for new bike riders includes:
• Biking tool/repair kit
• Bike pump with a gauge to make sure tires are always inflated to the correct p.s.i. This makes a huge difference in the quality of the bike ride
• Water bottle holder – very economical and super easy to install
• Insulated squeeze water bottle (so you don’t have to fiddle with a lid while you’re riding or deal with lukewarm water)
• Bike bag to hold any repair tools or other necessities
• Cycling jerseys – come with pockets in the lower back to keep things like cell phones and keys handy
• Bike shorts – extra padding for the bum on long rides
• Annual tune-ups are highly recommended
• An inner tube for flats