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Smart Commute North Toronto, Vaughan

Commuter Hall of Fame #7 – Daniela, City of Vaughan’s Most Unlikely Cyclist

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:
• Lights
• Bell
• 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


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