Commuter Hall of Fame- Cyclist Commuter

Alyson- York University’s Top Cyclist commuter

commuter-hall-of-fame_alysonAlyson was named one of York University’s Top Cyclists for 2016. Here she tell us how she got on with the summer cycling pledge she made this Bike to Work Day.

During Bike to Work Day you pledged to ‘ride 100km’, how is it going so far?

The longest I did this summer was 70km but still a goal for next year!! Might take on the Ride to Conquer Cancer or a similar ride.

What do you enjoy most about incorporating cycling into your commute to York University?

I love zooming past cars that are stuck in traffic. I love the ideas that come to mind while I am cycling – I sometimes have to pull over to jot down the great ideas that I come up with! I love that I can plan exactly how long my commute will take rather than wondering if it will be 12 minutes (no traffic) or up to 1 hour if heavy traffic. I love meeting other cyclists on the road. I love that when people come to my office they see my bike and might even feel inspired to try a bike-commute themselves ;).

What route do you take to campus? Do you have any tips for others trying to get to the same location?

I come down Dufferin from Hwy 7 until Steeles. It’s great because there is a bike lane. Then I ride on the sidewalk from Steeles till I get to York, which is fine in the morning as there are not too many pedestrians. It’s sometimes slower on the way back. If anyone lives in the Thornhill Woods community, I’d be happy to take them along for a ride and show them my route!

What advice would you give to others looking to cycle more?

Get a basket or saddle bag so that you don’t have to wear a backpack. Work for an institution like York U that values sustainable commuting and has convenient showers. I have worked in 3 different divisions at York U and 2 of the 3 have showers in the actual building!

 

Melissa- York University’s Top Cyclist commuter

commuter hall of fame_melissa

Melissa was named York University’s Top Cyclist for 2016. Here she tell us how she got on with the summer cycling pledge she made this Bike to Work Day.

During Bike to Work Day you pledged to ‘Bike to school every day, May – September 2016”, how is it going so far?

So far so good! I even rented a bike in June while I was conducting my research at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland to commute between the lab and the apartment.

What do you enjoy most about cycling to York University?

I really appreciate the time I get to spend outside enjoying the sunshine, the wildlife, and getting exercise.

What route do you take to campus? Do you have any tips for others trying to get to the same location?

I use the bike path that runs alongside the York University Busway as much as possible. There are several streets that intersect this bike path so it’s fairly easy to incorporate it into your ride to York no matter where you’re coming from.

What advice would you give to others looking to cycle more?

Having a bike you enjoy riding is a good start, whether that means giving your old bike some TLC, or opting for an upgrade. I also find that using an app to track my stats like mileage, elevation gain and ride time gives me a standard to use for a competitive element and to improve my performance.

 

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

 

Marty – CH2M Top Cyclist 2015

commuter hall of fame_marty Marty was named CH2M Top Cyclist for 2015 this past Smart Commute Week. Here he is telling us why cycling makes the most sense for him. Marty stats How long have you been cycling for?

I’ve been cycling to work since 2002.

What made you switch to cycling from your previous mode of transport?

I switched to cycling because of the health benefits and I can travel a lot faster when traffic is really bad.

What is your favourite part of your commute?

Riding home from work is definitely the best part of my commute because it’s all downhill. I also love passing by all the cars in gridlock as there is never a bicycle traffic jam!

What would you say to someone who is considering cycling?

Cycling to work is honestly a lot easier than most people think. If you ride smart and safe, commuting to work by bike is one of the best ways to get around in Toronto.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about cycling?

That most cyclists would rather drive if they could afford a car. I have a car but choose to cycle to work because it’s the best way to get around the city.

 

Derrick – NYGH Top Cyclist 2015

commuter hall of fame_dkwan Derrick was named North York General Hospital’s Top Cyclist for 2015 this past Smart Commute Week. Here he is telling us why cycling works for him.Derrick stats How long have you been cycling for?

I’ve been cycling to work for 2 years now.

What made you switch to cycling from your previous mode of transportation?

I switched to cycling because it’s a great way to stay in shape without adding too much time to my commute. Cycling is also way cheaper. The cost of my bike has already been paid off in less than two years with the savings from not paying for parking and gas.

What is your favourite part of your commute?

There are so many highlights about my commute to work. Biking through the East Don River trail in the morning is very calming and I love that there is no traffic. When I arrive to work, I feel energized and ready for a busy day.

What would you say to someone who is considering cycling?

Just do it. Borrow a bike and try it for at least a week. That’s what I did and I only wish I started sooner.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about cycling?

That cycling to work is dangerous. People who know me know that I’m very risk averse, but with the proper protective gear, obeying traffic rules and riding on a safe bike route, it’s completely safe. The benefits of cycling outweigh the risk of being inactive.

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