Vancouver, BC –
This edition’s supercommuter is written by our friend Alan, the mastermind behind EcoVelo. Alan has a beautiful way with words and photographs. Check out his passion for cycling at EcoVelo.
A supercommuter rides through every season, in all types of weather, day and night. Choosing the simplicity, health and pleasure of bicycling, a supercommuter simply prefers to ride a bike instead of driving a car.
Cecily Walker of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, certainly qualifies as a supercommuter. Whether riding to work, the store, or just to meet up with friends, she uses her bicycle for 99% of her daily trips. She was a fair weather bike commuter for 6 years, but a little over a year ago she went full-time, riding her bike year-round, even through Vancouver’s cold, wet winters.
Cecily recently moved, in part because she wanted to live closer to work, but also because she wanted a less hilly commute. Describing her commute, she says, “my daily ride takes me around Vancouver’s seawall, and over to a busy four-lane thoroughfare that passes under Rogers Arena. After that stretch, I bike up a couple of gentle hills on downtown streets that have only minimal traffic.” It’s not a long commute, but Cecily is out there on her bike everyday, enjoying the ride. “I know 3 kilometers doesn’t seem like much to people who put in 25 kilometers or more per day, but I use my bike for everything.”
Cecily has found that communicating your individual needs to your local bike shop is important when shopping for a bike. “If you’re a heavier rider like I am, don’t be afraid to express your concerns to your local bike shop. Heavier riders have different concerns than our thinner counterparts, and it pays in comfort and safety to tackle these issues head on when choosing a bike.” Her dealer outfitted her with a Fryslan, a Dutch bike made by Batavus for the North American market. Being a Dutch bike, the Fryslan came fully-equipped for year-round use with a rack, lights, fenders, and a chain case. For carrying her commuting and shopping loads, Cecily prefers stylish bags from Basil and Po Campo – Cycle Chic is alive and well in Vancouver!
Keeping it fun while integrating bicycling into her lifestyle are Cecily’s secrets to success as a long-term bike commuter. She advises, “if you’re feeling daunted by it, start small. Try small trips to the grocery store, or combine your commute with transit — that’s how I began 6 years ago when I was commuting to the University of British Columbia (7 kilometers from home, uphill, on the cheapest bike in the bike store). And you don’t have to be a perfect commuter to make riding a bike part of your lifestyle. The most important thing is that you enjoy it.”
We couldn’t agree more!
(photo credit: Cecily Walker)