Bike to Work Week: Why We Ride
Natalia Mulekova, Architect, Vancouver
It has become a habit for me to bike to work year-round. Over the years, I liked it so much that I started looking for ways to extend my commute. I now explore new routes on the way to work and add an extra lap around a local park at the end of the day. I always associate my happiest childhood memories with riding a bicycle. And now, I’ve discovered that cycling is just as delightful for adults as it is for kids. Biking to work fills me with energy on my morning commute and helps me leave daily stress behind after a tiring day in the office. It is a great way to avoid traffic and limited parking. It keeps me fit and helps me spend more time outdoors. It makes me feel young and healthy.
Mark Nolan, Senior Landscape Architect, Edmonton
There are three main reasons that I bike to work. First, it’s convenient and inexpensive (my Scottish background!). I can lock up almost anywhere, and don’t have to worry about parking except for the days when I really need my car. We also have very good secure bike facilities and change rooms in our building. Second, I get some fresh air and exercise. I find it much more relaxing to cycle than drive. It is a much better way to see the world roll by (no pun intended). And third, it’s fun, most of the time, even in fringe seasons. Cycling in Edmonton still has its stressful moments and caution is always required: not sure if the recent improvements will make a difference or not. There are still many ‘missing links’ in the cycling network.
Christina Bouchard, Project Manager, Toronto
I love the freedom and flexibility of riding. Unlike taking a bus, you get to leave on your own schedule and choose your own route. Bikes are smaller than cars, so from a congestion perspective, how quickly you are moving is usually up to your fitness. Also, there’s no double fare if you need to run errands on your way home. Riding for transportation is also a way to fit some “outside” time into your work week. Even on days when the weather is not the greatest, it feels healthy to get some fresh air and sunlight. I find riding helps me to focus, stay upbeat and generally be my best self. I feel lucky every day that my job with IBI Group is to Plan and Design Cycling Infrastructure, so that more people will feel comfortable travelling by bicycle.
Stuart Jones, Architect and Director, Vancouver
I ride my 16 kilometre route to work year-round to reduce my transportation costs and my environmental footprint. It also enables me to incorporate exercise and relaxation therapy right into my daily schedule!
Emily Graham, Global Communications Coordinator, Toronto
Cycling in the city is one of those rare win-win scenarios. It alleviates traffic congestion on overcrowded streets and, without emissions, contributes to cleaner air. As a Toronto cyclist, I get to work faster by bike than any other method (TTC, car, etc.). A forty-minute uphill climb from Liberty Village to our office in mid-town does wonders for an early morning wake up. And for someone who hates the gym, working a ride into my daily commute keeps me fit and healthy without much added effort! For my mind, it gives me a welcome break to staring at a screen all day or checking my phone. If you can, you should! Your health and your heart will thank you.
Mitchell Reardon, TH!NK Co-coordinator, Vancouver
For my bike to work, I try to take the nicest route, rather than fastest, whenever I can. It’s great to relax while riding along a quiet, tree-lined street, make smooth turns while cruising down a big hill, or see friends while passing a row of cafes, bars and small shops. Riding to work is also one of the most effortless ways to live in the moment. No screens or other distractions, just me and my bike (and sometimes friends). And lastly, I definitely don’t mind gliding past all those drivers stuck in gridlock. Whether it’s June or January, I look forward to my ride.
Brian Hollingworth, Transportation Engineer and Transportation Planner, Toronto
There many factors that motivate me to bike to work on a regular basis. On a typical morning, I can bike to work in 20 minutes compared to 30 minutes by car and 40 minutes by transit – and it costs almost nothing. The largest incentive for me; however, is physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that biking to work can reduce stress and improve overall happiness. On days that I bike I have more energy, more creativity and generally feel more productive. I have biked to work more often than not since I started working at IBI Group in 1995. Over the years I have witnessed a steady increase in cyclists on our streets and, by extrapolation, that’s a lot more happy people.