Name: Winky in Vancouver
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Started bike commuting: Over 15 years ago. 5 years in Vancouver
Commute distance (one way): 25km
Describe your commute: I roll down to Marine Drive in West Vancouver near Lighthouse park. I then head East along Marine Drive to Dundarave and Ambleside. Traffic is light this time of the morning and the rolling hills keep it interesting (and warm in the winter). Pretty views of the ocean and often a great sunrise framing the bridge, park and city. I cut around the back of the Park Royal Mall onto a short shared-use path and then up onto Lions Gate Bridge. Heading over the bridge I am able to appreciate some of the most glorious sunrises over the harbor and city with Mount Baker often spectacular in the background.
Once over the bridge I cut right into Stanley Park. I’ve never understood my fellow cyclists who choose the bumpy, noisy concrete causeway footpath that has been re-purposed as a multiple-use path. The cycle around Stanley Park with the ocean on my right is just beautiful in the early morning light. I usually have it completely to myself (save for the odd Racoon family).
Out of the park and under the main road into Coal Harbour via short section of bike path. I then follow the waterfront streets around Coal Harbour into the downtown area. A quick couple of blocks via the new segregated bike lanes to my office and I’m there!
Describe your bike and accessories: Cannondale T2000 tourer. Tons of reflective tape, a few rear flashers and a recharcheable LED front light. Full fenders for the Vancouver winter’s liquid sunshine. Gear is carried in a small backpack. I pay for laundry services downtown to avoid having to haul business shirts to-and-fro (and because we hate ironing at our place).
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?: Don’t worry about what bike you use. Don’t wear too much; you will overheat. Have two pairs of shoes for wet weather; they don’t dry fast enough. Recognize that it is only water; it washes right off. Don’t worry about staying dry; stay warm instead. Make choices that make bike commuting a logical choice. These include, live in the right place relative to your job, don’t own a car, make the alternative to getting on your bike in the morning less convenient.