Meet Kent: A Vancouver-resident who started bike commuting for the first time during Bike to Work Week
May 15, 2023
Six years ago, Kent Stoltz moved from a small town in Ontario to Vancouver. After some encouragement from co-workers, he started bike-commuting to work and never looked back. His first time cycling to work was during HUB Cycling’s Bike to Work Week (now know as Go by Bike Week).
HUB’s Marketing Manager, Rianna, sat down with Kent to get his advice on bike commuting and (hopefully) encourage you to give it a try too!
Hi Kent! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm an engineer who lives in the West End in Vancouver with my partner and two cats. I have been cycling for 5 years now and started during Bike to Work Week. My partner just got a bike too so we're looking forward to lots of fun rides this summer.
What kind of bike do you ride?
I ride a steel orange Specialized AWOL gravel/touring bike that is my do-everything bike: errands, commuting and hitting some gravel trails. I buy orange accessories whenever I can.
It’s always important to be colour coordinated. What is your typical bike commute to work?
My bike commute is about 20 km one-way. My work has showers and change rooms which is a huge privilege.
My route takes me through downtown, across Cambie Bridge, across 10th to Ontario then Ontario all the way down to Kent Ave. and then Kent Ave. to Boundary Rd. Kent Ave is by far the worst part and I really hope to see HUB Cycling's proposal for it go forward. The Beach Ave portion of my route is by far the best part.
End-of-trip cycling facilities like showers make bike commuting so much easier. Why did you decide to start bike commuting?
I had some friends that biked to work and I had never really considered it before until we started talking about it and they encouraged me to try it out. They lent me a bike and biked with me the whole way for my first time. Since then I've been passing on the favour!
We have found that group rides are so important in getting people more confident and comfortable with bike commuting. I’m glad you have such a supportive group of friends! What is your favorite part about Go by Bike Week?
Definitely the celebration stations!
What lifestyle benefits have you experienced since becoming a bike commuter? Have you noticed any changes in how you approach your daily routine or work-life balance since becoming a bike commuter?
I have definitely saved money on gas (and wear and tear on my car), my cardio has improved, and I find I get excited for biking days as it gets me some outside time and some exercise on days I don't always find the time.
I also find that I now primarily look to use my bike to get around for fun or for errands instead of planning around driving.
I’m so happy to hear how cycling has impacted your life so positively. How has biking changed your commuting experience compared to using other modes of transportation?
I look forward to bike commute days vs. driving in even though it takes slightly longer. It feels less stressful and a more efficient use of my time than sitting in a car. You get to take in the sights a bit more and get some good exercise. My work area doesn't have frequent transit so cycling allows me the freedom of operating on my own schedule.
That’s so true. I totally agree that cycle commuting doesn’t feel like ‘wasted time’ but driving to work often does. What advice do you have for someone thinking about getting into bike commuting?
Give it a shot! You're never too old to start biking again. Having someone show you around the routes in town definitely goes a long way.
Thanks so much Kent! We look forward to seeing you in the bike lanes during Go by Bike Week from May 29-June 4.