Year Round Cycling

Happy 2020, Vancouver!

To kick off the new decade, we have partnered with the City of Vancouver to celebrate folks who cycle year round.

Starting Monday, January 6th, we will profile a person every Monday, Wednesday and Friday over the next month and share their #YearRoundCycling story.

To start, we thought we’d introduce you to some year-round-cycling staffers in Transportation Planning like Mike, Justine, Ryan, Alyshia and Lindsay. They all cycle year round to get to work. Alyshia, for instance, commutes 3km while others like Ryan ride 12km one-way from Burnaby.

Their reasons for cycling during all four seasons include the convenience, consistent travel time, and exercise.

Are you considering cycling year round? Tips for a smooth winter-time ride include waterproof clothes and plenty of lights - Ryan says you can never have too many!

Check out more stories below about people who celebrate cycling year round! We will update this page regularly throughout January 2020 so be sure to check back often.

Do you ride year round? Share your story here and you could be featured in our #YearRoundCycling celebration stories.

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #YearRoundCycling on TwitterInstagram or Facebook.

 

Year Round Cycling Profiles


 

ALICE and RUBY are helping us launch our #YearRoundCycling celebration!

Alice has been cycling year round for about 12 years while two-year-old Rubi has been out on a bike her whole life. Alice commutes from Kits to Metrotown five days a week and does almost all of her errands (groceries, appointments, playground) on her bike. To make the ride a bit easier, Alice converted her cargo bike to an e-bike.

 

"I love riding in Vancouver - it keeps us healthy, gets us outside, saves us money, and I believe it's good for our communities. Riding is also cheaper than driving and faster than transit. We like being outside every day and we like being part of the cycling community. I want my daughter to have memories of being outside instead of in a car."

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

SCOTT is a long-time Vancouver cyclist, who uses a recumbent bike and trailer for all of his trips in and around central Vancouver.

Despite dealing with the challenges of severe arthritis, Scott uses his bike for everything – shopping, visiting friends, appointments, trips to the farmers’ markets. He also likes to get out of the city for pleasure rides when he can. His reasons for cycling: exercise, saving money and reducing his environmental footprint.

Over the years, safety has become Scott's focus.

"I used to be one of those cyclists you see out in traffic even on a busy street, but these days I will take a longer route if it minimizes interactions with vehicles."

Scott’s pro tip: “Get good clothing, plan and check out your routes beforehand to avoid nasty surprises, and be willing to get a little wet on occasion. You will soon dry out!”

 

 


 

For the last six years, ANDRES has been commuting from Mt. Pleasant to Coal Harbour (5km each way) every day. Outside of work, he also bikes to most places whether it's for errands, meeting friends or going to events.

For Andres, #YearRoundCycling means freedom, fitness and convenience.

"Cycling is free, you get a work out and it's good for the environment. I also like not being dependent on transit schedules. Particularly in the winter, buses tend to be more full, meaning you may have to miss a bus or two before you can get on."

Andres' pro tip: “You don’t need top-of-the-line gear. For the cold, for me it’s all about the right gloves and ear muffs.”
 

 


 

LISA has been #YearRoundCycling for about 20 years. She works seasonally and at different locations so her commute varies from 4-25 km of biking, often combined with transit. But she bikes 3km every day to get the kids to school – even in the snow.

She prefers to cycle because it’s faster than transit, often faster than driving, and her commute times are more reliable. It’s also more fun.

“I often bump into people I know & can chat with other cyclists as we ride the same way. The exercise is better than a cup of coffee to wake me up in the morning & it's pretty much carbon neutral to boot. Cycling is also much easier & more comfortable than walking for me because of my osteoarthritis.”

And with good rain gear and studded tires, Lisa is ready for almost anything.

Lisa says most of the gear you'll need to ride in the winter you probably already own if you live in Vancouver - a raincoat, rain boots, gloves.

Lisa’s pro tip: ”Figure out what bugs you the most when you ride in the winter (Cold fingers? Rain on your hair?) and solve that first. I recommend pogies for cold hands. Studded snow tires are great for the ice and light snow that Vancouver tends to get. Put them on when the forecast goes below zero. Since you only use them a month or two a year, they'll last many seasons!”

 

 

 


 

SUZIE first started riding to save money about six years ago, but now it's a lifestyle choice. 

"My bicycle is my main mode of transport. I cycle to work every day rain or shine, or snow. I cycle to the shops, to gigs, to visit friends, for meetings during work. I cycle to go to school, to go meet my running friends. Basically if I need to go from A to B I use my bike."

Her commute from Kits to Chinatown is about 10km roundtrip, which gives her the chance to be outside in the fresh air connected to the people, community and environment around her.

"I enjoy not having to pay or wait for public transport. I began to love the feeling of rain or sun on my face and feeling like I had a story and lived a journey each day as I cycled to work."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

MARK started cycling as a way to rehab from a knee injury, but it has quickly become his primary mode of transportation. It has since changed his life. He is now #YearRoundCycling for all of his needs – work, errands, yoga class, live shows, passion projects and rehearsals with the Vancouver Men’s Chorus.

“Cycling has become my sense of freedom for getting where I need to get. It's faster than transit, cheaper than a car, more available than a ride share and it helps me keep my carbon footprint down.”

Mark's commute varies. He lives in Cambie village and usually works in the South Granville area but sometimes needs to go downtown, East Van or to other parts of the city.

Mark’s pro tip: ”Invest in a decent pair of rain pants! Once you have the right gear, it's a breeze.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

BOBO has been #YearRoundCycling for the last six years whether it's for work (30km roundtrip from East Van to Burnaby) or pleasure.

He cycles because it's quicker and more convenient than driving or transit, and is also better for the environment. But mostly, he cycles, because it's fun.

"The rain and cooler temperatures don't take away from my enjoyment of riding."

Bobo's Pro Tip: "It's about acceptance.... Everyone dresses differently for the wet weather, some folks embrace it and bring a change of clothes others prefer to layer up with waterproof gear. Whatever your preference happens to be, riding through the winter is no big deal."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

ELISE is the first high school student to join the fun in our #YearRoundCycling celebration and we couldn't be more thrilled! Elise uses her bike to commute to and from extracurricular activities, such as fiddling and piano lessons as well as triathlon training.

Her ride is about 7km round trip between her local community centre and public pool.

"My parents don't come home in time to drive me, and it's good exercise. Cycling is also the easiest way to get directly to my activities (the bus is much slower)."

Elise's Pro Tip: "Always have lights and wear a helmet, especially during the winter when it's dark. Safety is very important."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

PAUL has been cycling year-round off and on for about 20 years. He commutes 16 km round trip from Gilmore Station in Burnaby to the Harbour Centre downtown. Sometimes he’ll take transit, and only rarely his car, which he has now sold.

His main motivation for #YearRoundCycling is for the physical and mental health aspects.

“I cycle because it’s not only the fastest and most affordable way for me to commute but it also improves my physical and mental health. Driving, being stuck in traffic and paying for parking is not only a drain on my physical, mental and financial well-being but also killing our planet.”

Paul’s Pro Tip: Get the rain gear, buy winter tires and keep a sharp eye on the weather. Being prepared for the conditions will make or break your winter riding abilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

JULIUS lives in Killarney and bikes 22 km round-trip to and from his work in hilly North Vancouver. He’s fairly new to Year Round Cycling having only started last November, but is now hooked. His smile says it all!

"Living with a mental illness, I benefit from regular exercise. Biking to work year round is an excellent use of time, and a source of consistent cardio."

One of his favourite rides is cycling around the Seawall on a Saturday night.

But Julius bikes for not just one reason but multiple reasons, including for his son and another one on the way. The pros are: "More energy overall to be a Dad, exercise, sustainability, cost savings, and fun!”

Julius’ Pro Tip: “Prepare as much as possible the night before.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

Like many folks who cycle, MACKENZIE bikes for the environment, convenience, exercise and “great parking.”

She bikes her kids to school every day, which is about a 3 km return trip. This is her 4th winter of Year Round Cycling.

“It's convenient and character-building, and I'm setting a good example for my kids.”

Mackenzie’s Pro-tip: "Lots of lights and reflective gear, waterproof clothing, and knowing when to call it (e.g. 6 inches snow is not a cycling day!)"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


DR. RITA MCCRACKEN is a family physician and researcher who cycles 70-100kms a week for work, family life and play from East Van to downtown and UBC. She uses her bike to get to her clinic, university office and make house calls.

Rita has been year round cycling for almost 3 years. 

Rita says she made the switch to cycling regularly because: “I was feeling frustrated by sitting in my car and thinking about the climate crisis. Cycling year round is a small thing I can do every day and it’s faster than driving and transit. It’s also how I squeeze in exercise during my busy schedule.”

Some of you may already know Rita from her Twitter feed @drritamc - #familydoconabike She is a strong believer in the health benefits of active transportation like cycling.

 

 

Do you ride year round? Share your story here and you could be featured in our #YearRoundCycling celebration stories.