You Know Me. I Ride a Bike
In May 2012, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, working with Safe Cycling Thunder Bay, announced the launch of their awareness campaign aimed at improving the relationship between motorists and cyclists. The goal of the “You Know Me. I Ride a Bike” campaign is to personalize cyclists - so that motorists see a person, not an object, riding on the road. We want to remind motorists that the bicycle in front of them carries a person that could be their child’s teacher, local optometrist, or a mother of two.
The stars of the project are ordinary Thunder Bay cyclists who you may see on the streets and highways of Thunder Bay. These cyclists want to share their story to help remind motorists that they are people with families, and come from all walks of life. The following posters can be found in Transit shelters throughout the City and on the back of several Transit busses.
Husband, father, commuter. “Born to be Mild”
Growing up in a single parent family with five other siblings meant that you either walked, or biked, or took the bus if you wanted to get anywhere. And that sort of stuck with me throughout my life.
I was 30 before I even bought my first car. It didn’t make sense to own a vehicle when I lived in Toronto because it was simpler to take the streetcar or subway to get back and forth to work. The same held true when I moved back to Thunder Bay. For over a dozen years I’ve been taking the bus in the winters or cruising up and down Memorial Avenue on my bike during the rest of the year.
I’m easy to spot; I used to ride “Big Red” a coaster bike with these huge handle bar that I rode it into the ground but my current ride is a Marin city bike which also makes me sit upright when I’m pedalling so I look like Miss Gulch from the Wizard of Oz.
Keep an eye out for me and I look forward to sharing the road with you.
I have been commuting by bike since my early 20’s. Now, as a mother of two and a Public Health Nurse at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, I use every opportunity to role model the importance of being active and using our bicycle instead of our vehicle when we need to go places.
I feel compelled to share my passion for cycling with my girls. As they reached a safe age for them to travel in a bike trailer and wear a helmet, we used every opportunity to ride our bikes; to go to the library; get our groceries; go to daycare and/or school and then to work with me! This year, we are super excited to be riding our brand new double trail-a-bike to school and work.
I am extremely passionate about helping people live a balanced, healthy life. I believe that cycling is something that all of us can enjoy and I am committed to helping people find that place in themselves where they can return to a time in their lives when cycling was enjoyable, relaxing, invigorating ~ freedom!
The bicycle is a huge part of our lives.
Beyond allowing us to stay fit and healthy, riding bikes enriches our lives in so many ways: we commute to work, we tour the rural roads, we enjoy the social aspect of group rides, and we race for entertainment.
Most importantly, cycling has become our favourite activity to do with our two young daughters. The bicycle brings us so much joy and enriches our lives in so many ways, that we have to spread the love by coaching youth and encouraging our friends to join us on the road.
My name is Judy Kusznier and I am 68 years old. In March 2006, I was diagnosed with cancer. I've been an avid athlete most of my life.
I took up biking because I couldn't run any longer due to the cancer.
I like to ride with my grandson who has been a big influence on my life and is a member of Thunder Bay Cycling Club. I ride almost every day. I love that members of the Cycling Club have honoured me with the name of Gram.
I’m not your stereotypical cyclist. In fact, I love a good steak, drive a black 4X4, and spend my Sunday afternoons watching NASCAR. I’m just an average guy who grew up here in Thunder Bay.
Riding is my passion, and judging by my arsenal of bikes some might say my addiction. I ride because it helps me to stay in shape, clears my mind, keeps my blood sugar in check and lets me test my limits. I ride everywhere I can –city streets, paved highways and rural gravel roads. Its simplicity puts me in touch with Thunder Bay’s unique natural environment and reminds me of my roots.
Cycling has also given me the opportunity to be on the organizing committee of the annual Caribou Charity Ride. I am extremely proud to be part of a community team that promotes healthy lifestyles while raising awareness and funds for the Northern Cancer Centre. Through that event I have met some exceptional individuals and made irreplaceable friendships.
Sometimes, it’s not just about the bike.
I've been using my bike as my main mode of transportation since I was a first-year university student. At the time, it was a choice made out of financial necessity. Over the past six years, however, I've grown to love my bike and the freedom it gives me.
On my bike, I can go wherever my legs will take me. I don't have to shell out thousands of dollars a year on insurance and repairs, and I don't rely on fossil fuel to get around. I can fix a lot of minor problems on my bike by myself, or I can get someone else to repair the issue for less than the cost of a tank of gas.
Not only that, but it's a great form of exercise. I've never been much of an athlete, and I don't seek out hills or long rides, but daily commutes and errands really add up. Biking keeps me in shape - you don't build calf muscles pushing on a gas pedal. Plus, the scenery is way better on a bike than a treadmill.
I've ridden bikes in cities all over North America, and Thunder Bay is a great place to be a cyclist. It's pretty darn flat, the roads are wide and there are some great trails in town. I love that bicycle lanes and bike parking are becoming more commonplace here, too, making it easier for cyclists like myself to get on the road safely.
Share the Road Safely!