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Safe Cycling Thunder Bay

Cycling courses for all ages and abilities!

You Know Me. I Ride a Bike

 

Now in its second year, You Know Me, I Ride a Bike seeks to personalize cyclists in the eyes of motorists by featuring photos and stories of ordinary Thunder Bay cyclists. It reminds motorists that the cyclist in front of them is a person with a family and others that depend on them, not just another road obstacle to contend with. 

This year an additional six local cyclists were introduced. Featured cyclists vary greatly in age, profession and personal motivations to ride. Take some time to learn a little bit more about cyclists in the city of Thunder Bay. 


 

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Last year we decided that it was time for us to make better lifestyle choices in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of daily living.  Making our bikes our primary mode of transportation was one of those choices.  I am not super athletic.  I don’t have high tech equipment or Lycra shorts, but my bike has two wheels and gets me to where I need to go—to work and school, to meetings and friends’ places and back home again.

 Aside from the environmental aspect, riding a bike has other benefits.  As home owners, full-time employees and community volunteers, we lead busy lives and don’t have a lot of time to set aside for exercise.  Cycling allows us to keep in shape while getting to the many places we have to go in a day.  Not having to pay for gasoline every week doesn’t hurt either.

 Thunder Bay has a growing network of bike lanes and trails that take us to all kinds of interesting places, many of which we would never see if we were always in a vehicle.  With increasing cycling infrastructure such as bicycle parking and bike racks on buses, it’s getting easier to accomplish all of our everyday tasks using two wheels instead of four.  Just wish we didn’t live at the top of the hill!

For me, a bicycle is a vehicle for engaging with people and places with ease and depth.  Cycling meets my need for multi-functionality: I exercise my body, mind, power, purpose, truth, feelings, fragility.  I grow my awareness and ability to respond.  I listen.  I play.  I learn who I am becoming.   

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I am a 15-year-old, student at Westgate High School, in grade 10. I am part of the Westgate Cycling team and thoroughly enjoy riding. I started riding just for pleasure, but that grew into a passion. I love the challenge of the cross-country trails and am encouraged by the competition within my team and from those at other schools.  I participate in as many school-organized events and within the local cycling club.

I bike anywhere I can whether it be to work to school or friends’ houses – but my most favorite thing to do is ride the trails around the city.  It’s something my friends often join me in doing – it’s our way to keep active and physically fit.

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Some people ride their bikes as an environmental or health statement, but I just ride because it’s something I have enjoyed doing since I can remember. While I enjoy riding my bike to work every now and then, I also ride for exercise and for the joy of being in nature.  As an outdoor enthusiast, there’s an indescribable freedom I find while I’m out exploring the trails on my mountain bike. I bike to see the colours of fall, to feel the fresh breezes of spring, to see the sunlight streaming through the green leaves of summer or even to feel the bitter winds of winter during my family’s traditional Christmas Day bike ride.  Whether it’s winding through new terrain and hills, or comfortably enjoying a leisure ride on my cruiser bike to get ice cream with my friends, these rides are made all the more special by seeing the beauty of Thunder Bay as it truly is and being in the thick of it. And, of course, it’s a great Saturday morning when I ride to the farmer’s market and feel that warm morning sunshine on my face.  Biking brings me happiness and a sense of well-being.

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My wife Sally and I have 3 kids and 2 grand children. Many of you may know me as the guy who runs the Northwood Hockey League or from Little League baseball. I've been involved with those organizations for more than 20 years. A lot of kids have passed through since I got involved and this year for the first time, former players came back with kids of their own. 

I started biking again at 50. I was looking for a way to lose weight and it worked. I started out on an old mountain bike, broke that and bought another cheap one. Broke that one too and ended up moving up to something a little bit sturdier. That first summer I amazed myself when I made it the 12 km across town to Marina Park. Later that summer I rode to my parents place 53 km away. As the miles piled up the weight went down. My most memorable rides were the first two Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two day, two hundred km ride from Toronto to Niagra with 4000 entrants. I raised more than $10,000 for cancer research by simply doing something I was crazy about and lost 85 pounds to boot.

These days I ride to work and use one of my 3 bikes (Lisbeth, Eyowen and Molly) just to get around town. I rarely drive during a weekday, don't even have access to a car. During the winter months I either walk or use my studded tire winter bike. 

I was skeptical of the Active Transportation plan at first but as things get added every year it gets more and more comfortable to be on two wheels in Thunder Bay.  If you have a bike sitting in the garage or basement gathering rust and dust, pump up the tires and give it a try. You will feel better than you do today in no time. If you don't have one visit your local bike shop, they'll be happy to help you find a bike that suits you. 

Ride a bike, it's good for you and everything around you.

 

Eco Superior : Enviromental Programs The City of Thunder Bay : Superior By Nature Thunder Bay District Health Unit Active Transportation Thunder Bay Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board Thunder Bay Police Service Lakehead Public Schools