Company: SAP Canada
Occupation: Software Development Manager
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- What is an average day like? Can you take us through a bit of your routine?
My mornings are mainly focused on getting my 8 year old daughter ready for her day, making her breakfast and making sure she has everything she’ll need for her day. Then, it’s time for my short ride into work over the Burrard bridge and along the Seawall into our Yaletown office, where I spend my day focused on making sure our software projects meet our customers needs.
- How long have you been biking to work?
It’s been at least 15 years now.
- What made you want to start riding to work?
I didn’t need to start, I’ve always ridden to work, for me it was always the most convenient and desirable option. I’ve been lucky that work has never been more than a 25 K bike ride from home.
- What sticks out in your memory from those first few rides?
Riding into work gives me an opportunity to organize my thoughts for the day, it’s very relaxing for me and I really miss it when I use another form of transportation to commute.
- Has your perception of bike commuting changed since you started?
It seems to be getting more crowded along the main bike routes, especially over the Burrard bridge. I believe more people are riding to work these days.
- Did anything hold you back at the beginning?
No, but I do plan my routes to avoid major traffic corridors. Having a safe route to and from work is pretty essential.
- What do you need to pack on your commute? What clothing do you typically wear at work?
I’m lucky enough to have showers at the office. and I leave my shoes and towel at the office to lighten the load. My pannier is packed with casual office wear and some key toiletries like deodorant.
- If you forget one thing when you get to work from time to time (D’oh!) what is it?
It’s always my access badge. If I break from my normal routine from time to time, my badge ends up in a pocket at home.
- How did you handle all your gear before using your Classic Garment Pannier?
I had two pannier bags and rolled my clothes to fit inside. It was one compartment in each bag, it wasn’t ideal. I did have a bottle of tylenol pop open and somehow get crushed all over my clothes with that pannier. It was impossible to get all of the crushed Tylenol out of that bag.
- Has the Classic Garment Pannier changed the way you approach your bike commute?
Yes, things are more organized and compartmentalized, all of my stuff has it’s own spot. I also don’t hesitate to keep a spare rain jacket in the bag, which is something I didn’t have the room for before.
- Any gear packing tips?
Yes, use the outside pockets for spare tires, tools and an extra rain jacket. Just leave those items in there so you don’t have to think of packing them each day.
- How long is your commute?
I have two routes, a short one which is around 5 km and a longer one which is 10 km.
- What is the most funny/interesting thing you’ve seen while on your bike?
I’m drawing a blank right now, which is real shame because I’m sure there have been some funny moments…
- Have you had any close calls while cycling?
I’ve been pretty careful and lucky but I did receive the door prize while riding beside a parked car. The door was opened into me and knocked me off my bike. Luckily, I didn’t have any serious injuries.
- Is there anything that has made you want to give up commuting?
- What kind of a bike/s do you ride?
I have three. A Brodie Ronin for commuting, a Willier Zero Seven for the road and a Scott cross bike for off-road.
- What kind of a bike rack do you use?
I’m not sure but it’s pretty sleek. It may be an axiom one.
- How does your bike commute affect your productivity and mood at work?
It starts my day off on the right foot. For me, it’s like coffee, it wakes me up in the morning and if I miss my ride in the morning, I feel off for the day.
- Are people surprised when you tell them you bike to work?
No, at my office, we have a lot of people who ride into work, it’s not unusual. However, some of my younger employees may be a little surprised that their manager rides a bicycle to work.
- What is the best thing you’ve learned in your commuting experience that you would pass on to someone just starting out?
Having a safe route away from traffic is key. If you have to ride a little bit longer, it’s well worth it, as this should be a relaxing experience to start and end your day.
- Have you ever raced as a competitive cyclist?
Yes but that was some time ago. I competed in a number of Masters races in Quebec and Ontario with some success but I don’t pack a serious sprint, I was always trying for a breakway. Before that I did Triathlons. I’ve always enjoyed cycling.
- You are pretty tied into a weekly cycling group here in Vancouver. Can you tell us a little about the group and what you guys usually go out and ride?
Sure, almost every Saturday morning I’m out riding with a club organized by Musette Caffe. It’s a strong group of riders that loves to meet for a coffee and then ride over to the North Shore for some fast but social routes. It’s a really fun group.
- You also have a cycling apparel company in the works. Can you tell us a little about your new venture?
Yes, we’re preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign in October, to create a small line of cycling clothing focused on the commuter cyclist. It’s intended to support someone who rides into work and enjoys stopping off for a coffee or beer along the way. In other words, it won’t be spandex. You can check out our apparel at curbkit.com.
- What other hobbies, sports and activities do you enjoy?
Right now, I don’t have any time for anything else.
- I’m curious what is your favorite food?…and your favorite adult beverage?
Oh, it would have to be Risotto and whiskey is my favourite drink. An old fashioned and a big plate of Risotto is an ideal end to a winters day for me.