Our Brand Ambassador Joe Meissner is, in his own words, a fan of “anything and everything on two wheels”. The Ontario-based super cyclist is a year-round commuter who regularly takes on the Canadian winters by bike.
“I’m an avid gravel adventurer, a mountain biker when I can be, I bikepack with our family of 5, I’m a cyclocross racer and I am always happy to jump into the local group road ride”, he says. It’s safe to say Joe is kind of a biking all-rounder, and has always had a passion for cycling.
“As a kid growing up, bikes were always a part of what we did which quickly led into a love for mountain biking throughout highschool. After highschool, like many, life happened and priorities changed so the bike was put on hold for a while. I picked it back up 10 years ago and have not slowed down at all, with each year spending more time on the bike than the year before.”
“Cycling gives me what I need to face the day ahead”
His reasons for loving biking are multi-faceted, and Joe explains he rides as much for his mental well-being as he does for fitness, a sense of adventure, and simply, “because I need to.”
“Because I ride for 40 minutes to and from work each day, it gives me the time to not only wind down (or ramp up) for my day at work, but gives me some serious contemplation (or cycling podcast) time. To be totally honest, cycling every day gives me just what I need to face the day ahead.
“It affords me the time and quiet to mentally prepare my to-do list for work and get started as soon as I sit down at my desk. Plus, it allows this introvert an opportunity to prepare for hours of teaching 50 over-caffeinated undergraduate students in a science lab. My bike commute creates space for quiet in my everyday routine. After a day of raucous university students, my ride home involves more quiet, more self reflection and the perfect opportunity to decompress. Thankfully when I arrive home I’m more present with my family and much happier.”
The One Piece of Gear Joe Couldn’t Live Without
As such an active rider, having the right gear is pretty crucial to Joe’s experience on the road. He has a lot of gear relating to convenience and comfort when out on the bike, but if Joe had to pick something he couldn’t live without – especially for winter riding – he’d choose fenders for commuting.
“There is nothing worse than riding in near freezing temperatures in the rain”, he says, “except if you are also being soaked from road spray coming off your tires at the same time!”
For the New Riders
Many new riders can be intimidated by hitting the road for the first time by bike. Joe’s advice for others thinking about getting into cycling is pretty simple. “Start slow, start easy, but just start. The first ride is always the hardest (well sometimes the second is if you are sore from going too hard and too far on the first one).
“Try to commute once a week at first or once a month. If your commute seems too far, try driving halfway and riding the second half. Although it is easy for me to say, don’t feel like you need any special equipment to get to work – all you need is a bike and a desire to start.”
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