Cathy Pasion is Manager, Whole Systems Infrastructure and has cycle commuted in Montreal, New York and Vancouver.
How did you get into biking to work?
I think it started in a big way when I did my undergrad degree in Montreal where biking was clearly the easiest and most efficient way for me to get to and from class. I'm now a mom, and biking has stuck with me as my main form of transport to and from work. I recently moved from New York to Vancouver and biking still remains, hands down, the most efficient and enjoyable form of transportation to get to UBC. From where I live, its faster than the express buses. It gets my exercise in for the day. And by mixing my bike commutes with bus rides or car shares on super rainy days, I'm not sinking my money into a high carbon footprint car.
What’s the most important tip you would you give to someone who is new to bike commuting?
Transportation is cultural; it takes getting used to for even seasoned cyclists in new cities. If you're brand new to this, start with nice days (no rain) and protected bike paths. When you're more confident get onto the roads that prioritise bikes - here cars know they have to look out for you. And with the number of cyclists growing in the city, you will often have a critical mass of cyclists that helps you feel safe. And when it rains, it's always good to have proper rain gear to stay warm. Good tread on your tires will help with slippery spots on the road. Its also good to get a Compass card and test out putting your bike on the bus. This is a nice way to cut down your bike commute when you need to.
What fuels you to bike?
My commitment to living a low carbon life. My need for balance and exercise. Plus, it's a nice way to save a buck or two.
Multiple Choice: Which one of these is the most challenging for you? A) the hill B) the rain C) the sweat or D) the distance? E) other____
B) The rain. I have access to a shower where I work so the sweat (prompted by the hill) is not a problem.
How do you conquer this challenge?
Proper rain gear and a place to hang this gear so it dries throughout the day. Putting on wet rain gear to bike home in at the end of the day is the worst.
Join your colleagues on the road and register for Bike to Work (& School) Week now.