Shareen Chin is UBC staff currently working on her Masters of Community and Regional Planning and on the board of directors at HUB. If it's sunny, she often adds kilometres onto her morning cycle commute.
How did you get into biking to work?
I wasn't much of a driver, and I loved the freedom of riding a bike. Plus, it's almost free because you don't pay for gas or parking. I also realized I was more energized after riding to work than taking the bus or driving. We are fortunate in Vancouver and it is a gift to be able to take advantage of our cycling infrastructure.
What’s the most important tip you would you give to someone who is new to bike commuting?
It is the best way to start your day! I choose to use the routes next to the beaches, so my ride is less of a 'commute' and more of a scenic daily ride. This can be you, too! I just go for a nice little bike ride, and then ta-da, I'm at UBC for work or school. On a more pratical level, a new cycling commuter should really take HUB Cycling's StreetWise cycling courses. While many of us may have grown up riding bikes, it helps our safety and self confidence to learn or brush up on skills for riding as commuters.
What fuels you to bike?
Coffee or tea! I always have a coffee mug holder attached to my handle bars. Drinking from the coffee mug is easier than a water bottle for me so I keep it on when I ride Gran Fondos or Century rides. It bemuses me to casually sip from my coffee cup while I pass people going up hills.
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____
E) Ice. Though Vancouver doesn't get this much, it is very terrifying to be riding in icy conditions.
How do you conquer this challenge?
This is a safety issue so I reluctantly won't ride when it's icy out. For me, it is not a motivational problem deciding whether to ride or not. I love riding, and I sign up for harder and harder rides to challenge myself. This year, I was one of 24 women (out of 240 riders) that rode 152 kilometres and 3100 metres of elevation gain in the Cypress-Whistler Gran Fondo.
Join your colleagues on the road and register for Bike to Work (& School) Week now.