Published June 28, 2016 17:29
Congratulations to Alex Mok on winning the Bike to Work Day prize! We hope you enjoy your Norco Indie 4 commuter bicycle on your many cycling adventures. Thank you for participating in the Markham/Richmond Hill Bike to Work Day Ride on May 30. We interviewed Alex to get his thoughts on what it's like to commute between downtown Toronto and his home in Richmond Hill. Here's what he had to say:
Tell us a bit about you:
I'm currently a Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Toronto, where I just finished my 2nd year and 7th year overall. I've lived downtown during school terms and uptown in Richmond Hill during the summer. Living in both locations has been certainly interesting in terms of commuting. Getting downtown from Richmond Hill during the school term solely by public transit was not a fun experience and I quickly realized how much time I could save by biking parts of my daily commute. I believe that if you live in the GTA, you can get anywhere by bike (weather permitting).
When did you start cycling?
I started cycling regularly this past year when I moved back downtown and couldn't help but notice how great the cycling community is in Toronto. I bought the bike I’m currently using from a friend in 2013 for $50. Ever since then, I've learned how to fix, repair, and maintain my bike. These skills have helped me ensure a smooth ride, during my longer commutes uptown and as well for my participation in Richmond Hill's Bike to Work Day.
Why do you ride a bike to school?
A big reason why I bike to work is that as a student on a limited budget, it's key for me to save time during hectic commute hours (vs. walking) and money (vs. TTC, YRT/Viva).
What would you say is the best part or benefit of your commute?
The best part of my commute is that I can try different routes every day. It's great exercise as well and gives me a reason to wake up every morning because for me, nothing beats having fresh air to your morning commute.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try bike commuting?
Start out slow! Try biking greater and greater distances incrementally to new places with friends or family first before commuting to work with your bike. A good way to look for bike routes and plan your route is by using this website: http://www.ridethecity.com/toronto
Don't be discouraged by the distance! There's tons of options to combine multiple modes of transit. For example, this summer I'll be biking to Union Station, taking the GO Bus north to the closest station to work, and biking the remaining distance. Doing so allows me to enjoy my morning commute and read on the bus ride to work without worrying about traffic, gas, etc. And once you feel ready enough to commute to work, I'd definitely recommend biking in gym clothes at first, especially in the heat. I leave a change of clothes at my workplace for the following day.
Thanks Alex for signing up for Bike to Work Day. Congratulations again, and happy trails!