May 27 - June 30



Published April 25, 2017 13:40

For our second blog post, we went to Hamilton and met Lily Romano. Lily greeted us in sunny Hamilton with her Sobi bicycle, ready to roll. We chatted about the bike lanes she likes to take, where she goes, and what she loves about using Hamilton’s bike share system.

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Lily Romano using the Charlton Ave bike lanes on a Sobi bike. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I'm a Hamiltonian, born in St. Joseph's Hospital, I'm a 'let's pretend' artist working in acrylics, alcohol inks and mixed media. I love to cook and feed my friends, read, sew and keep fit. Being recently retired allows me the time to do all of the above.

When and why did you start cycling?

I began cycling as a 8 year old, when my parents bought me my first CCM bicycle. I've never stopped riding and as a young parent in Lincolnshire, England, taught my own children Matthew & Kate to ride. We'd ride to the North Sea and go for a swim. Well, my kids would swim, I'd watch. The North Sea is very cold.

What style of bike do you ride?

I have owned several bikes throughout my life and now I'm part of Hamilton's bike share program. I ride a Sobi, a nickname for the social bikes! The advantages are too many to list here but my favourite things are: I do not need to store it, maintain it, clean it, or worry about someone stealing it. I learned about Sobi from Steps To Health, a wellness group here in town.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride a Sobi to do my shopping, go to the library, or meet up with a friend. I love being outside and there is always a Sobi in a rack somewhere near where I live.

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I love to ride down to the Bay Front Park with friends, grab some fish and chips from Hutches and sit at the water’s edge to eat and talk. Thene ride home, feeling full and content.

What would you say is the greatest benefit you get from cycling?

For me the greatest benefit from biking is keeping fit in the fresh air. Going to the gym is fine and I do that twice a week, but nothing beats feeling your whole body come alive outside, especially when the sun is shining.

What's your most essential piece of cycling gear?

A proper helmet, I won't go without one.

How will you be celebrating Bike Month this year?

I plan to join others at Pier 8 for evening rides.

What is your favourite thing about riding a bike in Hamilton?

I love riding to Victoria Park as I often run into (not literally) other cyclists I know. Sometimes college kids are slacklining and I'll join them. Watching the sunset or staying to watch the baseball game and then riding home is a great evening out.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try bike commuting?

If you haven't tried commuting on a bike, I urge you to. I can assure you, it doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 55, you'll get there faster, strengthen your body, sleep better, save money, look younger and save the planet!

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Coming May 1, take the Bike Month pledge!

Pledge to ride to school or work on Bike to Work Day, Monday May 27 and/or throughout June for a chance to win one of three trips for two courtesy of VIA Rail (to Quebec City, Montreal or Ottawa) or a weekend getaway courtesy of Welcome Cyclists. Contest closes June 18.