#irideYEG – Lisa Shamchuk

Lisa_S_TCard

What is your commute like?

12 km. I’m pretty lucky, my commute is mostly flat, quiet, residential roads, and sometimes a small part of a multi use path. And I’ll admit I cross the Yellowhead riding on the sidewalk because riding on 97 Street scares me!

What are some of your favourite things about Edmonton?

The people are friendly and there’s always a lot to see and do, no matter what the season. There’s no shortage of ways to get involved and stay active. And I love the vast, blue, Alberta sky.

How long have you been cycling? What got you started?

I rode a lot as a kid “around the block” and as a teenager with friends before I got a car. As a kid, I remember my family used to have a tandem bike too, and my parents would put my sister in a basket on the front and me in a seat on the back and we’d all ride “around the block” together.

Last summer, I got a great new bike and used to ride a 20 km loop in the River Valley for fun when I lived downtown.

A couple months ago I moved back to the north side, and specifically bought a house in a neighbourhood that would make commuting by bike convenient. And I love it! I don’t get angry sitting in rush hour traffic, I don’t have to pay for parking and and I don’t have to work my day around a bus schedule. Plus it’s improving my health and fitness. Bike riding freedom is awesome!

What do you like about biking in Edmonton?

It’s a good way to save money and the environment, and also to stay healthy. The north LRT multi-use trail is great (if only they’d finish paving it!).

What’s your favourite place to ride for fun?

The River Valley paved trails, or around Lake Beaumaris on the north side. Edmonton is so beautiful!

How safe do you feel on your commute?

I feel quite safe, as mostly I stick to quiet residential roads. I’ve only been commuting by bike for a couple months so I’m not confident enough yet to tackle cycling in heavy traffic.

What challenges do you face as a cyclist in Edmonton?

The condition of some roads is horrible – potholes and ruts and gravel, oh my! Plus, sometimes I feel that drivers [don’t know] how to handle a cyclist on the road.

What would you like to see for bike infrastructure in Edmonton?

Anything that will improve safety for cyclists. This includes educating both drivers and cyclists, and I think the City has a pretty good start on that but they need to find ways to reach everyone, as opposed to just preaching to the choir.

What are your thoughts on winter biking?

I’m new to the whole bike commuting lifestyle, but so far I love it so much that I’m seriously thinking about winter biking. It’s quite daunting though and I haven’t quite figured it all out. I think after a summer/fall of bike commuting though I’ll be ready to ride through the snow and ice.

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