30 min – A mix of residential, main streets and industrial. Smooth asphalt to roads that look like a war zone.
What are some of your favourite things about Edmonton?
I live in an older community so I love the elm-lined streets.
I used to go for a 14 km ride through the river valley to Gold Bar Park and back to the office at lunch.
Just being able to explore the city.
How long have you been cycling? What got you started?
I have been riding for 20 years and year round for the past four.
I started riding as a kid in junior high. We would ride around MacKinnon Ravine and Glenora at lunch time. I had a group of four other friends who all lived within a few blocks of me.
Growing up I never really had an opportunity to own a vehicle. None of my friends had one. We all took the bus or rode. I grew up near an industrial area where we mainly looked for “extreme” things to ride off of or jump.
What do you like about biking in Edmonton?
Just getting out and clearing your mind. No phone, no emails. I also like that I can go just about anywhere. If I hit a red light I can take a new path.
I do end up taking a lot of photos and posting them on Instagram because riding down a back street is no different than a front street.
What’s your favourite place to ride for fun?
Mt Ashland in Oregon was amazing. I spent the day helping the locals clear the fire roads after the snow melt. My payment was chicken, corn, and biscuits and a shuttle ride to the top of the mountain.
What challenges do you face as a cyclist in Edmonton?
I have been threatened by drivers while on the street who think I should be on the side walk. I have had drivers overtake me to make a right hand turn within 50 feet of the turn.
I have had to deal with many delivery vehicles illegally parked on the wrong side of the road in bike lanes.
Crossing the north side of St Albert Trail just past the Yellowhead is probably the worst intersection I have come across in 20 years. When the light changes the two turning lanes rush to beat me leaving the cars in the back unaware that I am making it across an 6 or 8 lane road.
What would you like to see for bike infrastructure in Edmonton?
Keep the message the same. I see a lot of mixed situations that don’t seem to have complete follow through from one community to another.
If a bike lane is wide enough for a car (e.g. 127th street) then allow bikes to travel in both directions and forget the sharrows north.
Design bike lanes and intersections like people are trying to commute. I see a lot more intersections removing crossings in favour of turning lanes.
How safe do you feel on your commute?
Transitioning from a commute downtown to more or less the edge of Edmonton left me a bit nervous but it seems that people drive better and are less rushed outside of the city core.
I am a bit nervous about riding on the streets covered in potholes with semi trucks and work vehicles.
What are your thoughts on winter biking?
I usually do, but I’m not sure if I will be able to manage this year as I don’t think snow removal is a priority out west.
The challenge for me is always over heating.
I loose weight in the winter from riding, its a lot of work and can be mentally fatiguing navigating all the ice, ruts, bumps, power and extension cords hanging at neck level.
I do like winter riding, though, because sometimes, with a bit of snow, the ride is almost silent. Kind of like skiing in fresh powder.