Is it easy and fun to ride a bike to EP Scarlett?
Yes! Just ask Ms. Maxwell, Mr. Bamford and Mr. Housley. These teachers have been commuting to their jobs at the school for years. We asked them what motivates them, how they pick their routes and for their advice.
By sharing, the teachers hope to inspire students to give it a try.
Why do you choose to commute by bike?
Bamford: I started biking to school back in my first year of teaching. I just like the fresh spring and the feeling of getting in a bit of a work out early in the morning on the way to school. It invigorates me and gets me going for the rest of the day.
Maxwell: I started biking to school because I love being on my bike. It’s a half hour in the morning and after school that I can use to listen to music or my books. Also gives me a chance to get outside and some exercise at the same time. And, I don’t have to fight traffic.
Housley: I have always had bikes and road them to school as a kid and to work. I can’t remember a time I didn’t have a bike to commute on. I always liked the freedom a bike provided.
Tell us about your route:
Housley: I have about five different routes – between 15 and 25 km – depends on weather, how I am feeling, and what bike I have.
Bamford: Right now, I have several different ways to travel. It’s a bit of a long ride, depending on the route, about 20 km one way. I do enjoy one particular route that takes me down into the Weaselhead area and around the reservoir. This way has lots of hills and takes longer, but way more serene and I usually get a chance to see some wildlife. Some of my other routes end up shorter, with less hills, are faster, but not as picturesque and usually involve some road riding.
Maxwell: My route changes depending on the day, weather, wind, and if I can convince someone to ride with me. It ranges anywhere from 14-17 km one way, depending on which way I go around the reservoir. Varying it up keeps it interesting and I can get more exercise if I want.
What obstacles do you encounter on your ride or what would improve your commute:
Bamford: My obstacles are always the same no matter which route I take. I am a weather princess. I don’t enjoy the cold rides or if it is windy. I hate the wind, unless I’m riding with it. I enjoy the bike lanes. I wish we had more connected to the pathway systems. It can get a bit dangerous when you have to navigate some of the roadways.
Maxwell: Having an easier way across Crowchild would make the commute easier, though there are options. Some days I just choose the fastest route. Biking through the dog park is always an adventure, as some pets are more well behaved than others.
Housley: In the winter, the tricky part is the slushy bits that have turned to ice, so bumpy ice. What would improve it? Being 20 years younger.
Why should students try riding?
Maxwell: Getting places actually takes a lot less time than you think. Especially those with shorter than a 5k commute, and not having to worry about parking is nice. You don’t need to work very hard on a bike to start to move faster.
Bamford: Save gas. Get active. It’s good for the soul, the body and the environment.
Housley: It gives you independence
Top 3 bike riding tips:
Housley: Just do it. Find different routes to keep it interesting. Pick a few days a week to ride to start
Bamford: Get a good bike. Get a good playlist or podcast to listen to. Give it a good attempt, don’t quit after the second ride because your bum is sore. It goes away and you will start to feel a lot better!
Maxwell: Helmets are cool, especially on a bike. Buy a good lock. It’s great exercise.