Why Bike Share?

I started volunteering around August of 2012, and I am now the ‘Operations Manager’ at GRPBS. My role usually varies within different tasks and I try to help wherever I can. I became involved in GRPBS because I am an avid cyclist and I wanted to make it more of a viable transportation method for everyone in the community! My hope for GRPBS is that it will make people less dependent on their cars, and show people why biking is easily the best method of transportation!

Heidelberg, Germany. I used their primitive bike share to get around the cobblestone streets, which was a lot of fun!

Heidelberg, Germany. I used their primitive bike share to get around the cobblestone streets, which was a lot of fun!

Here is a little more about myself, and why I think cycling is great:

Cycling is usually my sole means of transportation around Waterloo.  I do not drive at all.  When I need to get somewhere I walk, take public transit, carpool or bike (which is my favourite by far)!

Everyone always asks me why I choose to bike rather than drive, so here is my answer:

First of all, there are obvious economic benefits: no car insurance/payments.  Not to mention I shockingly have never used a gas pump in my life (other than pitching in for carpooling).  Next are the health benefits; without the exercise provided by cycling I would still easily weigh over 225lbs.  In addition to physical health, there is something to be said about mental/psychological health.  For example, the peace of mind you get from a calm ride is awesome.  Not the mention, the challenge and reward of conquering a hill is a great feeling!  Another health benefit relates to the community; the more I bike, the less greenhouse gas I emit.  Furthermore, no matter where I go, I can always find great parking options!  Additionally on the way to my destination, I always get a different view of my surroundings (as opposed to looking through a window).  And lastly, it is simply an enjoyable, fun feeling to ride a bike!

BN_getting_active_cycling_671px

Nonetheless, in order to further convince people and conquer their doubts, I often have to tackle the question, why not?

Most people think cycling is dangerous in the city.  But, if you are smart about it you will have no problems using back roads and bike lanes!  Next, some people slam cycling because it is slower than a car (which is obviously true).  But, if you factor in red lights and shortcuts/dirt paths, bikers can usually get anywhere they want pretty quickly.  Moreover, in order to adapt to the slower speeds of a bike I have become much better at managing my time, and hardly ever find myself in a rush.  Another disadvantage people mention is that they believe cycling is suited only for short trips.  Personally, I take this disadvantage as a fun challenge.  So, for the past few summers I have been doing an annual bike ride up to my cottage in Port Elgin.  It is roughly 175km away from Waterloo.  I am not in good shape.  Yet, me and my friends leave early, take back roads, go at our own pace, and have an awesome time travelling to our destination.

Written by: Mike Playford
Edited & Formatted by: Tara Catherine Busse
This entry was posted in About Us, Volunteers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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