Name / Occupation / Age
Brandon Z / Statistical Consultant / 34
What do you use your bike for?
How about what do I *not* use my bike for?
Hmmmm… nothing really. Okay, I don’t use my bike when moving houses. I have stuff. A lot of it.
How often do you ride?
Every day. 100-150 km per week.
How long have you been commuting by bicycle and what made you decide to start?
I’ve been commuting for 10 years. It has always been about convenience. Nothing is more convenient than a bike in the city. If you have kids it’s another story.
What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle?
I am done trying to convince people. Too frustrating. I present facts. Bikes are healthier, better for the environment, and sexy. Just facts.
When did you start commuting in winter and why?
Same time I started commuting by bike… bikes do not loose the convenience factor in the winter.
What are the biggest challenges for winter bikers in Toronto?
In no particular order:
-Shrinking share of the road
-Icebergs on side streets (in colder winter spells)
-Finding the perfect glove
-Thinking of a non-offensive way of answering “Did you ride your bicycle today?”
-Snowballs from soccer moms hiding behind their Volvo wagons
What reaction do you get from co-workers?
Oh, I am a superhero to these people, with superhuman powers.
What’s the best thing about commuting by bicycle in winter?
Motorists are chill. (â€œChillâ€ as in: I better slow down before I wreck my new Lexus.)
Can you give a brief description of your route and traffic conditions?
I bike everywhere from Wilson south and Dufferin to Sherborne. I most frequent the side streets just north of Eglinton from Dufferin to Bayview, Bayview south of Lawrence, cutting through Mt. Pleasant Cemetery to Yonge, south to College over to Bathurst. Coming from Chicago, Toronto is hilly — north of Dupont. It took me 2 years to find that perfect gear ratio for my single speed.
Traffic conditions? That’s really a question for a motorist.
Where are your favourite places or streets to bike in Toronto? Least favourite? Why?
Most fun stretch of road is going south on bike on Russell Hill from St. Clair to Dupont (I let’r rip).
Least fave: Another frustrated Dilbert moment always happens when I am biking under the 401 anywhere in T.O., especially with my 3-year old on the back. The word anathema comes to mind.
What could the City do to make winter biking better?
Yeah, like they’d listen. Don’t they have enough difficulties with painting lines? I find it better use of my time, thinking of ways how we cyclists can make winter biking better.
What’s your favourite piece of winter cycling clothing?
My new swanky jacket.
Any bike gadget/gear winter cyclists should not go out without?
Fenders, front and rear lights, gloves, and warm socks with boots (or warm shoes), wind deflectors (or sunglasses)… and a flask of your favorite single malt scotch.
Favourite winter bike stories?
I white washed a middle school kid yesterday after missing me with a snowball. Her mom had to pull me off…
Photos by Leehe Lev