Quadra Bikes Helen & Mike Redican

Rider Profiles

Helen & Mike Redican


Where do you ride your bike?
I ride it when I go to Campbell River, when I go to meetings, my Bridge game. I can't think of where I don't ride my bike. Maybe when I go to Courtenay. With my "bob" (a bike trailer) I've had on my chainsaw, eavestrough, and a Thanksgiving turkey.

How often do you ride?

We've tried to set a limit on how much we use the car – set a maximum kilometer per year, so we try to ride our bikes as much as we can. I still ride to work in Campbell River. One of the biggest things is the choices we make about what we do in our life, so instead of constantly feeling we have to go to new places we make the choice to enjoy the things around here where we can get to by bike.

Advice you have for someone starting out?

Start small, and gradually increase where you go from there. Having an electric bike on an island is a wonderful way to go. It can allow you to go farther and it's easier.

Starting small is really good. The biggest barrier to biking, as transportation, is habit of mind, so do it in small amounts. Chunk it into small steps, do a little now, and see how it works.

What is some essential gear for cyclists?

Good raingear: rain jackets, pants, and booties. Also, really good panniers because everything stays dry.

Having gear that keeps you dry is great, especially when you're commuting to work. You want a safety vest, a reflector, and a front light.

How do you stay safe on the road?

I stay with Helen Lee! She goes slow, she's cautious, she carries dog spray. Stay off the sidewalks, watch the intersections, take the lane when you're in town, especially when at an intersection. I find drivers are generally very good in this area.

It's a matter of confidence, and confidence comes with practice and experience. So maybe start by riding with somebody else to develop that confidence.

Why do you ride a bike?

When you get on a bike at my age you feel like a kid again. It's as if you've been transported back to your childhood. You feel the wind, the sun and the rain. You just feel great. It helps you keep fit, you meet all kinds of people. You see the world around you and you don't miss the things you do in a car. There is also a sense of empowerment that you can actually get around without a car.

There is an obvious environmental reason why, it's important that we try to emit as few greenhouse gases as we can. Another is money, biking saves you and society money. Also, physical well being is another big one.

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