Rosslander ride-a-bike-to-work commitment

They are the thrill-seekers, fitness-fanatics, ‘rubber heads’ and environmentalists who ride their bikes to work.

The Kootenays are full of them.  They are the thrill-seekers, fitness-fanatics, ‘rubber heads’ and environmentalists who ride their bikes to work. But, what is it that motivates these riders to leave their motors behind and make the challenging daily ride?

Isaac Saban is a regular cycle commuter and also President of the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society.   Like many Kootenay residents, Saban wanted to give up city living, keep his career on track and be able to bike to work.  Saban found it all in Rossland and Trail.

“I’ve been cycling to work for most of the ten years I’ve lived here,” said Saban. “For two summers I was part of a bike carpool, where each person took a turn at driving everyone else (and their bikes) back up the hill.”

From April (or whenever the snow goes) until mid-November (when it returns), Saban commutes on his mountain bike, living for the fresh air and freedom. He feels good that he’s not adding to the negative effects automobiles have on the environment.

But off-road bike riding, even on established trails, comes with its own set of challenges.  Recently, Saban met a moose on the trail. Although he stopped a couple of times to let it move on, each time he went around a bend, the moose was still there.

”I had to turn around and go back up the hill,” said Saban.

Saban rides rain or shine. It is just a “mindset” he says, having ridden in Vancouver, where rain was practically part of the daily routine.

“It’s never as bad outside as it looks,” said Saban. “It’s establishing a habit. Once you’re into it, it just happens.”

Saban is committed to riding safely. His helmet is always on. He says it’s part of the lifestyle, like wearing a seatbelt. He also has mountain bike shoes, soft-soled to better connect with the pedals. And, he always carries a spare bike tube. These are all things he recommends to anyone contemplating commuting by bike.

Saban is not alone. There are dedicated cyclists who ride both down and up the hill between Rossland and Trail, on-road and off-road. According to Teck Metals Trail Operations, their bike parking lot is full most of the spring, summer and fall. Riders come to work from all directions.

Saban’s family lifestyle is typical of the Kootenay region: work in a neighbouring town, take the kids to activities, summer trips to the lakes. So, his family also has a car and a truck, to go along with their fleet of six bikes.

“It kills me to drive,” said Saban, but he acknowledged that it is also a necessity for active families with children in rural communities like Rossland.

He also dreads the on-road portion of his ride, describing the Warfield to Trail  section as his “least favourite.”  When unaware drivers cut him off, he has been known to report them to police. Rural road riders don’t have marked bike lanes like their urban counter-parts and must share the roads with motorized vehicles.

However, the Kootenay’s growing network of trails and peaceful backroads provide a great opportunity for cycle commuting.  A sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to driving to work may be just a bike away.

For more on sustainable transportation initiatives in Rossland, visit the Rossland Sustainability Commission website at www.visionstoaction.ca, Kootenay Carshare Co-op at www.carsharecoop.ca or Kootenay Columbia Trails Society www.KCTS.ca.

Ann Damude

Communications for Rossland

Sustainability Commission

250-362-5617 or

adamude@telus.net

 

Just Posted

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Boating incident claims life on East Kootenay lake

A young man has died after a canoe overturned in Moyie Lake early Tuesday morning

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read