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CCWC Shout-Out: Self Propeller Judy Parker

Judy’s inspiring story caught our eye last week and we decided to find out more about her active commute.

Q. Where do you work? What’s your role?

I work for Vancouver Coastal Health as a Recruitment Associate, supporting the internal hiring process.

Q. Why did you decide to participate in the Clean Commuter and Wellness Challenge?

I decided to participate because I am a little heavy and am trying to do something about it. I often find I’m really tired when I get home from work and don’t have the oomph to go to the gym. I love biking and wondered what it would be like to bike and get my workout in during my commute. I knew I wasn’t physically in shape to bike the whole way on a regular bike, so I rented myself an electric assist bike for a week to give me a little boost when I need it and absolutely loved it. When I dropped off the rental, I purchased the bike and have been trying to bike most days. 

Q. Tell us about your commute.

My commute is just shy of 13km each way.  I bike from the Metrotown area to the office, which is located near Vancouver General Hospital. The ride in is predominantly downhill, which is great so I don’t get sweaty. I try to stick to the bike paths as much as possible as I’m not a fan of biking on the road.  On the way home, it’s almost all uphill – thankfully at a gradual incline.  I really like to push myself each day as much as I can on the way home and only use the assist when needed.  I usually arrive home with my legs feeling like jelly and happy that I got some exercise in. The best part is that the commute takes only five minutes longer than taking transit and I get to enjoy fresh air and peace instead of being crammed in a hot bus and train.  

Q. Have you been commuting by bicycle for a while or is this new to you?

I started biking on May 30, so it’s only been a couple of weeks.  I’m proud of myself for making the decision to take the first step and try. My employer encourages biking and it’s great that I have a safe place to store my bike. 

Q. Do you have any advice for other individuals participating in the challenge, or keen to try a clean/active commute?​

Gosh, being a novice I’m not sure that I’ve got any advice. Maybe just try and take that first step. Every day just take a baby step. Anything is better than nothing. 

Oh, be careful! Even if you have the right of way, never assume that motorists will see you or respect your right of way.

Kudos to Judy for such an inspiring story. We love to hear about folks being motivated to try an active commute for the first time! We'd love to know how you are doing in the rain today Judy? :)