Announcing the Bike to Work Day Contest Winners

Published June 29, 2017 13:32

More than 3,000 people registered in the Bike Month contest for a chance to win a MEC Midtown Bicycle and a $300 VIA Rail Voucher.

We selected three lucky winners! Read more about them below. Congrats Craig, Joseph and Kim, and thanks to everyone who entered and helped us celebrate Bike Month this year! 

Craig Hermanson,  Hamilton

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Gavin Hermanson, Rachel Johnson (Smart Commute Hamilton), Craig Hermanson (Contest Winner), Peter Topovalic (Smart Commute Hamilton), Dave (MEC Staff)

Tell us a bit about you and the area you live in

I’m a graphic designer / web developer and have lived in Hamilton and the Kirkendall neighbourhood for the past 21 years. It’s a great area for cycling because we have the Charlton, Herkimer, and Dundurn bike lanes for commuting around the city. For recreation we’re also next door to the multi-use Chedoke and Brantford rail trails and friendly roads for a quick exit out of the city for a country ride.

How often do you bike to work and why?

I’ve been working from a home office for most of the past 20 years so I usually commute just down the hall! I’m big fan of cycling though, so I’ve participated in Bike to Work Day almost every year in Hamilton. I’ve also used my bike to cycle to meetings and run errands. In fact, for the past four months I’ve been trying life without car ownership — relying instead on bike and car-sharing along with the occasional weekend rental and it’s working out pretty well.

How did you celebrate Bike Month this year?

Just this past weekend my daughter, her friend and I participated in the June group ride
organized by Hamilton Glow Riders. We went a couple of times last year too and it’s a great way to promote cycling — I think it reminds people who don’t cycle much of the fun they used to have on a bike. I also mountain and road bike with friends, and I’m more than half-way through my first #30daysofbiking. I’ve been out every day on a bike since June 11th, although I’ve had to wait out a few thunderstorms, I expect to ride 1,200km over 30 days.

Where are you most excited to use your MEC Midtown Bicycle and VIA Rail voucher?

I think the MEC bike will be great for rail trail rides up the escarpment, or if I add a pannier to the bike, it will help with my grocery trips. But it’s more exciting to think of taking a bike with me on a VIA trip to Ottawa or Montreal for some cycling tourism. Cycling is a great way to explore a place since you can see far more than by walking but it is all still on a human scale.

Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking about taking more trips on
their bike?

Absolutely do it! Fair warning though: if you haven’t been on your bike much in years, don’t
expect to pick up where you left off as a kid. Maybe start off by cycling a recreation trail which is usually flatter and smoother than the road. Find the joy in biking again so that you repeat until it becomes habit and then you’ll be looking for excuses to cycle. You start noticing bike routes everywhere and helmets in shopping carts at the grocery store, and you’ll be thinking, ‘I want to do that too.’

Joseph Milner, Toronto

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Joan Milway (Cycle Toronto), Jen McGowan (Smart Commute Toronto), Joeanne Comisso (VIA Rail Canada), Joseph Milner (Contest Winner), Tre (MEC Staff), Keagan Gartz (Cycle Toronto) photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us a bit about you and the area you live in

I am a professor at the Rotman School of Management at the U of T. I study business and health care operations as a means to improve service and quality. I have lived in Toronto for the past 15 years. Before that, I lived in the States where I was born. I love being here in Canada. I, along with my wife and children, live in North Toronto, in a quiet neighborhood off of Yonge Street (looking forward to Bike Lanes on Yonge). I enjoy taking bike trips with them in the neighborhood and to destinations such as the Evergreen Brick Works and the city’s many outdoor pools.

How often do you bike to work and why?

I bike to work most days from March to the beginning of December. I have a locker at Hart House and can change there before going to my office. Biking is convenient, taking the same time for me at rush hour as a car or the TTC, with much lower variance (sorry, that’s the operations professor in me coming out). More importantly, my carbon footprint from biking is much lower, while I arrive fresh and energized. And if class does not go well, I always have the ride home to look forward to.

How did you celebrate Bike Month this year?

I have gone on multiple bike rides with my kids. My wife and I also went on one of our favourite group rides, Art Spin. It is a bicycle-led tour of art in Toronto held once a month in the summer. This June the tour took about 150 bikers from High Park to the Humber Bay with stops for dramatic, choral, and film presentations, before ending for refreshments on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Where are you most excited to use your MEC Midtown Bicycle and VIA Rail voucher?

We are thinking about taking a trip to Quebec City. We have never been there. The biking along the Le Corridor du Littoral and the other bike paths in the region look fantastic. And, of course, the VIA Rail voucher will help get us there.

Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking about taking more
trips on their bike?

Toronto is a wonderful place to bike, with many bike paths and lanes. My recommendation is to be courteous and follow the rules of the road. Stop at the stop signs and signal where you are going. Take the driving lane when you feel the need, and move to right when it is safe and prudent. With so many more bikers on the streets these days, motorists are paying much more attention than even a few years ago. Go out and enjoy the city.

Kim Molnar, Brampton

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Kim Molnar, Brampton winner at North York MEC Store, photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us a bit about you and the area you live in

I’ve always enjoyed biking. I use my bicycle as a mode of transportation to get back and forth to work because of the health and environmental benefits it provides. I also rent bicycles while on holidays as I find that this is the perfect way to discover new places. Brampton has many beautiful bike paths to use and I have often used them to commute to work over the years. I like biking around town just for the pleasure of doing so.

How often do you bike to work and why?

In the past, I was using my bicycle daily for work as I did not have much access to a car. However, since I have moved further away from my workplace and the weather has been somewhat unpredictable this year, I have been aiming to ride my bike weekly instead. I do it because I love cycling and find it is a great stress reliever after working. I also find that I am often faster on a bike than taking the car because I can bypass the traffic on the bicycle.

How did you celebrate Bike Month this year?

To celebrate Bike Month this year I tried to ride my bike more often around town, even to do some of my grocery shopping. I took my bike to work and have participated in some community event rides, including the Bike the Creek event and a seminar on bike repair.

Where are you most excited to use your MEC Midtown Bicycle and VIA Rail voucher? 

I am most excited to use my MEC Midtown Bicycle out and about around town. As I mentioned, I love cycling to downtown Brampton and using the bike trails. The VIA Rail voucher may take us to Quebec City towards the end of the summer.

Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking about taking more trips on their bike?

Just do it! Get a good bike with a lock, helmet and bike rack for the car so you can get out and bike anywhere to enjoy the great weather. I love the convenience of my Thule bike rack and suggest everyone get a good one to be able to drive somewhere nice and bike around there.

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About Bike Month

Bike Month 2017 kicks off on Monday, May 29 and continues until the end of June with hundreds of interesting and fun things to do, including rides, guided bike tours, festivals, art shows, film screenings, and so much more.

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Coming May 1, take the Bike Month pledge!

Pledge to ride to school or work on Bike to Work Day, Monday May 27 and/or throughout June for a chance to win one of three trips for two courtesy of VIA Rail (to Quebec City, Montreal or Ottawa) or a weekend getaway courtesy of Welcome Cyclists. Contest closes June 18.

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