Cycling Superstar #1 – David Zhu

Meet David, a “seasoned” cyclist!

As the warm weather has finally arrived, many people have dug their bikes out of storage, dusted off their helmets and taken their first bike rides of the year – but not David! 

David is an avid cyclist and employee of AMD, a Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill workplace. Cold temperatures, rain, or sweltering heat cannot put a damper on David’s enthusiasm for cycling, as he bikes to work throughout the year! He told Smart Commute MRH about what motivates him to cycle, how he prepares for his commute in each season, and what he’s looking forward to this spring.

On cycling to work during last summer’s Pan Am and Parapan Am Games:

"During the Games, I cycled to and from work every day for a 9-km round trip, avoiding major roads while doing so. I had already been cycling to work as my primary commute method before the Games, and the exercise and fresh air that came with cycling continued to be big reasons for me to keep cycling."

On adapting to changing weather during colder autumn months:

"When cycling, the biggest weather-related obstacle for me is wet and heavy precipitation. To protect against that, I like to wear a good waterproof jacket and an extra layer of pants."

On staying warm and dry while cycling in the winter:

"In the middle of winter, when it’s dry, snow and ice on the roads are usually not an issue for me; I find that there’s almost never so much that it would seriously impact cycling. As with any other outdoor activity, I simply bundle up more when it’s cold. Although I personally prefer travelling on local roads or park trails to avoid heavy car traffic during peak periods, park trails aren’t always maintained during winter, so watch out for muddiness when unpaved trails are wet."

On why he’s looking forward to this spring’s Bike to Work Day on May 30th

"I very much plan to participate in Bike to Work Day and promote cycling as a commuting option. Bike to Work Day was exhilarating last year; I had an awesome time cycling with all the other participants. The benefits provided, such as breakfast, prizes, and bike inspections, were also pretty great. Excellent work to those who made Bike to Work Day possible!”

So, what advice does David provide for those wishing to begin biking to work this spring? He suggests that beginner cyclists consult resources that are widely available, such as the Smart Commute Trip Tool, cycling maps and other resources, to find bike-friendly roads and park trails in local areas. He notes that there are often many different cycling paths available for a given destination, so he encourages cyclists to try out multiple possible paths to see which one works best for them.

AMD’s Markham office is also located a short distance from the dedicated bike lanes along Highway 7, which is advantageous for David and his coworkers who cycle to work. For those who are interested in but may be hesitant to try cycling along Highway 7, David offers these words of encouragement: "I find that the bike lanes are sufficiently wide enough to allow a comfortable riding experience for me; the cars that I ride alongside are always quite respectful of cyclists. It’s also useful to have good bike lights and/or to wear bright clothing so that drivers can more easily notice you."

Join David and other cyclists on May 30th for Smart Commute MRH’s 9th annual Bike to Work Day group ride!

Smart Commute Markham, Richmond Hill's Cycling Superstar series will feature tips and insights from different cyclists from Smart Commute workplaces throughout May and June.