Most things I do, I do by bicycle. But while my interest in cycling has been at the forefront of my lifestyle, it has only weaved into the background of my work life. As an instructor in sustainability, my students have beared witness to me arriving to class, bicycle helmet in hand, papers and laptop tucked into panniers. As a consultant on green building projects, I have been the lone cyclist at construction site meetings, receiving equal parts fanfare and teasing. It is a pure delight to be shifting the focus of my work towards expressing and promoting that which I enjoy doing most.
Since moving to the west coast in 2006, I have taken a cycletour vacation every year. So far, I have pedaled the San Juan and Gulf Islands, Kettle Valley Rail, from Vancouver to Seattle, and the Oregon Coast. I am always looking for new and interesting destinations.
Last year, I discovered a cycling pastime that has completely captured my heart: hardcourt bike polo. Any given week, you can find me, mallet in hand, chasing a ball on my bike. The thrill of the game and the camaraderie of the East Van Bike Polo club has made me feel akin to a dog fetching a ball: happy and driven to play non-stop. I have traveled to a few North American tournaments including an all women's tournament, Ladies Army, hosted in Lexington Kentucky this year.
The hard and frequent use of a polo bike necessitates constant improvements and repair, which has led me to discover the world of bike mechanics. When not playing polo, I can be found at local community bike shops, like Our Community Bikes! This winter, I will be further testing my skills by working on an old bike restoration.
My most recent bike adventure involved moving houses! I invited friends to come to a Bike Move where we stacked my belongings onto a half dozen bike trailers and traveled Vancouver's bike routes to my new home, earning stares and applause along the way.
When not riding or fixing bikes, I am getting to know my new roommates and learning my way around a homestead complete with vegetable gardening, canning, beer brewing, and raising chickens.