Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bike Commuting from Sea to Sky: Breathtaking!

On the way to Whistler from Vancouver, I noted the well marked new bike lanes all the way up the Sea to Sky Highway. These were part of the improvements made in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Nice job, B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.


More Olympics Pics:
The beautiful lanes and beautiful weather made me sad I decided not to ride up. Advice from local cyclists consisted of significant dangers in winter time and potential Olympics-related roadblocks. Consequently, I decided to pass on cycling over the 90 mile journey. Too bad.

Nevertheless, it has all worked out pretty well. I compromised and brought my bike up via shuttle to tool around Whistler and get a feel for snow riding.

What's more is that when the shuttle driver made the usual stop at the Squamish Visitor Center to give everyone a break, I just happened to see a serious looking commuter bike out front.

When I inquired, I met Nadine. Turns out, she's a super hardcore commuter cyclist who has been biking to work at the Visitor Center everyday for 3 years: SNOW or shine. What a perfect person to profile here on PlanBike.

She knows she is super lucky because the breathtaking beauty and the great bike lanes make you want to commute by bike.

Nevertheless, I'm guessing all that changes in a blizzard. It takes some guts and grit to get to work in these parts on a snow day.

To handle those snow days, Nadine rides a Cannondale mountain bike with beefy tires and fenders. She says studded tires are overkill for the snow on her commute path.

Interesting was Nadine's reason for starting to commute by bike: she doesn't really have one. All she remembers about that time 3 years ago was that the lease was up on her car and she didn't get another one. Fantastic!

As for what keeps her going, all she said was "obsessive, obsessive, obsessive". Looking at these white-capped mountains, I'd have to agree.

4 comments:

  1. nice. I wonder how long is Nadine's commute?

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  2. Nice, I haven't been up the Sea-To-Sky in over a year, looking forward to seeing this.

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  3. I just found your blog after looking for tips on biking the Sea to Sky from Vancouver to Whistler! I hope to do it in August. Have you completed the entire trip yet?

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    1. I've ridden it twice now, but both times with the granfondo whistler, so the highway was closed to cars. There's one tricky part about 500 metres long going around a corner, but otherwise seems good enough. Might have to take a bit of caution descending hills as there are rumble strips on the shoulders, so I wouldn't want to be going too fast in case I had to avoid debris.

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