Hello folks, my name’s Hanna and I’m a part of the marketing team here at Vanhawks!
I’ll be honest – the thought of urban cycling makes me anxious. My first thought isn’t how great the experience is, but how scary it is. I fear having to ride through tight spaces between cars and/or streetcars; I’m afraid of being doored, or people jumping out of nowhere. All of this thrown into the urban hustle is overwhelming. Though I once believed my fears to be irrational, I’ve come to find that these nerves are shared by a lot of commuters new to cycling!
Naturally, I’m crazy excited for my own Valour to help conquer these urban aversions, but until that exciting day (July 15), where am I to practice my cycling skills? I applaud Toronto for opening up so many bike lanes in recent years, but my friend Calvin Leong has shown me somewhere better – a plethora of paths and trails, stretching for kilometres, taking you uptown, downtown, and everywhere else in between.
We chatted with Calvin, a Toronto native and cycle commuter, for some inspiration and tips.
Hey Calvin, tell me about yourself!
Hi! I’m a Queen’s Commerce grad and am currently enjoying a career in Digital Marketing and eCommerce. I’m a music junkie – I enjoy almost every genre, a basketball fanatic, and I love being outdoors.
When did you start cycling?
I started cycling when I was around 15 or 16. At the time, biking was my primary means of transportation.
How often do you cycle?
I try to bike at least every other day in the summer. Sometimes alone, sometimes with friends – I enjoy being outside after a long day indoors at work, and exploring new places. The photos I’m sharing are recent rides I took with my friend Dominique, who’s actually biking across Canada right now, starting in BC.
Can you share with us your favourite cycling route?
My favourite trail in the city is the Don River Trail. I usually start the trail from the hydro fields by Cummer Valley (pictured above) where you can really dart down a winding hill towards the Don River. I usually cut through to the Betty Sutherland Trail and continue towards Wilket Creek and Sunnybrook Park. Then, I’m a little torn. One way of the Lower Don Trail takes you to Tommy Thompson Park/Leslie Spits, but if you continue east, you end up at the Beaches! I definitely recommend exploring the Don River Trail for a weekend bike ride, it’s a great way to explore the greener side of Toronto, and as a route to get yourself up or downtown.
Where’s your favourite view of the city you like to visit via bicycle?
The view from the old train tracks at Evergreen Brickworks (pictured below).
Any thoughts on the Valour?
Biking has such a rich history and to date, it’s been all about the engineering. There hasn’t been a solid solution that truly integrates technology into the bike itself. We’ve seen add-ons and accessories that can add value to your biking experience, but the Valour actually changes the way one rides a bike. With built in safety features, cyclists are able to become more confident and riding with less fear really enhances your experience, allowing for more enjoyment. I’m excited to see the lasting impact that the Valour and Vanhawks will have on the cycling industry and for commuters around the world.
Follow Calvin on Instagram for more great shots.