Jason Duic spends over two hours a day commuting to work almost every day.
June is Bike Month – an opportunity to showcase the many benefits of bicycling.
For several Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) employees, pedaling on two wheels is a regular activity.
Jason Duic, a Civil Structural Engineer in Training (EIT), rides his bike to work everyday to the construction site office, as long as weather permits, from the beginning of March to the end of October.
“It’s about 30 kilometres/18.6 miles one way from my home in Belle River,” says Duic. “With no wind, it takes about 75 minutes one way. With the wind at my back, it’s about one hour. My work commute takes me down the entire length of Sandwich Street, Riverside Drive, and Old Tecumseh Road. It’s a beautiful and scenic ride.”
Duic says commuting to work is a time-saver as he can get in his daily exercise and not have to worry about it at the end of his workday. But even when Duic is not working, he loves to ride casually.
“I prefer to take county roads,” says Duic. “I love the scenery and the peace and tranquility that Essex County provides.
WDBA’s Vice President of Human Resources Ann Herten is also an avid bicyclist. With the advent of the pandemic stay-at-home orders, she set up her road bike on a trainer. Having a stationary bicycle in her basement doesn’t prevent Ann from seeing the world.
“I ride my bike before my work meetings begin and I cover some distance globally using an app,” says Herten. “Last week I cycled through the North of France. This week, I have been riding in New York’s Central Park.”
With the easing of the pandemic restrictions, Herten now rides her bike to complete a few errands or goes longer distances in the countryside near her home with her husband Markus.
Herten has been a member of several road cycling clubs and rides while on vacations abroad. Just recently, she completed a special ride to raise money for youth mental health charities.
Health experts suggest riding a bike helps you achieve a healthier weight, improves cardiovascular and respiratory health as well as your mental health.
“I tore my ACL knee ligament a few years ago and the ortho-surgeon told me to get a bike to strengthen my legs,” says Herten.
“Our bodies are machines and it’s important we take good care of them, both physically and mentally,” adds Duic. “For me, it’s therapeutic to disconnect from technology and experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature with the road in front of me.”
WDBA’s Procurement Administrative Assistant Nicole Anderson says cycling helps clear her mind while staying active.
Ann Herten riding in Queenstown, New Zealand.
“Bike riding can be a great pastime, a way to spend time with friends and explore new parks and trails,” adds Anderson.
Health is not the only benefit of cycling.
The activity is good for the environment as it helps reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It also helps reduce the amount of money spent on gas and vehicle maintenance.
“Parking the car and cycling is one of the most impactful things we can do to reduce our carbon footprints,” says Duic. “I am glad that I can help reduce energy consumption and preserve the environment.”
As a result of public consultation and feedback and engagement with inspection agencies on both sides of the border, the Gordie Howe International Bridge will include a dedicated multi-use path that will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists and connect users to local road networks.
The integration of a multi-use path is not just environmentally responsible. It will also benefit communities by supporting active transportation and a healthy lifestyle and also opens new business opportunities in cycle tourism.
Duic, Herten and Anderson all say it’s another reason to join the cycling movement.
Nicole Anderson likes to ride in her Windsor neighbourhood.