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Algonquin By the People For the People Monday, November 24, 2014
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Cycling notes from a few of Algonquin’s road warriors

Bikers in suits

On any given day at Algonquin, you can see a number of people rolling into work. A sizable number choose to commute by bicycle.

We chatted with a few of these double-wheeled road warriors: Rebecca Volk (Centre for Organizational Learning), Barbara Burkhard (Culinary Program), and Chris Rutishauser (Culinary Program).  They shared some biking tips as well as what got them started with their life-long love for biking.

What got you started with cycling?

I have been cycling since I was a kid. I didn’t learn to drive until I was a bit older, so I relied instead on my bike. Rebecca

Easter Bike

Image from

Having grown up on a bike in Switzerland it was our mode of transportation to get to School and to see friends. What got me started recently was a challenge by Mario to ride across Canada.

I really can not remember life before I biked. However I clearly remember getting my first bicycle. I was about 4 and it was a present from the Easter bunny. Now, how great is that? From that moment on, I cycled everywhere and I still do.

What are some of your favourite places to go biking?

rideau canal bike path

Rideau Canal Bike Path

I cycle to and from work every day and often to do my errands on the weekends or attend meetings in the evenings. Recreationally, I like to bike in the Gatineau Hills and along the Ottawa River Parkway bike paths.

My favorite route in Ottawa is the ride up to Pink Lake in the Gatineau, it is a very steep climb at the last two K, but  the rush you get on the way back down makes up it.

All the bike paths in Ottawa are nice. The same goes for the ones in Gatineau park. They all have lots of different things to see.

Do you participate for any biking events? How do you train for them?

In the past, I have participated in Triathlons  that required me to train a bit on the bike.  They are usually happen in the summer and fall.  My training involved logging more kilometers on a weekly basis  than was part of my regular routine – nothing formal at all.

There are several cycling fundraiser that come up in Ottawa. Depending on the distance you will cycle in the race, you should be able to 80% of that distance on a regular training runs.

CN Cycle for CHEO

The only event that I do is the CN tour for CHEO. I to not really train since I use my bike all the time.

What kind of bike do you right and what is some must-have gear or accessories?

I ride a junker bike in the winter that I buy every couple of years from the used bike place called One Less Car (  When it’s good weather, I ride a nicer one that is more of a touring bike.  I don’t have a lot of fancy biking gear but could not live without my panniers (to carry all my stuff!), and in the winter, warm, waterproof outerwear.

Aero bars

Aero bars

My bike is a road racing bike – the thinner the tires the less resistance you have to get speed. If you ride more on unpaved road, then a hybrid or a mountain bike would be better. However, they are to slow for long distance.

One piece of equipment that you need for long distance riding is an Aero bar to rest your arms on. Good padding – especially additional padding for you bicycle pants–  helps if you sit on the bike for 5 or 6 hours.  The required  gears depend on the terrain you plan to ride on and of course the strength of your leg muscles.  I personally like larger gears up hill and tend to use my muscles.

I have used a hybrid bike for about one year and I really like it. Before that, I had a touring bike. It was ok but I like the hybrid better. Gear: just fenders and a pannier.

Have any riding tips?

I don’t know a lot about bike tuning and so I rely on friends and bike shops to help.  My bike riding tip ? – don’t worry about the bells and whistles.  Get a bike that is comfortable and fits your budget, get out and enjoy!  We have a great network of bike paths and rural routes in and around Ottawa that are wonderful for biking!!

You have to tune up your bike once a year and keep the chain oiled and clean. Essential for a comfortable ride is the right set up for the bike. Height and position of saddle and handle bars should be set up by a specialist.

Always be visible in the day but also at night. Obey all the traffic laws. Respect the cars and the driver of the cars will respect you.

Are there any bike shops or services that you would recommend?

I like One Less Car for used bikes.  Two bike shops that I used a lot have recently closed (a worrying trend?) so I’m keen to find out where others take their bikes.

I received excellent service and help to prepare for my cross Canada bicycle trip from “Fresh Air Experience” which is located on Wellington Street in Westboro.

Bushtukah. I like the service and the quality selection of their products.

posted by Louisa Lambregts in Live and have Comments (9)


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  3. Trackback by max on November 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm” rel=”nofollow”>.…

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