February's Sister Cyclist is Jamie Stuckless. I had the opportunity to meet Jamie a few times last summer during shows in Toronto, and Ottawa, and again when she was in Calgary for a Sustainable Mobility Summit last October. Jamie lives in Ottawa, and works for Share the Road Cycling Coalition. The Share the Road Coalition works to unites cycling organizations from across Ontario, and on behalf of municipalities to enhance their ability to make their communities more bicycle- friendly. Her work is hopeful, inspiring, necessary toward making our Canadian cities more complete.
Tell us a little about yourself
I currently live in downtown Ottawa, not too far from where I grew up. My husband Adam and I just got married at the beginning of September and I love having opportunities to introduce him as "my husband" (like right now)! I spend my personal time reading, drinking coffee, playing on my trivia and curling teams, and cycling around town to find new places to read and drink coffee. Professionally, I work for the Share the Road Cycling Coalition where I manage our youth education programs.
Tell is a little about your bike
This summer, I bought a new step-through framed bike that I have been eyeing for quite some time from Kunstadt Sports. They are a family-owned sports store based in Ottawa that my family has been buying sports equipment from for years and they work with Raleigh to create custom bikes for the shop. The bike I now own is named after the neighbourhood I live in - "The Glebe Cruiser". Having a step through frame has changed the way I ride, much more relaxed, and in skirts and heels more often. (Note: bike not pictured).
What started you biking?
Growing up, my family was always very active and we rode bikes regularly, however, I didn't really get hooked on cycling as a mode of transportation until university. One Easter long weekend, my friend and I decided to bike from Ottawa to Kingston, where we were attending Queen's University. We had borrowed mountain bikes, paper maps and had never really cycled more than 10km at once. We had also never heard of panniers and decided to carry our textbooks and clothing in backpacks. It was one of my most memorable and exciting experiences. After successfully completing that trip, I bought a commuter bike (and panniers!) and started cycling everywhere. I have made the Ottawa to Kingston trip a few more times since then, but I now mostly just bike around the city.
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
The network of pathways! Ottawa has beautiful off-street pathways along the river and canal that are shared by pedestrians and cyclists.They provide a very relaxing way to travel by bike.
What is your favourite riyoko piece?
I wear my black bamboo fleece Tights all the time. They make it possible to wear skirts and dresses in the winter and are great as an extra layer of warmth under jeans when skating on the canal.
Tell us a trick or tip you have for cycling
Since returning from a short trip to Copenhagen 2 years ago, I have totally changed the way I approach left turns at larger intersections. It always made me very nervous to pull out into the left turn lane and wait in the middle of an intersection for my turn as cars buzzed by. In Copenhagen, I saw cyclists with step-through frames who just hopped off their bikes - ever so stylishly - and crossed with traffic signals like pedestrians. I have been doing this ever since and love it.
What is your philosophy?
Nobody is perfect and that's okay. Admit & forgive mistakes when they happen, we all make them and can learn from them. This is not a philosophy I would say I have mastered yet, but I am trying!