Riyoko's April's Sister Cyclist is Laura Roberts. Laura and her family bike everywhere, and their cycling ways have grown through different stages of their children's growth. Cycling as a family may not seem doable, but as Laura and her family know, it absolutely is. For many people it may just be where to start? I know I wouldn't know where to begin. I had too many questions for Laura to fit into one blog post, so I split the interview into two parts. In Part I, we get to know Laura through own her experiences in cycling. And later this month, in Part II, we'll talk more about her experiences cycling as a family and as a cargo bike family. Here we go!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a mom of two little kids and work part-time as an environmental engineer for an oil & gas company. My family is bike crazy, and we spend a lot of time cycling together. For me, the best days include a family bike adventure exploring the city, playground hopping, and good coffee or craft beer!
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
I love exploring the city by bike because you get such a good sense of the topography, and you see so much more than you can in a car. I love seeing the seasons change - sometimes overnight! Many of the bike paths in Calgary traverse such beautiful areas along the rivers. On a bike, you have the opportunity to chat with people as you travel along. I really enjoy that interaction. When I take the kids on the cargo bike, one of my favourite parts is that every person you pass smiles at you. You can't help but feel happy!
Of the places you have traveled to, which one(s) have you like travelling to/ through the most, and why?
Before we had kids, my husband and I did a cycling trip through Barvaria. It was great to see the countryside by bicycle. That area of Germany is really well set up with secondary roads and bike paths to get you in between towns. Lots of great beer to get you through your ride as well!
Tell us a little about your bike.
For commuting to work and errands around town, I ride a purple Glitter Dreams Surly Straggler with a Brooks saddle that gets better with age! I probably spent the most time riding one of our two cargo bikes around with my kids though. We have a Surly Big Dummy long tail with seats on the back, and a Metrofiets dutch-style box bike. We always get a lot of attention and questions from other families.
What started you biking?
I didn't do a lot of biking as a kid because I grew up on a big hill! My husband and I met in University, and he has always been into cycling, especially mountain biking. I've slowly worked into it over the years. I really enjoy all kinds of cycling now, especially mountain biking with my girlfriends in Bragg Creek! The Trek Dirt Series and Calgary Spin Sisters really helped me progress my mountain biking skills. I also did a couple cyclocross races last fall (Dark Knight - yippee!!), and I'm planning to do some more this year with the Bicisport Club. Cyclocross has a great atmosphere plus the races are short!
Do you have a favorite riyoko piece?
My favourite riyoko piece are the Bamboo Fleece Tights. They are amazing for commuting on cold mornings or under dresses for running around on the weekends with my kids.
Tell us a trick or tip you have for cycling and/ or traveling.
I try to keep all of my gear in one place so I can grab it quickly and go! We recently converted a big part of our garage to a mud room and gear storage, so this helps a lot.
What is your philosophy?
Do it now! Life is too short to wait for the perfect weather, the perfect age or perfect time!