June & July Sister Cyclist is Carla Hills. Carla is a steering committee member for Cyclepalooza, a ten day d.i.y bike festival that happens every summer in Calgary. It's in year five now, and we couldn't be happier. Carla started riding only in summer, was not excited about traffic, and now she rides everywhere, all year round! She even took her bike on a trip to Haida Gwaii last year...that is another story we'll talk to her about soon. Oh, and she also co-hosts Bike Town, a podcast dedicated to sharing stories about how cycling has transformed people's every day lives. Cheers, Carla, for just being plain awesome.
Tell us a little about yourself.
At the moment I'm a university student. I live downtown and have for the past decade. I've been riding a bike for four years or so, and it has become a huge part of my life.
Tell us a little about your bike.
My main ride whenever there is no ice is a Simcoe 7-speed step-thru with internal gearing. She’s an upright city bike which I use for commuting as well as errands and fun. She’s taken me on camping trips, midnight rides, canoeing, grocery shopping and antiquing. Quite versatile!
I also have a dedicated winter bike with studded tires, it’s nice to be able to switch off depending on the weather here.
What started you cycling?
I don’t have a drivers license, and I lived downtown for four years before I really thought of getting a bike. I was always able to walk around my neighbourhood, but it was a bit far to even get to the next neighbourhood. I remember riding as a teenager and being able to go wherever I wanted, but I had hated my last bike and had bad memories of handlebar brakes and gears. I must have seen Dutch style bikes online somewhere (coaster brakes, few gears) and realized I could have my childhood bike as an adult after all. So, I got a 3-speed Gazelle and I haven’t stopped since! I’m totally good with gears and handlebar brakes now too.
What do you like best about travelling in your city?
I love the pathways which connected so many green-spaces within the city. It’s great to be able to ride away from the roads and experience some nature at the same time.
What is your favourite riyoko piece (and what do you wear with it)?
I love the Refleks leg warmers for cooler wet days or snow. They work great over skinny pants to keep my shins from freezing and my pants from getting dirty before I arrive at school or work.
Tips/Tricks for Cycling?
Just get out there and do it!