It comes as no surprise that many staff at Environmental Defence ride a bike to work. Some do it when the weather is warmer. Others cycle year round, snow and all.

With Bike to Work month in full swing in Ottawa and about to get underway in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, I asked my colleagues why they choose to bike to work and why they love it.


Bike to work Keith Brooks

Keith Brooks, Programs Director (Toronto)

Cycling is the fastest and most enjoyable way to get around. You don’t get stuck in traffic, and you don’t need to hunt and pay for parking. And the physical exercise is good for you to boot!


Bike to work - Sarah Buchanan

Sarah Buchanan, Clean Economy Program Manager (Toronto)

I like cycling to work because:

  • It’s hands-down the quickest way to get to work. It takes me twice as long on public transit, and about the same amount of time as in a car, (actually when you factor in circling around trying to find parking, cycling is faster).
  • It’s a great stress-reliever. Riding gets my brain out of work and onto the road in front of me, and leaves me feeling way more relaxed by the time I get home.
  • It’s far cheaper than any other way to get around.
  • I feel good when I ride. My health is better, I get outside more, and it’s just more fun.
  • Cycling doesn’t add to carbon pollution. We produce more carbon emissions getting around than any other source – it feels good knowing I’m riding on my own steam, and not burning fossil fuels.
  • It’s flexible – I can make stops along the way to get groceries, and take new routes whenever I want to.


Bike to work - Patrick DeRochie

Patrick DeRochie, Climate & Energy Program Manager (Toronto)

If I don’t ride my bike to work, my day is already off to a bad start. Biking allows me to exercise first thing in the morning, gets me to the office much faster than public transit, gets me to offsite meetings quickly during the work day, and gives me the flexibility to make multiple stops after work… and it’s free!


Bike to Work Tim Gray

Tim Gray, Executive Director (Toronto)

These are four of the reasons I choose to bike to work:

  • It’s faster than public transit or walking
  • Good exercise
  • I get to bike through Trinity Bellwoods Park
  • I can get to meetings around town really quickly


Bike to work - Barbara Hayes

Barbara Hayes, Communications Manager (Ottawa)

I have the best commute – over the Ottawa River, with spectacular views every way I look – so I find my ride home often becomes an adventure.  After a busy day, it’s revitalizing to add an extra 30 minutes of cycling along the river, through the woods, or around public gardens. Also, cycling is the best way to get past the Canada Geese that nest along the river and get very protective in the spring!


Rachel Kitchen, Communications Manager (Toronto)

I love biking to work because it wakes me up in the morning and gives me the mental space to unwind at the end of the day.  It helps that it also saves me money on public transit, keeps me fit and is by far the quickest way to get around the city!


Bike to work - Muhannad Malas

Muhannad Malas, Program Manager, Toxics (Toronto)

Cycling to me is more than just a mode of transportation. It’s a way for me to get to know the city, and enjoy some of my downtime. Also, nothing beats the freedom that comes with hopping on your bike, knowing that you will be where you need to be in mere minutes, regardless of the time of day.


Bike to Work - Dale Marshall

Dale Marshall, National Program Manager (Ottawa)

I bike to work and elsewhere because it is the method that allows me the greatest freedom and the most fun. Biking provides me the convenience of a car, but without the inconvenience of being stuck in traffic, finding parking, or paying to fill up a gas tank. And I don’t ever have to feel guilty about the negative impact I have on my community or on the planet.

But really, the best reason to bike is because it’s fun…to propel myself forward using my own energy, to experience the outside, to breathe fresh air, to feel the wind on my face and body…


Bike to Work - Ashley Wallis

Ashley Wallis, Program Manager, Water (Toronto)

I bike to work because I enjoy the time outdoors to get my brain in gear before the day really starts. It’s also the fastest way for me to get door-to-door, and gives me an extra 30-40 minutes of exercise each day. PLUS my partner and I both work in the same area, so biking to work together gives us a few extra minutes together in the morning.