Traveler Spotlight

Eric Schadler

Occupation: Sewer Engineering Program Manager

How do you usually get to work? How long have you been using this travel option?

I bike 90% of the time.  There are several reasons why I do this.   The main reason I bike is because I really like to bike.  Another reason is I don’t like sitting in a car.  I really like being outdoors.  When I bike in sometimes, I get to see things you wouldn’t see driving such as deer, coyotes, birds and other wildlife.

I also save time as when I bike to work, then I don’t have to spend an hour at the gym, my commute becomes my cardio gym time.

Also, every time I bike in, it’s like getting $5 of free gas since I’m not driving, which adds up during the year.  Not to mention the commute incentive also helps.

How long have you been using this commute option? 

24 years now.  Though probably longer as, even when I was in college, I would bike to my summer jobs when I could.

How far is your commute? How long does it take you each way?

8 miles.  25-35 minutes depending on which route I take and how much I feel like pushing it.

What is your favorite thing about your commute? 

Being outdoors.  It energizes me to bike in the morning and is a nice way to wind down after work.

What is a challenge of your commute? How have you overcome that challenge?

I used to just bike in good weather but when I moved down to Marine Park and saw how many people were biking in the rain, that gave me the nudge to bike to work in almost all weather conditions.  I know have all the right gear for biking in the rain.  I even have studded snow tires for my mountain bike if I want to bike in the snow.

Tell us a favorite or interesting commute story.

Over 5 years ago I was biking into work, its about 530 in the morning and I see this person walking down burnt bridge creek trail, dressed up looking like Harley Quinn aka Jokers girlfriend, flamboyant pink.  It was just weird seeing someone dressed like that at 530 in the morning.  Well about a month ago I was hospitalized and in a room right next to me was that person.  She got a kick that I remembered her from 5 years ago and actually liked it when I said she looked like Harley Quinn.

How does your commute help you save time and/or money?

Even though it takes about 5-10 minutes longer to bike in than drive, it actually saves me time because then I don’t have to spend an hour at the gym at the end of the day.

It definitely saves gas money, approximately $5 a day.  There is also way less wear and tear on the car, so maintenance costs are less and the lifespan of the car is drastically increased as I only average about 5000 miles per year on my vehicle.

How does your employer help accommodate your commute option?

The City of Vancouver has a beginning increasing their commute incentives.  When I started it was $10, then $25, now its $75 per month with a $5 per day incentive, not to mention various prizes you can win.  That is just plain awesome incentive.  It’s also nice that we have shower facilities at the city.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to use a climate-friendly commute option?

Just do it.  Don’t wait until you feel like it.  Start small, maybe with a goal of 1-2x per week when the weather is good.  If you like it, gradually move up to more