Herb - An (out of the) ordinary cyclist

A mock interview of Herb vanden Dool, by Herb vanden Dool.

We hope to make these cyclist profiles a major feature of this website!



  • What do you use your bike for?

    I ride everywhere - to work and back; to get groceries or to hang out with friends. Only the coldest, most miserable days of winter stop me. I just bought a trailer so I can carry larger items on the back as well.

  • How long have you cycled?

    I've been cycling since I was a kid on a farm in Alberta. I once biked the 20 kilometres to Lethbridge from our farm and figured it was a big undertaking. Now it seems easy, but perhaps it wasn't considering the regular hurricane force winds on the prairies.

  • How often do your ride?

    I end up riding whenever I'm not working from home. It gets me out of my neighbourhood which is getting a bit dreary.

  • Who inspired you to start bike commuting?

    I started commuting in Edmonton, but when I moved to Toronto I got involved with the Community Bicycle Network thanks to Ron Kuipers and Todd Parsons. They got me into cycling activism which eventually led to this website!

  • Any advice for new riders?
  • Cycling in Shanghai

    Shanghai still has a very high level of commuting by bicycle even though car ownership is booming. There are just so many people there that even at the current rate of car purchases that in 20 years car usage will still be in the minority.

    There has been a concerted effort on the part of politicians to get rid of all the bicycles from major roads in order to make room for cars. Recently the city has begun to reverse that decision at least in some ways. They've begun to build bike lanes while at the same as trying to make intersections more efficient for car flow. This may seem reasonable enough as a win-win solution, but from experience in the west you can't really encourage car driving in the city as well as cycling and walking. The current building of bike lanes seems to be a way to marginalize cyclists by shoving them from their current position across the roadway. This is quite the opposite use of bike lanes in western countries where a bike lane is welcomed as breather space by cyclists.

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