“The more you commute, the better you’ll feel”: New cycle commuter Laurier Langlois

Saskatoon Cycles is all about encouraging more people to ride their bikes — for fun, for fitness, and for commuting. We think it’s a great way to experience the city, meet new people, and do your part to protect the planet.

Meet Laurier Langlois. He’s 52 and works as manager of corporate services for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. Laurier started riding to his office in downtown Saskatoon in late spring 2020…just after the pandemic began and the weather started to improve.

Q: What was your inspiration or impetus to start?

There were two reasons: First, two of my co-workers had been cycle commuting to work occasionally and elevated my curiosity to the point that I should try it. The second reason was that with the pandemic resulting in the shutdown of sports, I needed to do something else for physical fitness.  

Q: What do you like best about riding to and from your work?

Saskatoon is a beautiful city. I am fortunate that my commute follows the Meewasin river valley trail to and from downtown where I work. It’s a peaceful, scenic and mentally relaxing commute every single time I cycle. I do like to challenge my ride times as well so it results in a great workout especially at the end of the work day.

Q: What have you found most challenging about riding to work?

The most challenging thing is getting organized in the morning before I leave and making sure I have everything to get through the day, including packing dress clothes so they aren’t wrinkled when I get to work.

Q: Do you cycle commute regardless of the weather? Did you ride through the winter?

I would say I am more of a fair-weather cyclist but I do not cycle every day. I do have meetings out of the office so cycling doesn’t always work. If the weather is good in the morning I will cycle even if the forecast isn’t great later on that day. I do not winter cycle commute but use a spin bike in the winter to help with fitness. 

How far do you ride? How long does it take?

My commute is 5.5 km and it takes me about 15 minutes. 

Q: Have you purchased any special gear or clothing that has made for a better cycle commuting experience?

I bought some padded cycling shorts for a more comfortable ride. I added a better bell to my bike which is great to notify pedestrians that I am approaching, an upgraded bike lock, and I also added a cellphone bike mount for my phone which I use to track my ride times ( free app) and listen to music.

Q: Any particularly memorable episodes/incidents/sightings from your rides to and from work?

I have seen a variety of wildlife including a coyote and deer drinking water from the river. The Canadian geese in the spring are very active and I have had to respect their right of way on the pathways. 

Q: What advice do you have for others contemplating cycle commuting? Any tips? Any lessons learned through trial and error/experience that you wished you’d know from the outset?

The best advice I would have is to have a helmet, a good functioning bike and to get the first commute out of the way. Pace yourself early on as the first few cycles will feel tiring in the beginning. The more you commute the better you will feel resulting in more energy during the day. Pack a big lunch and snacks to make up for additional calorie burn and make sure you have water especially if the commute is lengthy. 

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