Biking is a great de-stressor for Quesnel pulp mill employee

Brian Mankowske is happy about his reduced carbon footprint

Brian Mankowske has been riding his bike six kilometres each way to work for the past seven years.

For the past seven years, Brian Mankowske has enjoyed biking to his job at Cariboo Pulp and Paper.

“Biking to work is a good transition time for me,” he said.

“I can begin focusing on the day ahead and on the way home it’s a good de-stressor. My cycling time is my only me time.”

His 6km route follows the Bryce Trail past the Arts and Recreation Centre where Brian often stops for a workout before carrying on to work. On the way to his home in Southhills, he commented the new underpass has been an excellent addition to the trail system.

“Crossing Highway 97 on a bike is taking your life in your hands,” he said.

“Bicycle safety is always a primary concern and unfortunately Quesnel is not a very bicycle-friendly town. Both motorists and cyclists need to follow the rules of the road.

“Cyclists need to respect the road, however, aggressive drivers can be very scary.

“Both sides need to exercise patience and courtesy on the road.”

Although he doesn’t cycle through the winter, Brian said he’s good to about -10 Celcius, depending on the road conditions.

When he first starting biking to work, Brian rode an electric bike. But when a fellow rider convinced him to return to a conventional leg-powered bike, he knew it was time.

“I was certainly physically capable and much more physically fit now,” he said.

Brian now rides a Brody commuter bike, which is a more utilitarian bike. One of the features he’s particular happy about is the internal hub, rather than a derailleur system.

“That translates into little or no maintenance,” he said with a smile.

“It has 11 speeds and is fairly high geared. Sacrificing a few speeds means it’s slightly more difficult going up hill.”

For Brian, he’s pleased riding his bike doesn’t exhaust any harmful emissions.

“Bicycling, versus cars, is a very small carbon footprint, right from the manufacturing to the riding.”

In the seven years, he’s had five encounters with bears and several other encounters with different wildlife, but it’s never been a serious problem.

Brian’s not alone in his cycling to work, he said seven or eight other employees regularly ride bicycles and a few more occasionally cycle to their job.

In the run up to Clean Air Day, June 6, Quesnel Climate Action Group, in partnership with Baker Creek Enhancement Society, City of Quesnel, Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable and the Observer, present just a few of the many people who chose alternate ways to move around the city.

If you have made this choice or know someone who has, contact 250-

992-5833 and let the community hear the story.

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