Courtney Cameron, Violin

Photo by Michael Byrne

Photo by Michael Byrne

Ride distance one-way to the Royal Theatre: 6.7 kilometres

Frequency: Most daytime rehearsals, some afternoon concerts. Every once in a while I like to take a break and ride the bus.

Anything notable/interesting about your route?

I bike down Harbour Road where the shipyard is. I enjoy seeing the various vessels pulled up out of the water, getting worked on and cleaned up. In the early stages, the boats have barnacle-encrusted hulls; they are steadily improved day-by-day as I ride by. It’s quite an operation!

Courtney bikes by the shipyard

What do you enjoy about biking to work?

Before I moved to Victoria I was freelancing – the various orchestras with which I played were spread out in all directions; sometimes I would leave the house at 4 PM just to make a 7 PM rehearsal, eating dinner in the car, returning to bed around 1AM. Some weeks I put 1,600 kilometres on the car. When I got the position here in Victoria, I was excited for the short commute without fossil fuel. On my 25-minute bike ride to the Royal I get to breathe the fresh air and travel down the Lochside/Galloping Goose, which is most pleasant.

Any challenges? 

My first season here I wiped out on the first day that it rained. I hadn’t prepared myself for the slick streets, and I went up a tiny curb with my wheels kind of running parallel to it – my road bike’s thin tires just flew out to the side. It felt like slow motion as I went down, and I remember deciding that I wanted to land on my palms to protect my fingers; I didn’t want to hit my knees (because I’m a runner), and definitely not my side, because my violin might get bumped. I was bruised and shaken up, but I fell up onto the sidewalk not into traffic, so I was ok (my violin was ok too!!). I no longer approach curbs that way.

Do you bike for recreation as well, or just for transportation?

I do get on my bike occasionally for fun leisure rides. My husband and I sometimes bike to the Moss Street market. Before I moved here I did a couple sprint-distance triathlons, although biking is my weakest portion of that race!

Anything else you want to say on the topic?

I enjoy the camaraderie of the VS bikers. We get to shake off the rain together, or talk about the pretty fog that was coming off the water as we rode in. Sometimes after rehearsal we initially ride down the same stretch of street on our way home, catching the nice sunset and chatting about the music we just played.

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