Meet Sean!

How long have you been riding a bike?

All my life really. It’s always been my mode of transportation in the city, I quite enjoy the ride.

What do you enjoy most about cycling?

I’m never really rushed, and you can look around and enjoy things. Also helps with staying fit and going places that cars can’t go.

What have you learned about cycling that you wish you knew when you started?

Higher quality bikes make riding much more enjoyable and they also last longer, whereas lower quality bikes break more often and have a more sluggish ride. Higher end ones are mostly well-built and make for a very nice ride.

What are the biggest changes you have seen in the last 10 years when it comes to cycling in Ottawa?

Bike accessibility, hands down. The city is much more bike friendly now. You can travel mostly anywhere now thanks to bike paths and bike lanes! I’ve even seen bike traffic lights.

What is your favorite cycling memory?

Too many, but it would have to be when I was biking home with a new LEGO purchase and the handle on bag broke… the box went flying into my front wheel. I was on my new bike so when I was falling, I force rolled onto my back and held the bike in the air above me, so it didn’t break. Bike saved, body may have taken a beating – lol.

What was/is your biggest challenge?  And how did you overcome it?

Finding the right bike. There are plenty out there, but the right bike matters a lot if you plan on more long distance commuting. The one I use now has been a trusty partner over many, many years and it’s a custom build I’ve done myself.  It’s been rebuilt several times by myself and is one of the best riding bikes I’ve ever owned. It makes me want to get out and ride more on it. It took going through 20 or so bikes to find the right one for me. But success! Also, a selection never hurts… Why have one bike when you can have 5 or 10…

Do you have a favorite path or route to bike in Ottawa?

The parkway’s always a fun place, the path beside the canal. There’s a lot to look at and they also close the parkway on Sunday mornings, opening it up for bikes and people to walk on.

What inspires you?

On a bike you can go anywhere, enjoy the things around you, meet new, interesting people. I feel good knowing that I’m one less person polluting the planet. Something else I do for the planet is on garbage day I take my bike or bike and trailer out and I collect all the bikes thrown out in my area to rerebuild them and send them back out into the community to be loved again. Reuse and ReCycle. I wish I could cover more area but I’m only one guy and his bike. You would be surprised at just how many kilometers I bike just doing this!

Sean has worked with IKEA Ottawa for over 13 years. Always as a Recovery Co-worker, in our ‘green’ department circular hub, refurbishing returned products and displays, offering a second life to products and materials to use in As-Is or for donation, and saving what we can with repacking, among much more. Sean is known by his fellow co-workers as the one who can fix anything to give it a second or even third life. More so, he’s known as the Bike Guru. He has his own bike maintenance business on the side, having fixed many of our co-workers’ bikes as well. Sean is a great asset to IKEA Ottawa and for ambitions of a more circular lifestyle.