Profiles of Cyclists in our Community: Andrew Alford, Bike-It Guelph
Posted July 21, 2014
Andrew Alford, sole proprietor of Bike-It Guelph delivery service
What made you think of starting a business like this?
I wanted to work outdoors and find a business that could promote a Bike Friendly Guelph to show that a successful business could be run using a bicycle. I am also adding another voice to active transportation and active infrastructure. I also want to support local farms as I spent some time working on them. I love living in Guelph and have found that I can live here and support local farmers all at the same time.
What kind of work do you do?
I offer a zero-emissions, convenient and affordable delivery service within the wonderful City of Guelph. Currently, I do regular deliveries for St Ignatius CSA, and Guelph Solar. I can deliver up to 300 pounds in goods. I’ve been moving a lot of furniture (i.e. mattresses, bookshelves and armchairs) lately so I hope to get involved with moving University of Guelph students in the fall.
What do you enjoy about riding a bike?
I’m able to say “hi” to people and stop and engage with friends. If I’m on my trailer, I can have a quick conversation. There is a different level of intimacy when you’re on a bicycle. It’s empowering to be able to propel myself through the city. Compared to driving, I feel more enlivened.
Where do you go on the bike?
For business, I bike within Guelph. I’ve been on almost every road in Guelph. When riding for recreation, I go to Guelph Lake. I’ve also taken some cycle tours out in Eastern Canada.
What is the hardest thing about using the bike for transportation?
Safety. Being on various busy roads especially during rush hour. It can be dangerous, especially without a bike lane.
Did you have any worries about starting your own business?
I was worried that there wouldn’t be interest from the public, but now I see that there is!
How many bikes do you own ? Which one are you most proud of?
I have 2 bikes. One is an early 90’s Trek that I bought for $200, upgraded it, then went bike touring on it. My delivery bike is a mountain bike for utilitarian purposes.
How would you respond to people who feel a car is just safer?
It’s safer for the individual but not for society as a whole. More danger to pedestrians for example. There are also a lot of car related deaths.
What needs to happen in Canada to make the culture, and eventually the roads, more bike friendly?
Support from municipality and various tiers of government for bicycle infrastructure. But really, it comes down to individuals to make a decision to ride a bike.
What is the best part of your commute?
I like Gordon/Woolwich/Norfolk streets because I enjoy seeing things along the way. I also enjoy riding on the Royal River Trail.
What is the worst part of your commute?
Edinburgh Road is pretty gnarly from Paisley to Water Street where I travel regularly.
What infrastructure change would make your commute better?
Segregated bike lanes!
What bit of advice would you like to share with new bike commuters?
Cycling is a blast!
Where can people contact you if they would like to use your services?