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Tom Babin

Two Wheel Gear Ambassador Tom Babin

Location: Calgary, AB
Bike: Well-used, slightly rusty SE Tripel
Occupation: Content Creator
Started Commuting: 2002
Commute Distance (one way): 10 Kms

Youtube channel: @Shifter_Cycling
Tom's Cycling Blog: Shifter Blog


Meet Tom, a 2WG ambassador commuting in Calgary, AB since 2002. Tom's advice for new commuters, "Don't overthink it. Just start. You'll figure it out."

Is your city commuter-friendly?

Not yet, but getting closer.


Why did you decide to start commuting?

I got tired of sitting in traffic in my crappy minivan.


What is your most important piece of gear?

Other than my Two Wheel Gear bag, of course, I'd say my Blundstones: They are great three-season shoes that you can wear on the bike and in the office.


Two Wheel Gear Ambassador Tom Babin with the Alpha Pannier Backpack Smart


What is your favourite aspect of daily riding?

It's a bit of activity that's good for both my mental and physical health, I never get slowed by traffic, and I get to explore my city in a more visceral way than in a car.


What is the worst part of commuting?

My city needs more safe bike infrastructure.

What is the coolest thing you've ever seen while on your bike?

A fat-bike ride across frozen Great Slave Lake under the northern lights.


Do you have any commuting hacks to share?

Don't use clip-in pedals, flat pedals are just fine. You don't need carbon fibre. Three speeds works, seven is the most you'll need.


"The influence of bike racing has overcomplicated cycling these days, but you can still enjoy its simple pleasures.I highly recommend slow, relaxing city jaunts with friends that end with ice cream."


Have you ever been in an accident while riding? What happened?

No crashes with cars, thankfully. 


What is your stance on wearing a helmet? What are the laws like in your area?

I don't wear a helmet if my route has safe bike infrastructure, but I will wear one if I'm out for a road or mountain bike ride. There's no mandatory law here, which I'm grateful for. I'm an anti helmet fundamentalist: If you choose to wear one or not, you get any judgement from me.


If you could create any kind of gadget or gear for your bike, what would it be?

A device that affixes an Apple Air Tag to my bike securely while keeping it visible to discourage bike thieves.


Did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your ride?

Yes, I don't go to the office as often compared to before the pandemic happened.


Check out more from Tom on the Shifter Cycling Blog here!