New Beginnings: Meet Andrew, Our New GM
Meet the new General Manager!
Posing for #FashionFriday519 on my favourite ride, the Tern HSD
Hi, I’m Andrew!
Cycling has been a huge part of my life's journey. As a kid it gave me freedom, connections to friends and adventure. A bike carried me to my first job, and carried me to and from my first career. A bike brought me to my wife, and together we started a family. As parents we have many cherished milestones we use to mark the growth of our children. Teaching a kid to ride a bike is profound, it often becomes a story we all tell as part of our history. It’s one of the first times you let go of your kids, giving them access to something more, freedom and independence, you send them off down the street and hope they come back. Teaching my kids to ride a bike was one of my first memories as a parent that overlaps one of my first memories as a child. How perfect that it involves a bike, the wheel, and how circles move us forward.
I could tell my whole life's journey from the perspective of a bicycle. That’s the magic of it, life’s a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the ride. Cycling as a family in those early family years saved us thousands of dollars. It helped us buy a home, and become part of a community. Biking offered an outlet for an anxious and restless father before and after work. You can be transformed on a bike ride, shed your troubles and arrive home the person you want to be for your family. Today, I have an opportunity to share my love of London, community, family and the environment with as many people as possible and build up this wonderful place for our future generations.
I’d like to share a little bit about my roots with you, and why London is so important to me. My grandfather moved here from Thedford in Lambton County to work for the London Transit Commission. He would drive the Dundas bus route, and be known at the Delmar Restaurant as "Mr #2". He had three kids and one of them, my dad, also became an LTC bus driver and avid cyclist. My wife and I met in high school in London and have been fortunate to raise our two children here. I graduated HB Beal, the same high school where my parents met many moons ago. My son graduated from Beal last year, and there’s a good chance my daughter will, too. London, its people, and the river have shaped my family over four generations. It's a privilege to be here, flat fertile land, roads, rivers, streams, and a freshwater sea with beaches only a bike ride in any direction. It’s truly one of the greatest places on earth.
I am looking forward to hearing from Londoners about their journeys, what they hope to accomplish, see and do on a bike. Maybe you found a first job here, and want a more economical way to reach it? Or have you decided that biking to your current job might be a way to improve your physical and mental health? Could be you’re like me, and are concerned for the environment, and want to eliminate car trips from shopping and school drop offs. Perhaps you're just interested in taking advantage of the Thames Valley Parkway and some of our natural resources. If you’re interested in bike touring and camping, we’ll have to make sure we book extra time for your appointment; I’ll gladly break out the maps and gear lists. Just like London has raised and shaped my family, it has also raised and shaped businesses and places. Most of my first career has been in managing projects, products, and technology. I’ve worked for banks, insurance companies and IT consultants, all of which helped me build a diverse skill set. I look forward to applying the best of what I’ve learned in these environments to helping Londoners find the best two-wheeled solution to meet their needs, too.
For me, London Bicycle Café made the connection between cycling being a thing I was doing to get around, and being part of a community and having a tool to effect change. It turns out I wanted more than just a community connection, and my decision to take up a new trade, as a shopkeep, bicycle mechanic, organizer, and GM of London Bicycle Café, has given me the opportunity to do what I love and never “work” again. I can’t wait to start working for you, too.
Dressing up for glow ride with my daughter
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