The VA/VC Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee encourages everyone to take part in Go By Bike Weeks from October 16 to 29, 2023. VCH is planning a celebration station on October 20. We will feature a number of physicians who regularly opt to cycle rather than drive. Here’s what VA/VC Medical Staff Planetary Health Committee Chair Dr. Rashmi Chadha had to say….
A: Dr. Rashmi Chadha, Complex Pain and Addiction Service, Vancouver General Hospital
Q: Where and when do you cycle?
- Commuting to and from VGH.
- Local errands near my home when I’m impatient to walk and too cheap to take the bus.
- Longer journeys to downtown Vancouver to avoid either finding parking or the bus line ups.
- Occasional rides up steep hills with my over-enthusiastic family.
Q: Why do you cycle?
A: I cycle to work as, if I tie-in waiting for the bus or finding parking in the parkade, it is a quicker way to get in to VGH. I have the luxury of not living very far away and kids who get themselves to school, so I say this with recognition of that privilege.
Aside from the physical health benefits, I cycle for my mental health because I’ve found that no matter how my morning has started (at home) or how it ends (at work), having the bike as the transition point is a fun and grounding activity. In the past, when I used to drive, I didn’t have that nice changeover point from “doctor” to “mother,” and it just felt non-stop. I now have my ride in and home to look forward to.
Disclaimer: I am not committed to year-round cycling, unlike some of my awesome colleagues who are featured in this series. Three years ago, I disregarded my wise ortho-trauma friend’s advice about cycling on icy and slippery roads, and that same day skidded on some black ice going down a hill and unceremoniously really “grounded” myself. Since then, I take the bus through the cold rainy months of winter. (And, yes, I did let Dr. Guy know that he was right!)