I was inspired to write this article after attending a corporate gala luncheon sponsored by Canon Canada where Maelle Ricker, Olympic 2010 gold medalist for women’s snowboarding, was a guest speaker.
I mused over the frequency or shall we say, infrequency of world-class competitive cyclists to promote cycling consistently and often, for transportation or as a lifestyle. From Canada it is rare, for any world competitive Canadian cyclist to speak nationally and often, to support cycling infrastructure, particularily with strong, broad market reach. We are not even sure if Lance Armstrong has acted often as public spokesperson in this area. Except for perhaps Ryan Leech.
Over the past few years, Ryan Leech has been one of the rare Canadian cyclists competing internationally who can be an engaging, articulate spokesperson and role model for young and older folks on cycling for fun, recreation, competition or for transportation. It helps that he does have corporate sponsorship of the bike manufacturer, Norco. It also helps he has a clean-cut image with a kick for adventure, BMX-cross bike handling tricks, and now an added dimension as a yoga practitioner and teacher. His yoga interest grew out of his need for injury prevention and cross-training. His appeal is now even more multi-faceted and broader for generating cycling enthusiasm. In this article at the nsbm.com website, he explains the benefits of yoga for mountain bikers.
For the last few years, he delivers talks to children across Canada on goal-setting, work perseverance and dazzles them with his bike handling skills. The instructional themes are part of his programs for children, including “Trials of Life”.
Last year, as surprise finish to one of Metro Vancouver’s sustainability public breakfast sessions, he performed some bike tricks. Manoeuvres included leaping onto the conference table plus vaulting himself on bike over 2 probably, petrified workshop people from the audience who laid down on the carpet face-up.
In the latest video released earlier this year by Norco, he guides the viewer on how much easier cycling can become, if it is dovetailed into a person’s daily schedule and lifestyle, as a form of transportation and fitness in one sweep. He speaks on how much easier cycling would be if there was appropriate cycling infrastructure to travel more safely and seamlessly on bike.
There are some facts sprinkled throughout the video on-screen. For instance, within the first year of cycle commuting, a person can lose up to 13 lbs.
Check out this video. Use it to help others understand personal benefits of cycling and good cycling infrastructure. It’s a great tool for a general audience.
Official Web Site for Ryan Leech.