High Visibility: Biking to the Frontline featuring Rosa Phillip

Smiling woman wearing a bike helmet

In our first installment of High Visibility we spoke with Carmen Jones, an Oncology Nurse that had already been bike commuting for a few years when the pandemic hit. This time around we spoke with Rosa Phillip. While Rosa has been riding for a while, COVID-19 made cycling her best option for getting to work.

High Visibility: Biking to the Frontline featuring Rosa Phillip

 Rosa Phillips, Medical Laboratory Technologist​ & Bike Rider

 

"I felt [bike riding] was safer for my health, plus with various cycling events being cancelled, it gave me a chance to keep up some fitness."

Like many bike riders, Rosa Phillip picked up cycling out of necessity; she’d injured her knee playing soccer and needed a way to rehab. This led to her first experiences riding a bike as an adult. Childhood memories of fun times on two wheels quickly rushed into the present. Even after her knee healed, Rosa wasn’t ready to give up on the fun and continued exploring the city on multi-use paths for a few years, but outgrew those paths when she “realized [she] loved speed,” and took to the streets where riding over 20km/h was possible. At that time she joined Midweek Cycling Club where she satisfied her desire for speed by learning to race, but it also taught her how to ride comfortably and with confidence, which she says she needed to ride on Toronto’s streets.

Now, Rosa works at a busy downtown hospital as a Medical Laboratory Technologist processing tissue specimens to help pathologists diagnose diseases. Up until recently her typical daily commute included hopping on the TTC. That all changed when public health concerns around COVID-19 ratcheted up and physical distancing became the norm. Now, Rosa’s bike is her transportation to and from the hospital. She says she made the switch because “I felt it was safer for my health, plus with various cycling events being cancelled, it gave me a chance to keep up some fitness.”

Every day as Rosa rides into work physical distance is at top-of-mind. She wants drivers to be given more education about safe passing distance. Rosa notes that everyone is aware of safe physical distance being 2m, but drivers are only legally required to give people on bikes 1m of space and too many don’t even give that. 

Watch our Road Rules video on sharing a traffic lane.

Road Rules: Sharing a Traffic Lane from Cycle Toronto on Vimeo.

 

In the end, Rosa would be driving right now if she couldn’t ride a bike, but that would cost more money, get her less exercise, and add another car to the road when she thinks cycling is a great form of transportation.

Previous High Visibility: Carmen Jones


Rosa supports Cycle Toronto because we’re “doing great work to make sure streets are safe…” and we encourage people to try cycling as a form of transportation. For as little as $5 a month our members enable us to work towards a safe, healthy and vibrant cycling city for everyone, including frontline workers like Rosa.

Explore membership

By Ryan Shissler on Apr 24, 2020

  High Visibility, COVID-19, road rules

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