TWV Champion Profile: David White
Meet David White, a volunteer trip leader and bike mechanic apprentice from Calgary.
When not at TWV, I can often be found… enjoying the many recreational opportunities that come along with living in Calgary. I love to ride my bike for recreation and transportation. Last year I rode about 8000 km. In winter I enjoy cross-country skiing and I volunteer as a SnowHost at the Canmore Nordic Centre. My wife and I enjoy travelling and we like to spend a little time in the desert every year. I also play the trombone in a few local bands. Most importantly I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I’m married to Sheilah and we have 4 children and 3 grand children. Lastly, I’m continuously trying to improve my sourdough bread practice making bread 4 or 5 times a week. (The team at TWV can vouch for David's expert bread making skills as he spoils us regularly!)
What do you like about volunteering/ being a champion at TWV: I enjoy spending time with Two Wheel View because the organization’s values, mission and vision closely align with mine. I have always enjoyed getting around on my bike and the TWV mission to “Change Kids Lives from the Seat of a Bike” really resonates with me. My bike has always been a source of joy, freedom, independence, and fun. A bike can be used for transportation making your world bigger, recreation to have fun, a source of inspiration from the places you can go on it, exercise for the body and through the chemical reactions that take place, it’s good for your mental health as well. Using a bicycle to get around instead of motored transportation reduces the amount of Carbon dioxide I put into the air so it’s good for the planet too! TWV gives me the opportunity to share my life long passion about cycling with young people who will, I hope, be encouraged to make cycling part of their daily lives. Too often I think youth see the bicycle as part of the crawl, walk, run, cycle, drive maturation of transportation options. Just because you get your drivers license doesn’t mean you need to give up on the other transport modes. Well except for maybe crawling! TWV mission beyond the bicycle is to help develop leadership skills. The organization is committed to developing youth to understand the importance of Goal Setting, Continuous Improvement, Risk Management, Communication, Collaborative Dispute Resolution, and many other important leadership skills. The bicycle is a very good tool for teaching and developing these leadership skills.
If someone was considering volunteering at TWV what would be a few selling points you would give them? TWV is a growing organization with an important mission and vision. They have a strategy in place to deliver on these and a highly competent staff that is excited about the future. The track record of delivering on the strategy and the results in successful trips and programs is testament that the objectives are being met. As a volunteer I feel like I’m an important part of the team. The on-boarding and training I have received was valuable. During the delivery of the programs I have been involved with I have felt very well supported. The gear and the program to maintain the gear is very good. When I have ideas for improvement to the programs I have felt that my ideas were heard and many of them were acted upon to improve the program. TWV lives their values, cares for their volunteers and participants, and loves bikes as much as I do (maybe more).
Favourite travel destination: Going anywhere on a bike. That said, my favourite place to bike is the mountains around Canmore and Banff. Every trip is an adventure.
What is your best bike trip: Every trip keeps getting better than the last so my favourite is the last Badlands to Banff trip. We had a little adversity with huge rainstorms and forest fire smoke but the group rallied through the challenges, supported each other, and successfully achieved all of our goals. So, my best bike tip is to be open to whatever comes along and be inspired by the energy and resiliency within the group. It also helps to spend a few hours on the bike every day before starting out on a trip. Getting to know your bike seat on a tour can detract from the experience. A pair of padded bike shorts is also helpful.
Who was your role model growing up? My role models were my mom and dad. They were tremendously giving people. They always made time to talk to people who needed someone to listen. They were committed to sharing their talents with the world to improve it.
An item I never forget on a bike trip is… COFFEE. Starting out the day with a hot cup of coffee helps a person to forget the lumpy ground you slept on and provides an opportunity for that morning chat about what is important to do that day.
TWV should plan a bike trip to… from Banff to Jasper
If a kid walked up asking for your life advice and you only had a few minutes to give ‘em your best tip, what would it be? I share this at the end of every bike trip. Dream big and write your dreams and goals down because its very important to document what it is you want to do. Once they are written down share those goals with some other people and if they too are excited about achieving them talk about them and find out what other goals they have. Write them down too. Next break the goals down into tasks that need to be done and make sure that individuals understand what they need to do to do the tasks. If people don’t know how to do something provide the necessary training so that they can do the task. With these 3 steps it will be possible to do anything. Really, ANYTHING. The final step is to get together and celebrate the achievement and recognize everyone’s contribution to the enterprise. TWV has built all of these steps into our touring program. Participants feel great about the accomplishments and take these learnings into future endeavours.