gathering place trading team

Our Extended Family | Meet Rowan

Meet Rowan, Orders Guru & dedicated Cycle Ninja

 gathering place trading team

Gratifying, peaceful, energizing

Not words the average Canadian uses to describe their commute to work.  With a bike ride to the ferry terminal, a quick hop from Quadra Island to Vancouver Island and then back on the bike for the remainder of the commute to the Gathering Place Trading (GPT) packing facility, Rowan’s appreciation for the islands which she lives and works on grows with every beautiful sunrise, whale sighting and friendly face she sees along the way.

If you have ever called our office, received one of our products or seen our brand on a store shelf, chances are Rowan has been a part of the process.  She’s been just as dedicated to managing the Orders Desk for the past two years as she has been to her commute by bicycle every workday, regardless of the drenching rains the West coast is accustomed to.

Born and raised on Quadra Island, Rowan has been immersed in cycling her whole life, enjoying the many trails the island has to offer.  Having cycle-toured all over Vancouver Island, the surrounding islands and throughout the United States, her one-hour commute, totally 12km of travel each way, seems like a breeze for her, especially on her custom-built bike.

“Having a bike that fits me perfectly makes a world of difference!  Sam Whittingham and Garnet Kehn at Naked Bicycles built it specifically for me and my love of cycle-touring.  It’s really great to be able to buy from a local company that takes so much pride in building handmade, quality bikes that fit each rider’s individual needs,” says Rowan.

Sharing many of the same values as GPT, Naked Bicycles & Design is a Quadra-based business built on embracing passion, engaging with community and, above all, family.

Rowan goes on to explain the many beatings her “Naked” bike has taken in the ten years she has been riding it and the challenges that occur during her daily commute.

“We’ve been through a lot, my bike and I, especially during those crazy Southeasterly rains that try to wash you off the road like the one I experienced last month which led me to veer off the road and crash.  I was luckily unharmed, but ended up being fairly late for work.” Rowan explains.

“I’m just so appreciative that, during those more difficult commutes, I work for a company that understands the challenges that may occur while biking and they are incredibly supportive, even offering incentives for alternative ways of commuting.”

Promoting an Eco-friendly Environment 

In an effort to promote health and fitness for our staff, while reducing our carbon footprints, GPT has a CO2 Star Initiative that encourages staff to walk or bike to work and receive a $5 credit each day, which they can use to trade for products.

While biking to and from work isn’t possible for everyone, there are always ways to reduce our carbon footprints.  For Rowan, supporting pedal power, as opposed to fossil fuels, is a daily habit she is happily committed to.  “My commute is what starts my day, keeps me energized and motivated,” Rowan says, “I feel incredibly grateful.”

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