Every Day Ride

Every.Day.Ride #14 with JaBig

Every.Day.Ride #14 with JaBig

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is JaBig, born Jean-Aimé Bigirimana, a Canadian DJ who really loves to ride bicycles as a pastime, to explore and experience the world around me, as a form of escapism, to connect with interesting people and to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.

How and when did you get into riding?

From an early age, I rode bicycles and into adulthood I would occasionally do so. One day I randomly walked past a bike shop and saw one that looked pleasant, a black BLB fixed gear, and impulsively purchased it and proceeded to ride it all of summer 2015 and before I knew it I was riding fixed-gear across Canada in winter all the way to the Arctic to break and set a Guinness World Record!

What are the best and worst things about riding?

Outside the obvious benefits of cycling such as fitness, exploration, transportation and so forth. I love how riding allows me to clear my head in a meditative way and whatever is bothering me dissipates and whatever uncertainties I was facing become clear solid concepts.

The worst aspect of cycling is dealing with hostile motorists, an issue that stems from infrastructure that is not always inclusive of cyclists. Riding a bike can be dangerous which is why so many people are put off giving it a try, an unfortunate situation that makes them miss one of the most pleasurable experiences of this journey on earth.

Tell us about your most memorable ride to date?

As of this time of writing, I have embarked on five major multi-month solo rides across Canada in 2016-17 on a fixie in winter as mentioned previously, across Canada again in the middle of a pandemic in 2022, around the United States of America in 2022 and across Europe from Norway to Spain in the summer of 2023.

On the first trip, I was inexperienced and had no idea what to expect so it will forever remain the most memorable because it was a journey of many firsts: first time going on a multi-day bicycle adventure, first time cycling in winter, first time carrying bags on my bike and so forth.

Seeing Canada in winter and experiencing the kindness of my fellow citizens made the ride even more memorable and I will cherish that for the rest of my life.

What’s the best piece of riding advice you’ve ever been given?

To ride my own ride and not focus on my abilities and sensitivities. Cycling is a discipline where there is no shortage of opinions and trying to make sense of it can be a ride to nowhere to use quite the pun.

For instance, I am a very slow cyclist who can only average 20 km/h at most but for long distances. Out of embarrassment, I once tried to improve that and nearly injured myself in the process and endured so much discomfort that riding a bicycle was no longer fun but complete agony until I remembered that piece of advice and since then I am happy and comfortable with my slow but steady pace which in a twist of irony is what allows me to go long without needing much food, being tired or needing days off.

What do you bring with you on every ride?

My camera. It’s not a cycling component or accessory however, it allows me to immortalise some moments that I would forget about otherwise or that a camera phone cannot capture properly. Most of the places that I cycle past are only for that one time and that’s why having a great camera to make memories is paramount.

How do you keep your bikes secure at home and on the go? Share your best tips to help others keep their bikes safe.

At home my number one rule is to bring the bicycle inside. It’s as simple as that and when I travel, if a hotel or Airbnb does not allow bikes indoors then I will book elsewhere. Even the strongest lock will not protect against vandalism or components theft as not everything can be secured.

On the go, I try my utmost best to bring it inside supermarkets although it backfired in 2022 on my ride around the USA when it was stolen but thankfully recovered by the police 20 minutes later.

My best strategy is to have my light yet strong LITELOK CORE PLUS and put my bike in a very visible place making sure that the pole is not compromised. I then ask people who are nearby such as people in cafés or on a terrace if they can keep an eye on my bike while I quickly run in.

When I go inside a restaurant, I will introduce myself to the staff and ask them to help me keep an eye on my bike that is outside and most people take it to heart and keep an eye on it.

If I really need to be indoors for a long time and without keeping an eye on the bicycle, I will then find a place to put it such as next to a food vendor whom I promise to purchase a crêpe from on my way out.


Lastly, there are instances where even with a strong lock I don’t have peace of mind so I don’t cycle there and catch a train, bus or walk because it’s pointless to be having dinner with friends if I am stressed out about my bicycle.

When someone asks what kit you recommend, you say?

My answer is to stick with what one finds comfortable both in fit and financially. Personally when I cycle, I have the smell of body odour especially mine so I tend to wear a lot of merino wool clothing which can be quite costly but worth it especially as it also keeps me warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm. Since 2015, I have been wearing kit by Rapha when cycling 'seriously' and when I am on a bike casually or commuting somewhere, I will wear trousers on top of my bib short.

What’s on your riding bucket list?

My ultimate bucket list is to restart my ride around the world that I had undertaken in 2019 but was put on hiatus in early 2020 due to the pandemic. Since then, I've been focused on other music and cycling projects, however I am still dreaming of it.

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