Ambassador Series: Jody Wilson
The Ambassador Series is a collection of conversations with members of the Bivo Ambassador Team. Our hope is that in sharing each of their stories, we can provide a little glimpse into their passion and dedication, not only for cycling but also for the greater community it thrives within.
At a fundamental level ambassador teams are meant to help drive sales, foster community, and promote awareness of a brand. There is no question, our team of incredible people do this for Bivo. Many are avid cyclists, part of their local cycling communities, and advocates for sustainability. Together they help Bivo become known to the world. However, first and foremost, they are great people that we have connected with over shared beliefs.
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Meet Jody Wilson (@jodydwilson)! Beyond being a passionate cyclist, talented photographer, and cycling community advocate, Jody was one of our first supporters and our 100th follower at Bivo to be exact. While that may sound trivial, it has been and will always be something we treasure.
Bivo: How did you get into cycling?
Jody Wilson: During my youth I was fortunate to grow up riding bicycles. Looking back, I now realize how the bicycle played a large role in my mental and physical development during those days. It was my first vehicle, something I actually saved for and purchased with my allowance. It came with responsibility, it provided freedom of movement and it allowed me to forge strong relationships with childhood friends. I spent more time in the 1980’s on the seat of a bike, riding with friends, than in front of the TV. The BMX bikes turned into MTB bikes during my high school years, which eventually turned into road bikes in my 30s. In 2011 I bought my first cyclocross bike for the sole purpose of riding gravel roads. Today I split my time mainly between gravel and road, one replacing the other when I need a change.
Bivo: What continues to draw you to cycling?
JW: I started riding bikes on a regular basis in my early 30’s. There were several reasons, but the two that stand out the most involve experience and health. Firstly, it gave my wife Laura and I an activity to do together during the spring/summer/fall months. She is a great runner, so cycling came naturally to her. We love spending time together riding and travelling, which has created amazing experiences in our lives. Secondly, there is heart disease in my family, so I use cycling (and diet) as a way to combat this and stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Bivo: What do you like most about your cycling community?
JW: What I love about my cycling community is that it isn’t just limited to my home town here in Collingwood, Ontario. Through cycling I have met friends and built relationships around the world with like-minded, loving, and caring people.
Bivo: What originally drew you to our brand and product?
JW: Bivo randomly found me at the very first Rooted Vermont event in the summer of 2019. I had just finished the race and was stretched out on the lawn of the Cochran Ski Area enjoying the après vibe when I was offered a Bivo hat. I had never heard of Bivo before so naturally my first question was, “what’s Bivo?” After hearing about the innovative water bottles, I knew it was something I needed, it was my “you had me at stainless” moment. All of the plastic bottles I had collected over the years were always concerning to me. Another event, another race, a new bike, another bottle. I had an abnormal collection of plastic water bottles that unofficially outlined my personal history of cycling. In many areas of my life I’ve tried to buy products that last a lifetime, that come from companies promoting sustainable practices, this was the first I had heard of a properly designed cycling water bottle that checked those boxes. Personally, replacing 50 plastic water bottles with a few stainless bottles was an obvious change I knew I had to make to reduce the use of plastics in my life.
Bivo: What is your why? Why do you strive to reduce plastic in your life?
JW: It’s important for me to reduce my personal impact on the planet while I’m here. My personal pledge on January 1, 2021 was to be more mindful about my personal actions, whether that be purchasing new products or replacing items I currently have. I’ve been taking the time to think about my needs, and what actions I can take to reduce my overall footprint. We all know that plastic production requires huge amounts of energy and resources contributing to carbon emissions and global warming. Not to mention the negative effects of plastics to animals and human health. I believe every little thing I do can make a difference in the long run. If that means getting a set of BIFL (buy-it-for-life) stainless bottles I can cycle with (as well as après with and use as a casual water bottle in travel), then I’m cool with that.
Bivo: What’s the best ride in your area?
JW: The best ride in my area involves several steep gravel climbs, some single track, double track, bush roads and at least 2 café stops with a dive off the local peer into Georgian Bay to cool down at the end.
Bivo: Favorite pit stop while riding around your area?
JW: This is a hard one to answer, I have three: depending on the route and the distance. For that early morning mid-week, sunrise ride with friends, it has to end at Summit Social House, a local Collingwood cycling café. If it’s a lazy holiday morning coffee ride, then it’s a stop for a boston cream donut and a nitro cold brew at the Creemore Café. If it’s an epic road or gravel ride into the Beaver Valley, then it’s a mandatory stop for baked goods at the Kimberley General Store.
Bivo: What’s next for you when it comes to cycling?
JW:This is a great question! I just recently finished a 3 day, 750km bike packing adventure called the BT700 here in Ontario. I had plans on being in Vermont for Rooted this August, but unfortunately with the land border being closed between the United States and Canada, this was out of the question. We currently have tentative plans of returning to Girona in September to catch up with friends, work a little and ride bikes. We are currently navigating the world of flight/accommodation bookings, insurance and trying to get a handle on the new way of global travel. Locally, I organize a morning ride, been planning my yearly fall “Gravel Rally for locals only” and I have been shooting a lot of cycling related photography this summer.