I was pleased to participate in the first of Dandyhorse Magazine‘s #dandySANTA Q & A series. Read about my winter biking tips, which bike lanes I want Santa to bring this Christmas, and my work with Charlie’s Freewheels!

#dandySANTA: Daniel Rotsztain of Charlie’s Freewheels


Rotsztain in Moss Park nearby Charlie’s Bike Joint. 

#dandySANTA Q&A: Daniel Rotsztain

Photos and Interview by Jenna Campbell

Daniel Rotsztain is campaign coordinator for Charlie’s Freewheels that just kick-started their “50 Youth on 50 Bikes” fundraiser on Dec. 1. Charlie’s goal is to teach 115 young riders how to build bicycles in 2015. They’re collecting donations from businesses and foundations to fund 65 youths to build bikes, but need the public’s help to fund the other 50.

As a part of our dandy winter cyclist series [more details coming soon], we thought we’d ask Rotsztain what he’d like #dandySANTA to bring him for the holidays.

dandyhorse: If you could get a(nother) bike, what would it be and why?

One of those dreamy upright Dutch bikes – perfect for city cruisers and with big enough wheels to handle the snow that’s coming! I also spent half a year (biking) in Amsterdam. Anything to bring me back there, just a bit…

Q: What bike lane(s) do you hope dandySANTA will bring for 2015? 

Utopian bike lane: running alongside the boulevard in the middle of University Avenue. In Barcelona, they have a bike lane on a similarly scaled street, Passeig de Sant Joan, running all the way to their Triumph Arch.

Realistic: Extending Richmond and Adelaide lanes further east, so that we can get closer to a Minimum Grid.

Q: What bike gear do you hope dandySANTA puts in your stocking this year?

Back paniers that I can remove, so that I can put my bike on the front bus rack. Right now, with my milk crate, most bus drivers don’t allow my bike on the rack.

Q: What else do you hope dandySANTA delivers this year?

I hope that everyone will contribute to Charlie’s Freewheels Indiegogo Campaign! Charlie’s is an amazing organization that I work with that empowers youth in priority neighbourhoods with the knowledge of how to build, maintain and ride bikes around the city. Check out our campaign here.

Q: What is your number one tip for winter cycling?

The best streets to bike on in the winter, in my opinion, are those middle kinds of streets, the ones that aren’t major, or minor. Like Dovercourt. The snow is cleared by a higher volume of traffic, but the street is generally not as busy as the major arteries: Perfect for a winter ride.

At dandyhorse, we will be rolling out several more winter cyclist wish list profiles as we head into the holiday season. As part of these special profiles we will announce dandy giveaways with Soulpepper theatre (Win tickets to see The Conjurer) and Steam Whistle brewery (6 gift packs) on social media starting on Dec. 15. Keep an eye out for #dandySANTA here and on Twitter and Facebook.

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