Over the past five days, Winnipeggers have been encouraged to swap four wheels for two and embrace an alternative form of transport during Bike Week Winnipeg.  

For one musician in the city, biking around – and outside – the town happens all 52 weeks of the year. 

“I like to say that Bike Week and Bike to Work Day are one of my favourite holidays of the year,” says WSO Assistant Principal Double Bassist and Bike Winnipeg Board member Daniel Perry.  


The youngest of five children, Perry was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to musical parents: a trumpet-playing father – who served as the longtime principal of the Indianapolis Symphony – and a French horn-playing mother, who was born in Norway and encouraged the kids to get outside and embrace all the seasons.  

Naturally, they instilled a passion for music: first as a boy soprano, then with piano lessons, before Perry settled on the bass in junior high.  

“I wanted to pick something that was big enough that I wouldn’t be forced to take it on vacations to practice,” reflects Perry.   

Like many pre-teens, it was around the same time he found great joy in going out for a ride on his bike.  

“For me, a bicycle was how I was able to gain a sense of freedom and independence,” he says. “And also takes some time away from a hectic household.”  

After studies at Indiana University, Perry won his Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra job in 2014 and relocated to the city.  

“The first winter, I remember I spent a lot of time just in my apartment... just waiting (the winter) out,” he says. “And I realized that that’s not a sustainable way of doing things.”  

That spring he bought a used bike, cycled through the summer, and tried to keep the momentum going into the winter months.  

Perry has since embraced all-season cycling, thriving during the coldest months of the year on his bike. He’s even completed some incredible winter competitions like the 160-mile Tuscobia Winter Ultra in Wisconsin and the 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) in Alaska – which you can read about here!  

Locally, audiences will find Perry rolling up to symphony performances on his bike at the Centennial Concert Hall and beyond. WSO tour shows in Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Kenora have all been stops on Perry’s travels.  

“One year, I even wrangled a few of my coworkers to (ride to Kenora) with me,” says Perry.  

For those wondering... no, the bass doesn’t come with him on his bike. One of his instruments lives at the Concert Hall for masterwork performances, while the other stays at home or is moved around via rented car.  

Hear more about Daniel Perry’s musical and literal adventures, the joys of cycling in the city, and the parallels between cycling and music-making in the full conversation.