In this series we stop people along the bike lanes in Vancouver and have chats with them about their thoughts on cycling, their bikes, and more. Have a look at the archive HERE.
Tell me about your bike?
Her name is Cherry Valance, which is taken from S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders”. She’s the only broad that rolls with the bad boys. She’s a little scrappy herself but has a good heart. She’s got a Raleigh frame, but is otherwise a rebuild.
How often do your ride Cherry?
Not as often as I should. Maybe a couple of times a week, but I’m definitely not a daily rider which is unfortunate because this city is totally different when you are on two wheels.
When did you acquire Cherry?
I got her shortly after the Vancouver Bike Rave. My super awesome roommate was kind enough to lend me his beautiful bike. Riding around the city for 5 hours in the dead of night made me feel the most jovial-apocalypse. I wanted more. So I picked her up from a wonderful bike co-op on the drive called Kickstand. The people there are so incredibly friendly and passionate about what they do. They want people to get into biking and like to instil their knowledge onto others. I happened to come by on a day that they were closed but they said come on in any way and I left with a bike.
How long have you been in Vancouver for?
I have been in the city since April 2014. Before that I was a gypsy traveller of Canada. I’ve lived on Vancouver Island, several places in Ontario, and even Newfoundland where biking is not a thing to do because of the hills and weather.
What was the draw to the West Coast then for you?
When you have mountains, the ocean, and the big city all in one package there is that intrinsic pull more than anything else. I guess I also made the choice of Vancouver because I read “Girlfriend in a coma” by Douglas Coupland at way too young of an age – or maybe just at the right age – that probably was the seed for the intrinsic pull. The idea of misguided youth guided in just the right way, made it very relatable.
Was there anything that you particularly enjoyed about your first summer in Vancouver?
To begin with, everything! People’s colouring just got so much more vibrant as they got to soak in the sun. I was told that it was unusual as it was a hot and sunshine filled one, where everyone just wanted to soak it in as much as they could because that’s the memory that you need to keep you going on a late September grey day. There are so many opportunities here. All you need is to say yes.
Are you ever worried about bike theft?
Yes, I am but I also know that if it happens I am not going to take it personally. I will still be pissed but I am so grateful that she hasn’t been stolen, and I am going to keep on being grateful.
What is your favourite bike experience? And least favourite?
I got into biking really late in the game. Like I didn’t start biking until I was 8 or 9, and the first time I actually did it was quite enlightening. That wonderful feeling when I didn’t need to walk my bike home because I could ride it the whole time. Also, the freedom that a bike provides. I guess the only traumatizing experience I’ve had was when I was biking once and got caught in the rain in a white shirt and I became a drive by wet t-shirt contest, which could have been a lot worse.
What are you looking forward to for the fall?
More and more sides of the city being revealed to me!
Do you think that you make the right choice moving to Vancouver?