Life in the Bike Lane: Lisa


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.

Name: Lisa Cinar

Bikes Name: I never named my bike but I always think of it as the Red Racer, so maybe I actually did name my bike but not consciously.
Tell me about your bike.
LC: I bought it from a friend for $150 a long long time ago and miraculously still have it.
Tell me about your daily commute.
LC: I pretty much bike everywhere so there isn’t a daily-ritual bike-destination, but more of an overall bike-lifestyle.
What do you do for work?
LC: I’m a freelance illustrator, and for the last 5 years I’ve been running an online stationery shop called Draw Me A Lion. I also teach classes on illustration for picture books at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.
How does your passion for cycling play into your work?
LC: While there isn’t a direct correlation between biking and my work, (for example there is only one image I have in my entire shop that features a bike) I definitely see a connection between biking and the freedom and the spontaneity it allows. That is something that I do see in my work. Both in the process and in the outcome. I love free and loose line quality and the spontaneous use of colour.
What is your favourite biking memory/experience?
LC: There are too many to narrow in on one. But something I have always loved is biking down big hills. Especially when you’re biking in the country or on an island where you don’t have to worry so much about traffic. Flying down those hills makes me feel exactly like that… like I’m flying.
Are you a year round cyclist?
LC: Definitely. All my students are always like, “What!? You biked in THIS weather” when I show up to class with all my gear on and totally soaked. But to me it would be way harder to take the bus or drive. The bus takes forever and parking on the island is a total nightmare. So I’m super happy to just put on all my rain gear and have a nice meditative bike to work instead. More peaceful, more scenic, healthier and always faster.
What are you looking forward to most about the summer?
LC: Everything! Summer is my favourite season. The beach, the sun, camping, biking on a warm summer night after a couple of drinks. What more could you want?
What is your favourite part about cycling in Vancouver? 
LC: Vancouver is small and you can pretty much bike anywhere in an hour tops if you need to. I also appreciate that Vancouver now finally has a bike share system. It will make people fall in love with biking and motivate them to buy their own bikes. The more people we can get out of a car and onto a bike the better.
What challenges do you face while cycling?
LC: Something that often frustrates me as a biker is when I am a four-way stop and cars will motion me to go even though it’s their turn. I know often they are just trying to be courteous but in actuality it just messes up the whole system of who goes next at the intersection and then other drivers and bikers get confused since the order has been thrown out of whack. If a bicyclist has stopped and is making eye contact with you as a driver and it’s your turn to go that means they’re waiting for you to go. The truly polite thing to do would be to just adhere to the same rules as you would with any other road user. Thank you and end of rant.
You can check out Lisa’s creative work here.