Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Changing View of Cycling in Vancouver

For the past couple of months, my husband, along with the rest of the Vancouver Cycle Chic crew, have been working on four debut films that feature Vancouverites going about their every day on a bike in style. The goal is to show the act of riding a bike as a normal way to get around, requiring nothing more than a bicycle and a desire to ride. It has been a lot of work, and has meant many a days and nights without my husband around while they've been filming and editing. But from the sneak peaks I've had along the way, it has been well worth every second of dedication from all the people who have given up their free time to make these videos happen.

One of the great things about the videos is that each of the subjects are completely unique. From a fine artist and dad, to a librarian, a local DJ and an emerging fashionista, each person brings their own sense of style to the videos, and show a different view of Vancouver. It is a true reflection of the diversity of this city and it's people.

I am very excited for this film series to launch this weekend at Whoa! Nellie. Not only because I am proud of my husband and our friends for all their hard work, but also because these videos are exactly what is needed to start changing perceptions around cycling in Vancouver and other cities. The Cycle Chic Republic has spent the last seven years sharing images of every day, citizen cyclists. People that ride just because it is slightly faster than walking and more convenient that driving and/or public transit in many cases. Some critics have said that many images just depict young stylish people, and is not representative of everyone.

The Cycle Chic videos are not just about the style of the subjects. They follow them as they go about their daily tasks, whether it is shopping for art supplies, heading to work, or travelling to a gig. Each person in the videos is of a different demographic, and they're not all young twenty-somethings. In my opinion, they are the start of a great series of films that will feature many Vancouverites from all ages and demographics, all depicting cycling in it's purest form, as a means to get around town. The perception of cycling in Vancouver is slowly changing from the image of "Road Warriors" to average people, from spandex and specialized gear to just whatever you have in your closet. Hopefully these videos will help speed the process, and get more people normally intimidated by bike travel to realize how easy it is, and make the image of cycling accessible to everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender.

The Cycle Chic films will launch this weekend with their premiere being held at Whoa! Nellie bikes on Main Street. Join me and Vancouver Cycle Chic for a great night and be one of the first to check out this excellent video series!


  1. I really appreciate this write up. One of the reasons I was so thrilled and eager to participate when Chris contacted me is because I don't fit the demographic of people in this city who get around by bike. I always think to myself: "I'm fat, I'm middle-aged, and I live with a chronic illness. If I can use a bike for transport, anyone can."

    1. Thanks Cecily! Don't under-estimate the value of what you do simply because your not under 25 and look like a model. It's so important to make riding a bike look normal. You're so right, if you or I, as a mom of two small children, or even my 7 year old daughter for that matter, can get around by bike, there's really no excuse good enough not to!