Robert D

“I had raced, and I rode cross-country here and did a few things, but I was more interested in the bigger, bigger, bigger picture….As we started getting a little bit more pull here and there, we started doing the CAN-BIKE stuff. That's where, if you will, I dug in.”

Robert D

Tom C

“My dad took me to see On the Beach the summer it came out, in 1959. It was basically the end of the world, and the last days chronicled in Australia. I was on the edge of adolescence; I don't know, my dad must have thought I needed to have this in my brain. Well, it's been in my brain ever since, of course.”

Tom C

On Bikes & Elections: A Conversation with Joel Solomon

"The bike story here is unbelievable. That Vancouver is now one of the top cities in North America for protected bike lanes. The actual substance of what’s happened is pretty dramatic. Public perceptions and attacks by other people is a whole other interesting part of the story."

On Bikes & Elections: A Conversation with Joel Solomon

Kicking ass and taking names (with map)

These profiles are not representative of everyone who has contributed to cycling improvements in the region over the past 30+ years. Nor do they don't represent everyone I've spoken to for this project. Read on about some of the other people I've spoken to, who have made a mark.

Kicking ass and taking names (with map)

Kari

"When you're doing union negotiations, it doesn't matter who you're working with, that group across the table is your employer and the financial agent, and you have to be able to work together. And you have to be able to talk. Because they hold the cards. And if you're not willing to do it, the only thing that's holding you up is legislation, which can go at any time."

Kari

Rachel

"One of my usual approaches was just to let everybody know that I rode my bike all the time, and if there were ever any cycling aspects of projects, I was happy to help on them. Rather than being hard-nosed about things, I was more of a soft-pedalling lifestyle bicycle advocate."

 

Rachel

Lisa

"I'm not a meeting-goer, I try to avoid them at all costs if I possibly can. I went to one of those meetings and it was mostly guys, and they were all really into maps and routes, and that's totally not what I was into. But I was completely won over by the passion and the integrity and the willingness to sacrifice so much in order to make this city a better place to bike in."

Lisa

Meghan

"The volume of cyclists are one block off. It has really been apparent to me that if you're trying to make that make that population shift, there's a visibility problem that we suffer from here, because we are one block off. I think it matters if you see people cycling."

Meghan

John

"Because cycling was given a low priority within engineering culture, it was given to the junior engineers who had just come out of university. They were more interested in actually doing something, and didn't mind ruffling some feathers. And that's helped create that culture change."

John

Ron

"I think what's been lost is a focus on issues like inclusiveness. For all of the work that's been done, I think HUB is still a very middle to upper class organization. There's lots of white guys. It hasn't really gotten into the concerns and representation of low income cyclists. Groups like PEDAL and Kickstand work on that."

Ron

Cheeying

"I have activism in my heart but I never thought that it was the only way to get things done. For me B.E.S.T. was my passion and my professional work.  I was trying to shift the direction of B.E.S.T. to a little bit less radical and more mainstream."

Cheeying

Dave

"I was more of a facts guy, and sometimes I'd think geez, I'm losing the argument because I just can't do the alpha-bulldozer-persuade-the-meeting thing. You can do lots of research before you go into a meeting, and have all your facts lined up, and somebody that makes a real passionate play sways the group."

Dave

Mia

"I came to visit my friends in Vancouver, and one of them asked, 'Well can you do your job in Vancouver?' I said, 'Good question!' So then I started looking into what Vancouver had for Bike to Work Week. And there wasn't one."

Mia

Jeff

"People had a mindset that when you find a problem, you just have to write a letter to the city, because they probably didn't know about it. And by working with the city, we found out that they had a list of two or three hundred problems, they just didn't know which one was on top."

Jeff

Peter S.

"I was motivated personally as a daily cyclist, and as a transportation practitioner I saw how a lot of transportation infrastructure was contrary to properly accommodating cycling. I felt myself in somewhat a unique position — having an understanding, and being able to talk the language of the transportation practitioners."

Peter S.

Jackie

"Sometimes you can talk forever and nothing gets done. You go along Lougheed Highway, and then the path ends. They kept promising, yeah we're going to do something about it. But nothing ever happened. It made me very angry, and I had to express that anger. I don't want my friends to get killed."

Jackie

Chris

"It was a conscious choice on my part to be as car-free as possible. I had bought into that paradigm and I think a part of me was stubborn, and people said you can't do it. I was like yeah, I actually can do it. I can ride, get some exercise, and it's zero cents a litre. "

Chris

John Forester is alive and well, and knows what the problem is.

His book is a bible to some my interviewees, shaping their views on transportation cycling, which in turn helped shape some of the policies and projects prioritized — even implemented — in British Columbia over the past few decades. 

John Forester is alive and well, and knows what the problem is.

Kino

"I'm not going to live in Maple Ridge forever, but I don't want to be just like, ‘there's no reason for me to do anything that would help’. I'm helping to put seeds in place for projects that [may] happen ten years from now. It doesn't matter if it's not going to help me, it's going to enrich the community."

Kino