I don't remember the specific moment when the idea came to me, but sometime in January 2017, in the middle of an uncharacteristically long, cold stretch of Vancouver winter winter, it happened.
A germ of an idea sprouted, grew roots, and became a thing.
Now, ideas - I've had a few. Many have burped into existence, some have held themselves aloft in the air, a few long enough, even, to sustain life.
But for someone who likes to dance on the creative side of town, my failure to firmly latch onto any single idea over the past few decades and make it happen - whatever that might have entailed - is a real bummer.
I always thought it might be something written, though I've spent much more of my career in visual creative and entrepreneurial endeavours, building and flexing different muscles.
One should write to be a writer.
Yet, what to write about? What I know? That whole thing?
Apparently, yes. Unless you're Stephen King, many of us only have the ability to write what we know. And in January, I realized I knew something about cycling.
Not just doing it - and doing it for transportation - which has been a big part of my life since I was 8. But working in cycling advocacy and promotion.
And then I recalled one of the great ironies of my bike life in Vancouver - that it has meant so much to me, and yet I was so ignorant of its particularly rich history in the region. And then I was in the middle of it all, as a communicator and organizer for HUB Cycling, from 2013-16.
Once immersed in the culture, the degree to which change is dependent on people became clear. And the people, regardless of their diversity, shared with me a common passion, and a common commitment, that bound us together more closely than I have ever experienced in any other workplace.
They also embodied a basic humanism that I had trouble expressing to my family and friends in any form that would do it justice...just that I wish more people knew the values, emotions and intent that was behind every action taken by someone who rides a bike make the experience more equitable, more accessible, safer.
The 'bike people' I worked with are my heroes, and I wanted to share the experience of knowing them and their battles with others.
That was the idea that finally sprouted, the idea I nurtured that cold, icy winter, as I re-established myself in the projects and consulting that has defined much of my career behind a desk.
What about cycling, the voice inside my head asked. You have some time. You have the freedom. Why not tell that story?
Indeed, I thought. I will.
I hope you enjoy some of the stories. I hope you learn about new people and ideas, and that something sticks with you.
And I hope, even if you don't feel the same way I do, that you at least see why this is such a unique and wonderful place on planet Earth to ride a bike. And how it came to be.