Marion goes way back. There's no way to avoid it, and it has very little to do with age.
Sure, 'way back' means there's thirty-plus years of history in between to talk about. But she the energy she brought to the advocacy movement was on par with the twenty- and thirty-year-olds she found herself working with. Age is irrelevant.
She quietly became one of the earliest leaders of the cycling advocacy movement in British Columbia.
Marion got into cycling as a way to stay close to her son as grew into his teenage years, and it soon became something else. She started cycling to her job at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, she joined the Vancouver Bicycle Club, and she turned family camping trips into cycling trips.
Soon she was hooked on long distance riding, and joined the BC Randonneurs.
Eventually I got rid of my car. For two or three years I tried not insuring it, right at the time of the insurance to see how many things I missed. Eventually I decided, well I may as well let it go. It's not worth it.
Marion became involved in the advocacy movement initially through the cycling clubs, because that was all there was. And then came Cycling BC's earliest advocacy committees. She sat in on meetings. She listened, and learned.
When the opportunity arose to be part of something new — what became the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC, now HUB Cycling) — something clicked.
Cycling had given me so much, [I thought] I'd like to give something back to cycling. It was kind of that way for me. I'm a very quiet person, and it's very hard for me to speak out.
But meetings is a different sort of thing. I'm very comfortable in meetings expressing my opinions.
You don't hear that very much. 'More meetings, please!' But that's how cycling advocacy in New West began, how HUB got started, and how the organization attracted an entire generation of people to get on-board and help.
Everyone seems to know Marion, partially because in those years she was everywhere. But also partially because there were very few people like her. An older woman, with a strong voice, on a bike.
Maybe age does matter a little.
One of the things I discovered was that when a person cycles, you kind of become a role model to other people.
Oh, it was who I was. Yeah. Which is really interesting, because if anybody had told me that would be my lifestyle when I was in my twenties, I would say you're nuts.