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In Conversation with David of Vancouver Cycle Chic

 Post by Vancouver Cycle Chic.

What inspired you to become part of the Cycle Chic movement, and how long have you been involved with Vancouver Cycle Chic?

I had this idea to jump on the street photography bandwagon and capture stylish people on bikes. Vancouver is very sport-heavy so my goals for the photography were to help balance the perception of bike lifestyle and encourage people of all skill levels to bike. Biking is a global hot topic and I wanted to add Vancouver to the conversation. When I emailed Mikael in Copenhagen (the founder of the original Copenhagen Cycle Chic) for advice on street shooting, he invited me to join the movement and it’s been nothing but awesome. I started the blog in 2010 but by 2012 a team of us registered Vancouver Cycle Chic Society and they are the ones truly behind the content, events, promotions and films.

VCC Society | Image courtesy of Christoph Prevost

Can you explain the global cycle chic republic to our readers and how it relates to Vancouver cycle chic?

The republic is a group of dedicated people around the world who volunteer time and energy to promoting and blogging about people in their cities who choose to bike. Every blog and city has a different flavour but the subjects are always the people they see every day. In Vancouver, my team does its best to cover all walks of life through our Cycle Chic Films, Cycle Chic Socials, and other ideas we are working on. The Republic meets once a year for the Cycle Chic Bloggers Conference. There is also a Cycle Chic book and calendar which features the republic’s photography. The Republic is a busy bunch!

Image Courtesy of Mikael Colville Andersen | David at the 2011 Cycle Chic Republic Conference

Image Courtesy of Mikael Colville Andersen | David at the 2011 Cycle Chic Republic Conference

Image courtesy of Paul Beja, 2013 Social | Image courtesy of Jon Sawatsky, 2012 Social

Image courtesy of Copenhagen Cycle Chic | 


What's your secret for cycling in rainy weather and keeping your personal style?

I don’t really bike in the rain, but for short rides I layer and use a flimsy windbreaker. Sometimes I choose a 3/4 length jacket that keeps the tops of my legs dry. On lazy days, an umbrella is fun. If it’s pouring I always take the bus because it’s nice to sit, listen to music, and do nothing. I’m aware of all the great rain gear available but I haven’t felt the need for it yet. The Iva Jean rain cape look pretty cool though.

Tell us about the fab videos you've been creating for the Vancouver Cycle Chic blog?

Fab?! Thanks! The videos are mini-docs that feature a different Vancouverite every time. We tell their story and film them biking around their neighbourhood. Our goal is to cast all the different kinds of people in our city and show viewers that biking is as normal as anything. We have so much fun in the process.

Gord & Len // "Back and Forth" // Vancouver Cycle Chic Films from VANCOUVER CYCLE CHIC onVimeo.

We decided to give videos a try because one of our members, Chris, was inspired by the “Cycling With…” video series by our peers in Dublin. Since I was also envisioning video portraits and I know a lot of people in the media arts, it just made sense to give this a try. Cycle Chic Films is produced by a dream team of local media artists in photography, film and music known as Unfamous (@byUNFAMOUS).

Camille // "The Whole Story" // Vancouver Cycle Chic Films from VANCOUVER CYCLE CHIC onVimeo.

Where is your favourite place to ride your bicycle in Vancouver?

I’m a big fan of taking mysterious side streets and alleys because it feels new every time—like being in a new city. For daily commutes I love narrow streets where you’re close to store fronts, pedestrians and slower traffic.

David and his sister | Image courtesy of Loredana G.

Do you have any cycling tips for anyone who wants to start cycling but hasn't made it on two wheels yet?  

It’s become increasingly clear to me that I (and everyone I know) can talk too much about biking tips. Media offer a lot of solutions to problems that don’t exist (classic marketing noise). Many people get caught up in what kind of bike, clothes, and accessories are available and end up realizing they spent too much money or didn’t need whatever nicknack they were sold. I think the only good advice in this situation is—if possible—borrow any kind of bike, look up the rules, then go for a bunch of rides in a safe neighbourhood. Meeting a friend for coffee is highly encouraged. People figure things out pretty easily on their own after a few fun rides. Once they figure out their needs and interests, plenty of us are around and happy to answer questions and give tips, but having those fun rides is key.

David teaching his sister to ride | Image courtesy of David Phu

How would you describe your cycle street-style?

It’s just me wearing what I like with little regard to biking. My personal style just happened to suit my riding style. For clothes: I like minimal, classic, and clean lines. I favour black and grey. Details are important to me (e.g. tailoring, lining, scarves, etc). I don’t shop a lot so I depend on high quality, good tailoring, classic colours and shoe repairs to give my wardrobe longevity. For bikes: I like minimal, clean, and light design. I’m currently in love with my Velo Tack leather bar wraps made in Vancouver.

Image courtesy of Victoria Furuya

Thanks for the great chat David! It was a pleasure getting to know you a bit better. We love your cycling tips for beginner riders and we love that you think our Iva Jean Rain Cape is Cycle Chic worthy! We really think you are on to something big with your mini-docs, please keep the inspirational videos coming; you’re doing good work!

David lives in Vancouver, BC. When not riding around snapping some fab street photos, you can find David exploring the back alley ways of his beautiful city and enjoying life by the sea.

You can find David at the following links.


Vancouver Cycle Chic Blog

Vancouver Cycle Chic Facebook

Vancouver Cycle Chic Twitter

Vancouver Cycle Chic Instagram

Vancouver Cycle Chic Youtube Channel




We would love to hear what your tips and tricks are to get people out on their bikes riding. 

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Joie de Vivre!

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