Van Bikes – Portraits From the Cycling World

Last summer I worked with Colin Stein to produce portraits of key players in Vancouver’s city cycling movement. Colin is working on a really big project: conducting in-depth interviews, sourcing archival images, and bringing together first-hand accounts as he puts together the definitive oral history of cycling advocacy in Vancouver. I can’t wait to hear these voices illuminate how we became such a bike-friendly city. Check out the project here. In the journey to a printed volume, we’ll hear a lot more from Van Bikes.

You’ll see there are more than one hundred people who make up the fabric of this tale. Kudos to Colin for tackling such a big project, and one encompassing so many angles. See how bicycles factored into the ground-breaking Clouds of Change Task Force, continued today as the Greenest City Action Plan. Or the creation and philosophy behind our city’s beloved Bikeway Network. Here’s one on our bike-friendly Mayor Gregor and his party’s role in growing our cycling mode share (complete with a portrait I shot of the Mayor in 2012). This is just a sample of the stories to come.

The portraits were started with another photographer, so when I stepped in to help out we had a style to work with. A simple set up – one light, one chair, and a dark backdrop all aimed at capturing some personality to accompany the interviews. We converted to monochrome for a consistent batch to work with. I was happy to reconnect with past colleagues and friends from my years working in Vancouver’s cycling advocacy and media sector. Cool to finally meet some of the others whom, over time, I had known via a wave as we passed like bikes in the night. Keep an eye out on Van Bikes and related media, this story goes back many decades and continues to be written today.

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