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The first film series, produced by Vancouver Cycle Chic founders Chris Bruntlett and David Phu, were met with resounding national and international success. Find out why they dress for their destination and choose style over speed.
It’s an all too familiar story here in Vancouver, BC. Riding down one of the main streets in “normal” clothes and no helmet and one tends to stick out like a sore thumb. Rather than conform to the norm, Chris Bruntlett and David Phu decided to change the conversation. Drawing inspiration from Copenhagen Cycle Chic, the original bike style and street photography website started by Mikael Colville-Andersen in 2004, Phu started Vancouver Cycle Chic, Bruntlett joined him a couple of years later.
In an attempt to demystify and desportify cycling in Vancouver, the two started taking photos in the Cycle Chic vein – highlighting people wearing everyday clothes simply getting around their city by bike.
However, it was their first film series that sparked global attention and landed Vancouver Cycle Chic on the map. The goal of the Vancouver Cycle Chic films is simple: illustrate how easy cycling is.
As is true in so many cities around the world, biking is perceived as complicated or sporty or political or all of the above. “We wanted to strip all that away and present an image where people saw it and said to themselves, I can do that,” said Bruntlett.
The films have spoken and the world has listened. Opportunities, like film festivals and speaking events, have continued to present themselves to the Vancouver Cycle Chic team, including an invitation from the New Zealand Transport Authority for Bruntlett and his wife, Melissa Bruntlett, to speak in Auckland. There they will cover the best ways to promote bicycling culture in cities as uncovered in their film series and photographs.
When asked what changes he would most like to see to North American cycling in the next 5 years, Bruntlett was fairly adamant. “Stop treating cycling like it’s a big deal. We are so hung up on laws, arguments, terms, gear – all the distractions. Strip away all the distractions and make it about the simplicity of getting from point A to point B on a bike.”
What’s next for Vancouver Cycle Chic? They are planning on producing another six short films, continuing to produce content for the blog, drumming up sponsorship, and keeping on top of their speaking engagements. Balancing Vancouver Cycle Chic with other commitments like family, a full-time job, and the desire to sleep can be difficult but the rewards far outweigh the challenges according to Bruntlett.
Didn’t see the first film series? Check them out on the Vancouver Cycle Chic website!