Member Profile – Ian Gartshore

Ian was born in 1955 in Edmonton, and has been living in Harewood for the last 11 years. His parents were both avid cyclists and the whole family would go for rides together. Note that in the 1960’s this was extremely unusual!

This beginning is likely why Ian has been an avid cyclist all his life. Consequently he decided to buy a house instead of a car, and has not regretted that decision for one moment.

“I knew Jawn was trying to create a community-based cycling shop. Being an action-oriented guy I was not the least bit surprised when he told me a group were prepared to create a non-profit co-op. Giving him a little direction they ran with it. Wow! It is certainly the talk of the town in terms of the impact they’ve already made!”

“Hub City is so helpful, responsive, knowledgeable, and community-oriented. Unlike other shops they are constantly trying to pass along their skills so that instead of feeling frustrated or intimated we cyclists can be empowered.”

“My bike (pictured) is tall. Like me. It’s comfortable, the extended handle-bar doesn’t hurt my back, has all the gears I need, and it gets me there. In the summer I add a front rack and head off camping. I’ve been all kinds of places with this hybrid.”

Ian recalls the day he first started to ride on his own. His grandmother helped him get there. When she released him and he was able to stay balanced and self-propelled he felt really “free.” It was an exhilarating moment that he still recalls with fondness. Today he still loves the mobility and great exercise it gives him. He goes everywhere with it.

That sense of freedom, of having a choice, is also propelling Ian to run in the upcoming provincial election. For a long time Ian has been advocating for dedicated cycling paths so that people feel safe getting around. Not unsurprisingly Ian’s brother, Brian, was part of a successful team to bring about the cycling trail in Saanich that stretches from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal to downtown Victoria. When the municipalities built it, cyclists came! In droves.

Ian is confident that with Hub City Cycles, the Nanaimo Transportation master-plan, and the huge pent-up demand for such trails in Nanaimo we are not far away from having the same experience as is Victoria.

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