Meet our Members: Victor Z
HUB members are passionate individuals, families and organizations who are committed to making cycling in Metro Vancouver safer and more accessible to everyone!
This month we caught up with Victor Z., who holds a Student HUB Membership and has been living in Vancouver for the last year. In addition to being a HUB member, Victor also volunteers as a “Bike Host” for the Newcomer Bike Host Program, a unique collaborative project between ISSofBC (Immigrant Services Society of BC) and HUB Cycling. This program has paired Victor with Hassan, a government assisted refugee from Lebanon who Victor has taken under his “wing” and has introduced to biking as well as improving his English.
How long have you been biking in Metro Vancouver?
I’ve lived in Vancouver for one year since I arrived in Canada from Brazil.
What is your most regular route?
Heather Street, from Broadway to Langara College.
Have you always cycled and how did you gain the confidence to use it as your primary/one of your primary modes of getting around?
I’ve been cycling all my life as a hobby, and have now made cycling my primary mode of transportation.
Where is your favorite place to cycle in Vancouver and what’s your least favorite part of the city to ride and what would you most like to see changed?
Best part of the city to cycle is the Sea Wall, and the worst part is the West End. The bike routes on/between Robson and Georgia down to Stanley Park are not well thought out in my option. These are important streets and the connections are not great.
You moved to Vancouver not so long ago, how has biking helped you assimilate to the city?
Biking around Vancouver has been good because it has helped me map out the city and learn how to get around. It’s also made me more comfortable with the city and made me feel like a local. Why do you think introducing cycling to newcomers to Canada is important through programs such as Bike Host? I believe in the power of cycling as a community changer. I also think the program unites the benefits of getting in shape and familiarizing yourself with the city.
Why are you a HUB member?
Because it is a organization that I believe is doing good work to make biking safer and more accessible.
Why did you join the Bike Host program as a volunteer? I know how it feels to be a newcomer and I believe in the power of biking as therapy. I also wanted to meet new people.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the Bike Host program?
Watching Hassan [the newcomer] learn to ride a bike in just one month, and later seeing him ride all around the city within three months of getting on a bike for the first time. This has been a life changing experience for both myself and Hassan and this program should be enlarged so other people can benefit.
What has been the biggest challenge of the Bike Host Program?
Addressing Hassan’s fear of riding alongside with cars and traffic.
How does cycling compare to your home country of Brazil?
Vancouver is a great city for biking, especially the downtown core and nearby regions. Brazil still has some infrastructure issues with developing bike lanes and other features.
If you had a tandem bike, who would you most like to ride with?
I’d like to ride it with Justin Trudeau.
Want to join HUB and make biking safer? Memberships range from only $15-$40 a year and support better more connected biking throughouth Metro Vancouver.