The Tree Bike

The Tree Bike Lead
Photo by Robert Dall

Darcy McCord (Left) and Ilan Handelsman with the tree bike.

By Sarah Ripplinger

Seeing that eco-minded people are grabbing the handlebars in full force, Bikes on the Drive – located at 1350 Commercial Drive in Vancouver – decided to put together a bicycle that keeps the environment in mind from production line to finished product.

The Tree Bike treads softly on the earth with its sturdy frame and long-lasting parts, designed by Devinci. Manufactured and assembled in Quebec, The Tree undergoes a paint-application technique that has its roots in reducing waste and toxic effluent.

“Our bikes are powder-coated, not sugar-coated,” said Bikes on the Drive general manager ilan Handelsman. The technique involves electrically charging the metal bike frame of The Tree and then spraying on a powder coating of paint. The bikes are then heated, the paint adheres and voilà.

The powder-coating process “makes a more durable, lasting bond to the frame” that, when scratched, doesn’t chip off, said Darcy McCord, service manager at Bikes on the Drive.

The seeds for the design of The Tree were planted two years ago when Handelsman and his co-workers saw a need for commuter-hybrids that are manufactured in Canada. Together they selected a neutral black color for the bike with the green tree logo – designed by Bikes on the Drive mechanic Tobias Cain. They also wanted their bike to be sustainable and local.

“The reason we’re in the bike business is because it’s sustainable,” said McCord. In this case, sustainable means less waste, less energy used in production and using parts that can be repaired and replaced. “This bike is designed to be serviceable and it’s designed to last.” MSRP $1150 (V-Brakes) & $1350 (disc brakes)

One per cent of the proceeds from the sale of The Tree Bike go towards Canopy, a company that works mainly with heavy paper consuming sectors to reduce the amount of tree-sourced paper and toxins used for printing.

Originally published in the Sept/ Oct 2009 issue of Momentum Magazine and on

Change Is Blowing in the Wind

Red Bike in Fall
Photo by Marc Bjorknas

Bicycle riding in the fall.

By Sarah Ripplinger

What groundbreaking changes can one summer bring! Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge bicycle lane trial entered into full swing in July – with much praise from the cycling and non-cycling community alike. In addition, Vancouver hosted several car-free days, now called Summer Spaces, and the Museum of Vancouver presented an art exhibit dedicated to exploring the city’s many biking subcultures. The city of North Vancouver is considering installing a bike escalator to help cyclists ascend Lonsdale Avenue – a harrowingly steep stretch of road – and the SFU Community Trust is considering installing a gondola to carry transit passengers to campus up Burnaby Mountain.

In this issue, we take a look at the appropriateness of cycling for today and tomorrow. Why are more people being drawn to the saddle and what changes and innovations are likely to be made to meet their needs in the future?

Apart from finding new ways to encourage people to ride, it’s interesting to contemplate the future of bike design. As we see in this issue, greener bikes could be the way of the future; plus, we learn about how environmental awareness, bicycle-riding theatre troupes and audiences are attracting crowds on Vancouver Island. Critical Mass was almost too popular for its own good in Vancouver this summer and, as contributor Zan Comerford reveals, CM in Victoria is using new techniques to attract attention to its rides. In keeping with this month’s theme, we take a broad-stroke approach with a feature article about the state of cycling in BC and we also hone in on what’s buzzing in the interior with a snapshot of Kelowna’s bike and biz scene. This and more coming at you at 16-42 kilometres flat.

Keep those spokes humming!

Sarah Ripplinger

BC Editor

Originally published in the Sept/ Oct 2009 issue of Momentum Magazine and on