Interview with Kat Holmes on wheeling around town in Vancouver
Kat Holmes formally worked as Print Designer at Paul Smith in London before moving to Vancouver in 2012. She's worked as Design Director for Lululemon and is now the founder of print design consultancy Whet Creative and bike leader for Tight Club Vancouver.
JH Can you tell me what makes Vancouver so special and why it’s a great city for cycling?
KH A lot of people say Vancouver is the best city on earth because there are mountains and sea in the same city; it's green, warm in the summer and snow in the winter. I would agree that it's pretty special. It's exactly those reasons why it is great to bike here, 30 mins down a dedicated cycle street and your at the bottom of those mountains, if you so choose to cycle up them. What I love is the sunny days when you may cycle to the beach or the outdoor pool, there is a sense of freedom, like the kids from The Goonies (Chunk all the way). Or when the crew heads out on a Wednesday flying down hills and in a pack pulling each other along. Life feels good.
JH Sounds Awesome... big goonies fan here too! How does cycling in Vancouver compare with cycling in your previous home in London?
KH It's different, cars here can turn right on a red.... you can get cut up. London has a more advanced infrastructure for cyclists than Vancouver, although we have dedicated cycle streets cars can go down them, but they are quieter. Vancouver is starting to build it, we just got the equivalent of the Boris bikes too, although, I'm yet to get on one, but the city is way smaller, therefore I am generally not caught off guard without my bike because I tubed in that day and need to run an errand! Drivers, and taxis are the same, some give you space, others, usually the big SUV's get too close.
JH What kind of bike do you ride to get around town?
KH My good old Cannondale, although I'm thinking of selling it for a more comfortable city ride, drops really are not conducive with summer skirts!
JH I hear you’re a Tight Bike Cycle Club leader in Vancouver? Can you tell me more about Tight Club and what’s your role as Bike leader?
KH Yes, Tight club is a fitness studio that is more about community and lifestyle than just being a gym. Tight club classes range from an athlete inspired work outs, Booty loving classes, to TRX to Tabata style sweet sessions. I’m one of the outdoor leaders, leading run, swim and Tight bike. We set up Tight bike because we loved cycling, but there really wasn’t anywhere for girls to go who were just getting into it, or who weren’t quite ready to match the boys on the local mountain. Last year, our first year was a success, we got 18 girls through there first 100K in the rapha 100 and into the velodrome. 2017 we have huge plans. A kit, Rapha 100, Grand fondo, and a 2 day touring ride..
JH What’s your favourite place to take your bike club crew and what distance do you cover?
KH Favourite ride- Demolition Forest. Its through Seymour national park and a 20K there and back paved ride through the woods. Its about 60K in total.
Usually with the girls we are between 40K- 60K on a week night.
JH Impressive stuff! You girls must be powering through it. What’s your 5 top tips on places to see in Vancouver by bike?
Stanley park loop, the road way- coming down the hill in there is so much fun.
UBC Loop- you get to ride by the ocean and view the mountains in North van.
Deep cove, great early morning ride.
Cycle to all the breweries.
Riding out to Horseshoe Bay, viewing the UBC loop from the other side!
JH Beautiful. We loved horseshoe bay when we visted VC too! How about favourite spots to stop for eat and drink when you’re out and about on your bike?
Northshore; I recommend a stop at cafe crema; http://www.crema.ca/
Deep cove; cafe Orso- waffles!!! http://cafeorso.ca/
Pizza farina; http://www.pizzeriafarina.com/
33 Acres; http://33acresbrewing.com/
JH What do you like to wear cycling? Are you an urban cyclist, full lycra kind of girl or what floats your boat?
KH If I’m riding, I’m in Lycra.
If I’m riding around town- whatever I put on that day.
JH What's your dream bike / accessory?
KH I’d like to take a few of Paul Smith’s bikes! Also, eTap group set…. Please and thank you!
Massive thank you Kat for all the the tips on cycling around in VC. It sounds like an amazing city to cruise around by bike and I certainly hope to visit again soon.
Follow Kat on Instagram at Missholmesee and for creative inspiration follow Kat at Whetcreative;