Susan Stokhof wants to use her new role to normalize cycling in Victoria. (File contributed/ Susan Stokhof)

Victoria sees Canada’s first bicycle mayor

Susan Stokhof was appointed the Bicycle Mayor of Victoria by an international cycling organization

Susan Stokhof has long been a cycling advocate, and now has a new title to carry her messages forward.

Stokhof was appointed the first Bicycle Mayor of Victoria – and the first in Canada – by BYCS (pronounced “bikes”), an international cycling advocacy group based in Amsterdam. The appointment took a long application process, including interviews, references and a video submission. As the first bicycle mayor, Stokhof will hold the position for two years before holding an election.

“Now that I’ve been appointed, I’m going to continue doing what I”m doing, but maybe at a higher level,” Stokhof said. “It’s the normalization of biking that I want to focus on. Dressing for your day in cycling, not just for sport.”

ALSO READ: Look to the Dutch for better bike networks, says Victoria cyclist

Stokhof owns an online bike accessory boutique, Le Velo, and recently studied bike-focused urban planning in Amsterdam. From her studies, Stokhof said the city needs to re-examine how they brand cycling.

“Even when we see Bike to Work Week, we’re always seeing people in Spandex,” she said. ” My goal has always been out get out riding in style.”

Stokhof also hopes to use her new profile as a way to further encourage safer riding environments in the city, and to get more people on their bikes. The BYCS goal collectively is 50/30: to get 50 per cent of residents riding by 2030. The BYCS network, which includes 26 bicycle mayors globally, shares a collection of resources to propel this goal.

ALSO READ: Victoria gears up for Bike to Work Week

“I want to get more people riding, and understand why it’s so important to have proper infrastructure,” Stokhof said, citing her experiences cycling in Amsterdam. “What I discovered there is the streets were built for people.”

In her studies, Stokhof found that the separation of cyclists and cars made everyone feel safer, and actually improved traffic conditions.

“There are so many cyclists in Amsterdam, but Amsterdam still has the happiest drivers in Europe.”

The City of Victoria, though not active in appointing Stokhof, is still keen on including her in its initiatives. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is set to make an official announcement about Stokhof’s appointment on the first day of the 25th annual Bike to Work Week launch on May 27.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Victoria Police seize drugs, replica firearms and $50,000 in cash after searching Victoria home

A property in the 600-block of Manchester Avenue is focus of investigation

Saanich approves new eight- and 11-storey residence buildings for UVic

Residents also supported the environmentally friendly residences

Federal government funds 60 ‘micro-loft’ rental units set to open on Fort Street

The Sawyer Block at 840 Fort St. will house affordable units and a small amount of retail space

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Most Read