I think at first it was a bit daunting, and now we can’t imagine going back to car ownership.

In the summer of 2010, Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, along with their two young children, made the conscious decision to sell the family car, embarking on a new and enlightening adventure.  As they began to share their story of biking, walking and using transit for their daily lives,with others, they gained considerable media attention and have been featured in several films, articles, and more. They also started Modacity, a multi-service communications and marketing firm focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography and film.

(All photos courtesy of Chris and Melissa Bruntlett)

We're happy to feature Chris and Melissa on our podcast today, as part of Strong Citizens week.

Listen to the Podcast


Transcript

Rachel:                  Hello everyone and welcome to the Strong Towns podcast. Today we have on the podcast guests Chris and Melissa Bruntlett from Vancouver, Canada. In the summer of 2010, Chris and Melissa, along with their two young children, made the conscious decision to sell the family car, embarking on a new and enlightening adventure. As they began to share their story of biking, walking, and using transit for their daily lives with others, they gained considerable media attention and have been featured in several films, articles, and more. They also started Modacity, a multi-service communications and marketing firm focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography, and film. Chris and Melissa, we're so pleased to have you on the podcast today. Welcome.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Thanks. We're happy to be here.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Thanks for having us.

 

Rachel:                  Excellent.

 

                  Well, I was wondering if you could start by just telling me a bit about your life in Vancouver. How did you guys end up there?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Well, it was a decision that we made about six months after our first child was born. We had come to visit for a conference, and Vancouver had always been in the back of our mind as a place we might end up, we were living in Southern Ontario at the time, and spending a week here we knew this was where we needed to end up, being amongst the mountains and the ocean and coming from the flat areas of Southern Ontario. It was where we wanted to be.

 

Rachel:                  Okay.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  I don't think that that connection to nature in an urban environment can be understated. We both went to university in downtown Toronto, and after four years the asphalt and the concrete and the lack of green space really got to us and we wanted to get the heck out of there. We spent the next few years looking for that perfect combination of nature and of a walkable, multimodal city, and Vancouver really fit that bill in our minds, and things fell into place that we ended up out here.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah.

 

                  What was the moment when you guys decided or maybe it was a collection of moments that led you to decide to give up the car and use other modes of transportation for your daily lives?

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah. It wasn't a particular moment. It was a series of decisions that we made. When I first moved to Vancouver, I was doing a 45-minute to an hour-long car commute.

 

Rachel:                  Oh, wow.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Really grinding. I made it work for that period of time through carpooling and telecommuting, but mostly I was living and working in the city. After two years, I said, "Okay, that's enough. I've got to get a job closer to home," and then a series of decisions from there, getting the kids into schools closer to our home, choosing a community that had everything we needed within a 15-minute walk, just led to our car collecting dust in the parking garage because we had everything at our doorstep, and then when we needed to get outside of our neighborhood we had transit options like bus, train, and car share.

 

Rachel:                  It sounds like it played into your decision that you moved the parts of your life towards your home. I know some people decide to move their home closer to their work, but you guys did the opposite. I like that.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah, we lucked out. We were living a little bit further away from the downtown core when we first moved here, and we lucked out and got into a cooperative building. We now live in a housing co-op, and it's steps away from one of the major transit hubs here. Everything aligned and it just made sense, save the money on the car. We have ample car share here, so when we need a car it's there. I think at first it was a bit daunting, and now I can't imagine going back to car ownership.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah. It saves so much money.

 

                  What does an average day look like for your family? How do each of you get where you need to go?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  The average day usually starts with the kids getting to school, and we've been lucky enough that the school they got into is about a 10-minute walk from our house at the slowest pace, so the kids and us usually walk to school, and then from there we usually will take off by bike if it's raining, as it does here, and hop on the SkyTrain. Yeah, it usually involves cycling around the city, going to and from meetings, or just walking around our neighborhood. There's so many cafes and whatnot all within 10-minute walking distance from where we live, so we'll often schedule meetings and just take a nice walk in the sunshine to go and meet up with people.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  It really is horses for courses. We just choose the mode of transportation that happens to fit whatever we're doing that day and what we happen to carry and what the weather's like and how far we're going, whether it's on a bike route or a train route. Those are all factors that we place into the mode of transport that we take and sometimes it's multimodal. We stress we're lucky to live in a place that affords us those options.

 

Rachel:                  I saw some pictures of you guys, and we'll share this on our website as well, doing you're grocery shopping with a bike. Was that a specially-designed bike for you guys with the bucket area to put all your stuff in? That was really impressive to me.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  That bike actually came from a friend of ours in Montreal who owns a bike shop there. He's the distributor for this brand called Triobike, and so he rode that bike across Canada, and then ...

 

Rachel:                  Wow.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  ... left it with us. It's like the Bakfiet style. It's made in Denmark. We've inherited that, got the box built into it, and it's just become our family's station wagon. It's made grocery shopping so much easier. Used to be a lot of panniers or taking a car share, depending on how big the shop was, and now we can fit easily a $200 Costco run into that box. It's made life a little easier, and it's more enjoyable to go grocery shopping because we get to ride along the water most times.

 

Rachel:                  Oh, that's really cool. Yeah, definitely. I also don't have a car, and I find that grocery shopping is one of the biggest challenges for me. It's like, "Okay, do I carry all my bags on the bus? Do I just walk? Do I try to get a ride from a friend?" That bike is pretty fantastic.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  We're seeing more and more of them on the streets of Vancouver. That's really one of the cool things about the way the city's investing in bike infrastructure, is it's encouraging regular families to look into these options that really make the trip much more enjoyable and makes living in the city far more affordable as well when you don't have to do the gas insurance and all those extra expenses.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah.

 

                  One of the things that I know that I've seen you guys talk about before is that having a lifestyle without a car enables you to spend more time with your family, whether that is during your commute or it just means that you're spending less time driving between places. Can you talk about that a little bit and what that has looked like for your family?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  The little trips that we take are often taken for granted. When you're in a car and you're worried about traffic and not injuring other people while you're in the car, being safe, you forget that you're there with other humans. When we're riding around with the kids we have the most profound conversations with them, even if it's only for 20 minutes or whatever. Our son likes to talk about space and his place in the universe, which is always interesting. Those are the things I think we took for granted before when we were getting around by car.

 

                  When Chris was commuting for an hour and a half each way every day, that was three hours that I was alone with the children and he didn't have the benefit of having those interactions with the kids. Whether it's the conversations we have in transit or the fact that at the most our commutes now are about 30 minutes, it really allows for more time together. We work together, so we're around each other all the time, but even getting the kids to and from places, we've managed through a series of events to make things closer and more compact and really place more emphasis on the quality of the time we spend together. We didn't expect biking to do that and have that affect, but it's been a nice, the word has escaped me, after-effect, really.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah, and it's not just quality time with the kids. It's also quality time with our city, so I think our kids know the streets of Vancouver kind of like the backs of their hands, which has been fun to watch them. They know all the landmarks. They know all the neighborhoods. They know all the routes. They really have this intimacy with their city that they probably wouldn't have if we were shuttling them around in car seats. It's been another discovery that we wouldn't have made unless we took that leap five or six years ago.

 

Rachel:                  Right. Yeah. When you're a kid sitting in the back of the car, you just zone out. You have no idea what's going on outside.

 

                  Are your kids old enough that they are biking and walking places by themselves?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Not biking yet, but they have started walking to school actually, just recently. Our daughter is in grade four, and our son's in grade one. There's basically one major crossing they have to take and then otherwise they're off street, so they've started making that. We're not quite ready for the cycling leap only because I don't think that they would get along for the entire trip.

 

Rachel:                  Oh, yeah.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Walking, at least, there's only one thing they need to think about and that's getting where they need to go, whereas cycling is a couple other things they got to keep in mind as they're moving.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  We've prepared them for that eventual time when they will be riding around the city by themselves because riding next to us they know where to look when they enter an intersection, they know how to ride appropriately on the street, they know where to look for cars when they're riding. It certainly eases our comfort level, when we know we've got to cut the cord and let them go, that we've trained them with the skills they need to cycle around the city on their own.

 

Rachel:                  It seems like it's probably something that they'll be able to do before they'd be able to get a driver's license, much less have their own car to get around with. This is like a new level of autonomy that they can reach sooner than if they had to be driving everywhere.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  That freedom really is priceless. Melissa and I grew up in the suburbs where we were counting down the days to get our driver's license because we had no other way of getting around, and we were really reliant on buses that never came or rides from parents, so to live in a city where we can let our kids free to go where they want to go by foot, by transit, or scooter or whatever, is really liberating for them I think.

 

Rachel:                  Are there any other surprises or particular gains that you've noticed in your life since starting this new type of transportation?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  I think there's an aspect to the increased community. I think inherently when you start getting around by bike, you starting meeting a lot of other people that do the same, and it's created this accidental, large network of people that we've met simply because of the lifestyle that we have and the events that we'll go to to be around other people that just want to go and have fun on bikes. I don't think I expected to make a lot of new friends that way, and the kids have made a lot of friends that way. We just have this big support system that we know if we have an event coming up or we need help with a project there are countless people that we could call on to come and help us who are like-minded and get where we're going.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  That's only amplified by social media, so we have so many connections through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that Vancouver really feels like a village. Just yesterday, I was cycling to a meeting that was 15 minutes from our house, and I passed four or five friendly faces, people that I knew along the route, so ...

 

Rachel:                  That's wonderful.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  ... that approachability, that conviviality has been quite the pleasant surprise.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  It helps makes you feel that you're not all alone in this.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Right.

 

Rachel:                  What's the biggest challenge for you guys, of giving up your car?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  It's funny because riding a bicycle you've got lots of flexibility to get pretty much everywhere where sometimes a car can't take you, but on the flip side getting out of the city we have a little less flexibility with that. It takes more planning, booking a car, our car share, and really planning out those kind of trips. I think that's the one thing I think I really miss, and that's the challenge. We used to love going camping or going on spur-of-the-moment trips to another city on the weekend, and those aren't quite as frequent. That doesn't mean they don't happen, we have to think about it a little bit more. Because we live in a place where transit is so prevalent, we've never really had to sacrifice on getting around the city. We always have an option. Even if it's freezing or pouring with rain, there's always someway to get around that's convenient and pragmatic.

 

Rachel:                  Melissa, I notice that you've done some writing and speaking on the specific challenges of being a woman on a bike, and I'm curious about those. Tell me about your writing or your experience with that.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  I think inherently in the Pacific Northwest, it's changing and I won't deny that it's not changing, but I think for a long time most of the people that you were seeing out on a bike were lycra-clad, middle-aged men. That's fine, and that's wonderful for them, but you start to feel isolated as a woman. I would just hop on my bike with whatever I was wearing and go from A to B, and you really standout. On one way, it's nice because people see you and it inspires them, but on the other hand you feel a little bit alone, like who else is out there that's doing the same thing.

 

                  I have met a lot of women over the years that are doing the same thing but were not really coming together and celebrating that, and so that was really what inspired me to start writing about it more and speaking about it, not just in the cycling world but also just the urban world in general, and really trying to call to light the importance and the value of bringing female perspectives into planning or into organizations and advocating because we do come at things from a different perspective. Especially for myself as a mom, I'm not just thinking about what makes me comfortable but also what will make my children comfortable.

 

                  I know that that perspective can also come from many fathers out there. I just think that sometimes because the room is often filled with mainly men there is that missed perspective, that is growing, but it's still so important to have because we do bring a bit more of an emotional perspective to it as opposed to analytic and very practical. You have to consider the emotional because the emotional is what's going to get the average woman or the average child really getting out there and using active means of transportation.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah, I couldn't agree more. It certainly seems like in the field that I work in, engineers, planners, government leaders, even the organization Strong Towns that I work for is very male dominated, and I definitely agree that we need more female perspectives.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Just from what I've noticed in Vancouver, it's great because our cycling advocacy groups, the boards are predominantly women or 50/50 with women and men, and so there is that growing voice within the cycling community, and I think right now we're seeing a bit of a shift in things like urban planning and engineering, but it's a slower shift. It'll be interesting to see how cities change in the years to come as more women start getting into the field and young women too because that's a lot of where the new talent is coming from is the younger people.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah. I'm hopeful about that.

 

                  How would you guys respond to somebody who said, "Your lifestyle seems really challenging and I could never do that." I've certainly had people say that to me about not having a car. How do you respond to that?

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah, it's a tricky one. We're certainly not suggesting that everyone should ditch their car and live car-free. I think, like I was saying earlier, it was a series of decisions that we made to get to this point and that enabled this lifestyle. If people are really interested in shifting in that direction, I think the very least they can do is start looking at the multimodal picture and pushing their elected officials and their leaders to give them more options, and that's protected by claims, that's wider sidewalks, that's more frequent transit service, and not just writing the private automobile a blank check as we've historically done but aspiring to those multimodal goals that I think all cities are capable of. If they really speak up and let their voice known, I think our leaders won't have a choice but to offer those options.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah. I think from a personal perspective, if you had talked to us 10 years ago I don't think we would have known that we'd be where we are. It's all just about giving it a try and seeing what works. For us, we've gone through various iterations of how to get the kids around, what works best for us, choosing activities that we realize after the fact are way too far away and we need to reconsider. It's all just a learning process. Going completely car-free might not be realistic, but looking at those shorter trips, like going to the community center or going to the corner store or going to the park with the kids, just little things like that, if you can start bringing some of those trips into more active means of getting there, then I think there's always this opportunity for learning and surprising ourselves what we're capable of and also what children are capable of.

 

Rachel:                  What do think is the biggest thing that cities could do to become more bike-friendly and open? I know there's a huge range. Some towns have no bike infrastructure and hardly any awareness of that, and other towns have extensive protected bike lanes and trails and things. What are some tips that you have for towns along that range of different bike accessibility?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  For those that can attain it, separated cycling infrastructure is the best way to go, but I realize that's not totally feasible in all cities. I think it's what Chris mentioned, politicians recognizing steps that they can take and measures they can take to make it more bike-friendly, so lowering speed limits, if it's not on-street then providing some off-street means of getting to places they actually want to go, so not just thinking about the commute to work but also the commute to school or going to the shops or going to meet up with friends, taking those trips into account.

 

                  I also think public engagement and just helping citizens understand what options are available to them and how easy they can be. As everyone has said and Chris has mentioned, we put so much focus on the private automobile, and then some cities forget how to engage and encourage their citizens to really get out on bike. I think if they can do that and lead by example, even if they don't have the perfect infrastructure yet, build that desire and that interest in the general public I think can go a long way.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah. I think the commute to work is one that we have obsessed over for decades, particularly here in Vancouver, and only now are we seeing a shift towards enabling those other everyday trips that we take, which are actually shorter and more frequent. For a variety of reasons I guess, maybe because we have the most data around the trip to work, we have focused on making those longer distance trips work for bicycles.

 

                  If people are going to take up bicycling as a lifestyle or use it as a mode of transportation, it just has to be the easiest way that you get to the café, the restaurant, the theater, wherever you're going on a given day, and not just from your home to your office. That complete picture I think is what a lot of cities are missing.

 

Rachel:                  That's a really good point. I definitely agree.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Bike share is one of those tools that I think every city could have just to enable those spontaneous short trips and get more people thinking about just tapping a car and hopping on a bike and rolling around, people who wouldn't otherwise identify themselves as a cyclist. It's just a faster form of walking, and we've seen first hand it's really transformed cities for the better.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah. Bike share seems like a great way to get people who don't even own a bike yet, just get them testing the waters and seeing if it can work for their life and probably finding out that it does work for them.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah. We often joke that we don't cycle because we're super athletic and want to stay fit. We cycle because we're lazy and walking is harder. I think bike share, that ends up becoming the proof of that for a lot of people. It's like, "Man, that was so much easier because I didn't have to walk up that hill. I just biked it."

 

Rachel:                  Yeah.

 

                  What to you are the big benefits of biking? I know you've talked about time and being able to be with your family more. What about the economic and health benefits? Have you guys felt those in your lives?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Absolutely. In terms of the economic, I'm the one that does the budgeting for both the business and the home, and to know that I don't have to set aside $500 for gas and insurance and maintenance of the car. That's money that goes elsewhere, and we have a lot more experiences because of it in our city or with traveling, so the economic factor is huge.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Not just for us, but our community because we're now spending more money locally on things like cups of coffee and fresh produce that we maybe wouldn't be able to afford if we were allocating a portion of our budget to transportation.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Definitely the health factor. I wouldn't consider myself a super-fit athletic person, but I know that I always feel better when I can get out for a walk or on my bike. I think, Chris, you can speak a little more specifically to that.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah. Yeah. About a year ago, I gave up my day job and I now work from home, and the thing I miss most is that 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon just of really brisk cardiovascular exercise that I would get, and now that ...

 

Rachel:                  Yeah.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  ... I'm not getting it, I'm not able to cram it into my schedule the way it was forced before, I don't know if I've directly put on weight, but I'm not burning the calories that I used to burn, and it weighs on me a little heavier. Just the act of cycling for transportation can become your trip to the gym in lieu of your daily workout. You don't have to break a sweat. Just getting on your bike is enough to get your heart pumping and to burn some calories.

 

Rachel:                  Tell me about your work in Modacity. What was your inspiration for starting the company?

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah. Yeah. Where do I start? Living, working close to home and communicating the challenges and the benefits of that, Melissa and I were doing our own separate things, writing, blogging, doing photography and film, and one day we got an email from a colleague in Auckland, New Zealand who said, "Would you be interested in coming out to New Zealand? We're about to spend a large amount of money on bike infrastructure, and we'd like to hear Vancouver's experiences in terms of building infrastructure and what the quantitative and qualitative benefits have been." It was that moment that we thought, "Hey, maybe we're onto something here," and crystallized that we should be combining our efforts, and so we went through a whole naming process and putting up a website and combining our social media accounts. That was two years ago now and things have just snowballed from there as cities have approached us in terms of help communicating this idea of building a multimodal city and inherent benefits that come from it.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  I think that too one of the things that we were always doing in our writing but was missing in terms of work in communications and marketing around cycling is there's so much focus on the data and the infrastructure but very little on the human experience, and that was what we were bringing into the world when we created Modacity is really talking about that qualitative experience and what it's like to actually live in a place that provides for getting around safely by bike or really any other urban mode. Yeah, that's a lot of where our focus comes from is really trying to create that emotional human response and make it relatable so that the work that cities are doing, which is all fantastic, translates to the average person and they see the benefits of all the work that's being done.

 

Rachel:                  What are some of the projects that you guys are most proud of that you've worked on?

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  I think the films that we've created have been the most enjoyable and the most rewarding. We really just started out making movies with friends about friends. Melissa and I have no experience in filmmaking whatsoever. I studied architecture and she fashion. We put together a group of friends that wanted to learn, an editor, a director of photography, and a director, and just started telling stories. We made these cycle-chic films about Vancouverites who ride bicycles, and to our amazement they found an audience and started winning awards and being accepted at film festivals, and then that led to us working for the Arlington County Transportation Department, who saw the films and hired us to go out to Virginia last year and do some similar portraits of Arlingtonians who ride bikes. Yeah, that whole collaboration, that whole process, has been really exciting and enjoyable.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  We've got to meet some really interesting characters. Most people that we've worked with in Vancouver, we have had previous relationships with, but going to Arlington, Virginia, the stories that we heard from people, the connections we made, and how they just welcome you in and want to tell you about their lives, there's some funny stories that I don't need to get into, but just meeting so many different people, and again it's that extension of your community and being able to put that on film and tell these peoples stories in a meaningful way. For them, they find it quite touching because it captures a moment in their lives. For the family that we filmed, their youngest was born a week before we started filming, and they now have like this time capsule of what their lives were like at that moment. It's fun.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  That also happened to include a cargo bike.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah. Yeah.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah.

 

                  Did you guys bike when your kids were younger? How did you manage that?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yes. I'm trying to think back now. Our eldest is nine, so we start to forget certain things. We got the trailer when our oldest was born and did that basically for both of them until they were old enough to ride on their own. It was an unfortunate series of events that led to our youngest starting to ride. Theft is a big problem here and we had two trailers stolen, so essentially we put to him when he was four and a half almost five, "You can either walk to your day care or you can bike." He hates walking, so biking became the obvious choice. Now, they get around predominantly on their own. Sometimes they'll be lazy and hop in the cargo bike, but that makes more work for dad. I won't ride it when their in the cargo bike.

 

Rachel:                  Yeah, especially when their older.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah. It's over 120 pounds of child when they're both in there.

 

Rachel:                  What projects are you guys working on currently or what's on the horizon for Modacity?

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah, we actually have a lot on the go at the moment. We are working with Vancouver Bike Share right now. They're in the process of launching, will be launching, a bike share system in June, so we've been doing some promotional work with them in terms of getting the word out and doing some promotional photography and the like. We're actually working on a cargo bike championship, which is an event we decided to hold last year just to get these bikes in front of an audience and have some races and have some fun. This year we're trying to ramp it up a little bit with sponsors and prizes and the like.

 

Rachel:                  That sounds really cool.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah.

 

Rachel:                  Do they have to pull things in their cargo bikes?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah. Last year what we did is you had to have a minimum of three things in your cargo bike that could be human or not or animate or inanimate. We had an empty beer keg, we had our old fake Christmas tree. What else did we have? People had skis, a bag of soccer balls, all the things you could imagine possibly carrying. They came up with some inventive ways of getting those items into the cargo bike. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. There were prizes for the slowest, prizes for the fastest. I missed out on being the slowest by like 10 seconds. Someone was a little bit slower than me. Yeah, it's a lot of fun.

 

                  I think the biggest thing we actually have going on this year in the near future is we're actually taking the kids for a five-week adventure in the Netherlands. I'm planning all the flights and the accommodations and everything, so it's been like the biggest bit of planning. I think it's something we're all really looking forward to. We haven't been yet, so we're obviously looking forward to experiencing the cycling world that is the Netherlands. Our kids are also pretty excited, not only to travel but just to see what it is that we're trying to bring to Vancouver.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  That's a trip that's actually in part being financed by Vancity Buzz, which is a local publication that we write for. We'll be producing a series of illustrated articles and short films about each city that we visit and telling their stories of transitioning into a bike-friendly city because a lot of these Dutch cities only really shifted their priorities towards cycling in the 70s and 80s. I think a lot of people don't understand how recent it was. If we prioritize and make similar shifts, we could really transform our cities for the better within our children's lifetime.

 

Rachel:                  That sounds like an incredible trip. Are you guys bringing your bikes or renting them when you're there?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  We're going to rent them when we're there. We've heard that if your bike doesn't look like the typical black Dutch bike, you'll stand out. We don't want to stand out, so we'll see what we find when we get there.

 

Rachel:                  Do you have a route planned yet?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yeah. What we're doing is we're taking the intercity trains in between each city, and then we're going to cycle around the cities themselves. We're visiting, of course, Amsterdam. We're also going to hit up Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Utrecht, and Groningen is like the cycling capital of the world.

 

Rachel:                  Okay.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  It'll be a lot of fun, lot of new experiences.

 

Rachel:                  That's incredible.

 

                  Where can we read about that when that's going on?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  We will be posting on our blog, on the Modacitylife.com blog page, just little snippets from the trip while we're there, and then once we're back and the couple months that follow we'll start releasing some longer articles through Vancity Buzz, which is Vancitybuzz.com.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Yeah, but we'll be quite active on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, all of which are linked from our website.

 

Rachel:                  Cool. That is Modacitylife.com, right?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Yes.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  That's correct.

 

Rachel:                  All right. Well, we will put links up on our website to all of those things and include some of the wonderful photos that you guys have shared.

 

                  Do you guys have anything else to add before we finish up today?

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  I think the same message we always try to get out there for anyone if you're thinking about taking up a cycling-focused lifestyle is the simplest thing to do is just get a bike and get started, preferably a comfortable bike, something that suits you that you'll actually want to ride. It's just a matter of giving it a try. We predominantly all learned how to ride a bike when we were a kid, and it is really as simple as riding a bike. I think that's the biggest thing I think in terms of trying it out. It seems daunting, but it's actually super easy and a lot of fun.

 

Rachel:                  Excellent.

 

                  Well, Chris and Melissa, thank you so much for being on the podcast today, and I wish you the best of luck on your travels and all your work with Modacity. Thanks so much. Take care.

 

Melissa Bruntlett:                  Thank you.

 

Chris Bruntlett:                  Thanks, Rachel.