It’s a biathlon of sorts, two pursuits in one.
While Tim Lavery pedals his electric cargo bike around town, he’s also peddling the city’s new brand.
If you’ve seen the Salmon Arm councillor out and about on his two-wheeled transport recently, you’ve likely noticed the large blue sign sitting behind him.
It shouts out the city’s new brand: Small city, big ideas.
Lavery first used his “old school media,” during the last municipal election. He put his ‘Tim Lavery for council’ election sign on the bike.
“The idea hit me, hey I’m out and about, I might as well leverage my riding around. So I did that. It was really responsive, positive feedback. They were really interested in the bike but certainly noticed the sign as well. It was great for messaging.”
This spring, he decided to set the wheels in motion under the city’s new brand.
“I decided I’d use it (the bike) for messaging again, not only as council supported the branding initiative of ‘Small city, big ideas,’ but just my way of personally supporting it too… I’ve got it on my city card. The city is starting to get it on city vehicles. This is just my way of peddling it.”
During his ride to town for the interview, he mentions, a tourist approached him to ask what the big idea is for Salmon Arm.
“I just talked about the growth we’ve had, the many features of Salmon Arm, what we’re looking to in the future. Just a really general conversation, but they pick up on it.”
He says he talks about Salmon Arm being a safe community, linked to the environment, its tech focus on the economy – generally “what an amazing town Salmon Arm is.”
But, Lavery admits, the brand sign inevitably takes a back seat to the cargo bike he’s owned for a year.
People are very interested in it. While he knows of only two other cargo bikes in town, he says they are very popular in some parts of the world.
They can carry a lot, both front and back, earning the ‘cargo’ moniker.
While Lavery’s enthusiasm for the city and its new brand is intense, it is arguably matched by his appreciation for his sturdy blue two-wheeler.
“It’s art form in terms of design, but also very functional. Functional art really.”