His usual spot lay at the head of the council table or behind his desk at his law firm, but one of Comox Mayor Paul Ives’ favourite places to be is on the seat of his bike.
That is, of course, when he’s not cheering for his Montreal Canadiens.
Ives, who began to ride seriously about four or five years ago following a spin class at the Comox Community Centre, said the passion developed quickly.
“I participated in the Mayor Ford ‘Cut the Waist’ challenge but wanted to lose some weight before I turned 50. A friend asked if I wanted to join him for a ride, and soon after I … picked up a bike.”
In his first year of cycling, he rode more than 2,500 kilometres. In his second year, he and his wife Paula took a trip to France where they biked around the country.
“It’s a great way to eat and drink whatever you want and not feel guilty while on holidays.”
Currently, you can find Ives on his bike two or three days a week, and one day on the weekend. He said seeing things from the seat of his bike offers him a different perspective than the seat of his car.
“It re-emphasizes the need for safety for cyclists and pedestrians, and looking at opportunities to make bike infrastructure in the town safer for everyone.”
While he may not be wearing it while riding, Ives’ other proud possession besides his bike is his Canadiens jersey, which he recently received at the Mayor’s Cup charity hockey game.
“I’ve always had an affinity (for the team),” he explained. “I take a bit of ribbing, but the Canucks are my second favourite team.
“My dad was in the military and we moved a lot in the ‘70s. We lived in Ottawa and I watched Montreal play – they won six or seven (Stanley Cups) in the ‘70s.”
Ives attended law school in Halifax – a natural fit for his love of the Habs, as the Canadiens once had a farm team in the maritime capital city.
“The charity game was quite a thrill for me. To sit in the dressing room and to be on the ice (with some of the former players) was absolutely surreal.”
While the Canadiens’ 24th Stanley Cup win came in the ‘92-’93 season, Ives explained he promised Paula he will commemorate their 25th cup win in a special way.
“When Paula graduated from nursing school, she got a small tattoo on her ankle. When they win number 25, I will get a tattoo of their ‘C’ somewhere on me,” he added with a laugh.