Meet Cycling Nova Scotia’s Active Transportation Planner and Designer: Ethan Malech!

Welcome to Cycling Nova Scotia, Ethan!

With over a decade of experience in the cycling industry, Ethan has travelled the world working as a bicycle technician while pursuing his studies at Dalhousie University School of Planning. He received Honours in Community Design, focusing on Active Transportation Design. Combining his practical experience working on community members’ bicycles and his academic background, Ethan is dedicated to providing accessible-oriented designs that promote and address Active Transportation in all communities.


We asked Ethan some questions about cycling to get to know him a little better.


Q: What kind of bike do you ride?

I ride a few bikes, ranging from a speedy track bike (a Giant Bowery) to a specialized touring/gravel bicycle (a Lynskey GR300). Irrespective of the type of bike I ride, you’ll always find me carrying a few bags either attached to my bike or to myself, often with a few coffee grounds packed with me.


Q: What is your cycling origin story?

I began working at a bike shop when I was young, assembling new bikes and developing a keen interest in the various types of bikes. Through my job, I learned that bikes, just like people, are unique and customizable, often reflecting their riders’ personalities. This perspective influenced my studies in university, where I aimed to gain a deep understanding not only of bicycles that make up our communities but also of the people who ride them.

Q: What has been the biggest changes to cycling in Nova Scotia that you’ve seen or that you’ve been a part of over the past 2-3 years?

In the last few years I have seen a growing cycling community, people are increasingly sharing their passion for cycling beyond just the sport scene. Whether it’s a social ride, an allied ride, or simply an opportunity to grab a coffee with friends, cycling in Nova Scotia has evolved beyond being just a means of transportation or a sport.


Q: What is your favourite bike ride in NS?

The Cabot Trail is a breathtaking route that highlights the magnificence and significance of our natural world. As you travel along its twisting paths, climbing and descending across the island, you’ll be amazed at what the human body can accomplish, scaling heights and navigating through the unfamiliar quiet that contrasts with our usual urban environments. The ride immerses you in nature, encouraging you to reflect on our responsibility as caretakers of the landscapes we tread upon.


Q: What excites you about the Blue Route?

One of the things that excites me the most about blue routes is the opportunity to offer people the choice to walk, cycle, or roll through the province. Often, slower journeys can provide some of the most intimate ways to explore the world and appreciate the fact that we don’t always have to be in a hurry. Some of the most memorable moments come from dismounting – perhaps by the trail’s edge, along a meandering road, or within a previously unexplored community where the idea of pausing for a coffee emerges.


Q: Do you have any other interesting things to share about yourself?

Beyond the saddle, you’ll frequently find me curating playlists and out on outdoor expeditions; I enjoy the act of donning headphones and setting a purposeful tone when out and about. Music can remind you of what matters, whether that intention is to reminisce or appreciate life.


Although, when I’m navigating the open road on two wheels, you won’t catch me donning headphones – safety first! 😉