Meet Matt: a new media specialist by profession, he’s a true Ottawa local who is passionate about advocating for a bike-friendly city, and he plays a lot of bike polo in his spare time.
My name is Matt, I’m 25 years old, and I’m a web developer from Ottawa. I guess I kind of have three big things I do in my life: there’s the shop that I work at, bv02, I do a lot of charity work for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, and I play a whole lot of bike polo. That’s my life in three boxes!
How long have you lived in Ottawa for?
My whole life! So, 25 years now. My whole family is from Ottawa – I guess I’m the second generation here, maybe third? I’ve been to a lot of places, and I always come back to Ottawa. It’s the cleanest, nicest city that I’ve ever been to. I particularly like the safety, and the sense of community that creates that safety.
I’ve met a lot of different people, and gotten to know a lot of different groups throughout Ottawa, and it’s always the same thing: there’s a real sense of community where everyone seems to know everyone else, and you get these auxiliary communities of people who know your people, and you get to know everyone very, very well.
I actually just moved back to Centretown from the Glebe. I love Centretown to death. I’ve lived there before, and I’m glad to be back. All the crazies, oh man. Literally, it’s all the crazy people that keep it interesting. I mean, I used to live over near Kent Street, and me and my roommate used to sit in our living room with the screen-door closed and the inside door open, and repeatedly – I mean, really, more than once! – we had random people wander into the house. You know, just stand there in the hallway looking confused. We’d just usher them back out the door, be friendly. It keeps it interesting. And, well, I also like it because everything is walkable in Centretown.
So, can you tell me about bicycle polo? What’s that all about?
Yeah! I got involved in bike polo about a year and a half ago. I’ve been playing pretty steadily since then, three or four days a week. We have a club over at Ev Tramblay Park, and there’s a tennis court there where we play. It’s actually a city-sanctioned bike polo court. It’s been around in Ottawa for almost ten years now. It’s basically like hockey, you know, the physical aspects of hockey but also the dexterity of riding a bike. Ottawa’s not big enough to support a league – we have, at the most, maybe 20 or 30 people who come out on any given day, so it’s all just pick up. But we have a tournament once a year, and people come from all over the States to play here.
We did your photos in two places – your work and out in a bike polo court. Can you tell me about why those places are important to you?
Well, those are the two places that really represent what I’m doing here. I really love my work at bv02, and bike polo is a big part of my life right now. They seem appropriate.
You can take a look at Matt’s portfolio at http://mattdavidson.ca, and at his Vimeoto see a bunch of great stuff. You can also read his blog at http://nart.ca, and follow him on Twitter at @MattDavidson.