Nanaimo fixture ‘Brunie Brunie’ hit by theft


A 74-year-old outspoken candidate for Nanaimo city council is in shock after the theft of her only way of getting around and campaigning. Brunie Brunie’s banana bike is as recognizable as the perennial election candidate herself, so her supporters are wondering if the theft wasn’t targeted. Skye Ryan reports. 

Bouncing along with the energy of a teenager, Brunie Brunie, her devoted dog and signature dreadlocks, make her as recognizable a character in Nanaimo as they come. But it’s her bike that really stops traffic.

“Cuz she’s got funky handlebars, dangly wind chimes on it and her riding it for one,” Nanaimo resident Bill Lawson said. 

But the perennial election candidate, who is right now vying for a seat on Nanaimo city council isn’t getting around much right now after the theft of her campaign vehicle and sole source of transportation, her beloved bike.

“Wow. I looked and there it was gone, my sign was gone,” Brunie Brunie said. 

It was stolen Monday morning as she slept in her boat at Newcastle Marina.  A male suspect was caught on grainy surveillance video before he rode away with her prized possession.

 “There was not another bike like it in town so you know,” Brunie Brunie said.

“I’m attached to it. Just like I’m attached to this dog. But you know I don’t have a car I have eliminated cars from my life.”

She even refuses to ride in cars, as she advocates for this city to be more bike friendly. So this theft, with under two weeks of the city’s by-election campaign to go, could really affect her.

“I think that was picked on and targeted probably,” Bill Lawson said.

“Somebody that didn’t like…I couldn’t see someone wanting to take that bike. It’s too obvious.”

Jude Wilhemson at Hub City Cycles says a lot of people are keeping an eye out for it and hoping it doesn’t derail Brunie’s campaign.

“I’d love to see Brunie in a position like that because she’s got great ideas,” Wilhelmsen said.

Never one to stop trying, Brunie Brunie says she’ll keep making a run at council without her famous banana bike by her side. 

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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