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Bike to Work Week returns to Vancouver on Halloween

Anja Konjicanin
Oct 21st, 2011

Photo sourced from velovogue.com

Bike to Work Week returns to Metro Vancouver on Halloween. 

"Fall Bike to Work Week is a fantastic concept. The Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) does a great job of this," Penny Noble, Executive Director of Bike to Work BC, wrote in an email.

VACC will be supplying "[their] own tricks and treats at commuter stations all week around the region," according to the VACC press release. Monday's station on Smithe and Expo Blvd will be "extra special" – extra special because there'll be a photo booth, courtesy of Momentum magazine.

"We all need a little encouragement to try cycling in the rainy and cold weather," Noble said. "The Bike to Work BC model works on celebration and fun. You try something once, you enjoy it and then you want to try it again."
 

Why aren't more people using bike lanes?

Average Joe Cyclist
Feb 27th, 2011

(Photo courtesy of Paul Krueger)

“I’ve noticed there aren’t a lot of people using the downtown bike routes. I worry that they just weren’t a very good idea.”

A well-meaning friend said this to me yesterday. A day later, I have figured out what I should have replied. Better late than never, I guess.

In a nutshell, people are slow to embrace change. In fact, it’s quite fascinating to look back to the advent of motors cars, and see how people resisted cars as fiercely as some people now resist bicycle lanes. Cars were first invented in 1885, but it would be decades before they posed any threat to horses and bicycles. As late as 1907 they were seen as little more than annoying, noisy, smelly nuisances. The editor of the New Glasgow Eastern Chronicle commented:

“The automobile fever is catching.  [Soon] ... the chug-chug noise will be quite common. ... The horsemen need not get alarmed that the motor car will injure their business in our country. “
[New Glasgow Eastern Chronicle, 19 April 1907]

Road rage or traffic tantrums?

Average Joe Cyclist
Feb 3rd, 2011

Photo by Rex Features

Recently the news has been full of tales of road rage. Global News frequently re-runs a video of a man simultaneously driving and hurling a torrent of foul abuse at another motorist. Meanwhile, the victimized motorist is filming the whole event on his cell phone. I hope this event did not take place on one of the so-called bike routes that we cyclists share with thousands of duelling rush hour cars.

Neither of the drivers would have had much attention to spare for those “Share the Road” signs which authorities apparently believe can magically turn a dangerously busy road into a safe bike route.

More recently, we read the appalling story of Gerardo Arguello and Norman Segundo, using their minivan to chase down Ryan McCaffery, another motorist, and beating him savagely with a baseball bat. McCaffery’s “crime?" He pulled in ahead of Arguello and Segundo on an on-ramp near North Vancouver. Arguello and Segundo probably “lost” about 30 metres of road space; for that, they have rendered a father of two unable to earn a living, and nearly made a widow of his wife.

Vancouver’s vibrant veloculture

Average Joe Cyclist
Jan 17th, 2011

Three cyclists I met on the Bike the Blossoms Ride in Vancouver in June 2009. These colourful cyclists kindly took a break from eating their lunch at Terra Breads on 5th Street, to pose for this shot (Photo by Average Joe Cyclist)

One of the things that elevates Vancouver to the ranks of the best cities in the world is the rich diversity of its varied cultures. That's one of the reasons why I believe that cyclists are good for Vancouver (despite that strange minority of fuming cyclophobes). The kaleidoscope of Vancouver cyclists adds further layers of fun, colour and texture to our vibrant mosaic.

Vancouver’s cycling culture has been accused of being a dull, gray monoculture. Nothing could be further from the truth. As far back as 1925, Vancouver cyclists were interesting and original. Above is a photo from 1925, showing a local cyclist on a bike cleverly disguised to look like a horse. Sadly, the technology of the times means we have lost the colours, but I am betting this cyclist and his bike were anything but dull and grey. (Photo Copyright 2010 Vancouver Public Library)

Magical moments in Vancouver cycling in 2010

Average Joe Cyclist
Dec 30th, 2010

Photo courtesy of Paul Krueger

2010 was a watershed year in Vancouver cycling history – thanks to a Mayor and City Council that actively promoted cycling, and to many cycling activists pursuing their shared dream of safe cycling for all. Mayor Gregor Robertson stood up for cyclists, and spearheaded essential improvements to cycling infrastructure that have made cycling in Vancouver safer and more accessible. October 5th was the day that Vancouver City Council voted unanimously for the contentious separated bike lane on Hornby Street.

 

(Photo by Average Joe Cyclist)

Workers were out the next morning, and the lane was completed at record speed, to open (unofficially) on 7th December. The entire Bike Lane can be seen on the video at the bottom of this post. (Video by Alexwarrior1.)

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