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Cyclists shouldn't have to stop at stop signs, HUB says

Jordan Yerman
Feb 28th, 2013

Cycling advocates argue that Vancouver cyclists should be able to use the "Idaho Stop". It could also be argued that I need to clean my bike.

They see me rollin', they hatin'

Should you be able to roll through a stop sign if you're on your bike?

According to Erin O'Mellin at cycling advocacy group HUB, cyclists should not be forced to stop at stop signs when it's safe to proceed.

News outlets are seizing upon the "cyclists blowing stop signs" aspect of the story, but HUB is arguing that cyclists should not be governed by the Motor Vehicle Code. This makes a certain degree of sense, since bicycles are not motor vehicles.

Erin O'Mellin suggests that cyclists should be allowed to treat stop signs as yield signs, executing rolling stops (aka California stops) when there is no opposing traffic.

A few things to keep in mind when discussing this issue:

Cyclists to celebrate big bike lane wins at Gastown Christmas bash

Erin O'Melinn
Dec 20th, 2010

Photos courtesy of Erin O'Melinn

Last Tuesday the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) hosted its third successful Business for Bikes Celebration Station, at the Vancouver Art Gallery beside the new Hornby St separated bike lane. This week the event moves to Gastown for carolling and Christmas spirit in recognition of the Carrall St. Greenway nearing completion; creating another Class A bike route in the city. The Celebration Station will run from 2-5pm on Wednesday, December 22, at Carrall and Water St. outside of Chill Winston's restaurant. At 4pm the station will feature Christmas carollers, singing songs such as "Rudolph the Red-nosed Bike Light" and other seasonal favourites... with a cycling twist.

How to clean up your bike

Kevin Um
Aug 13th, 2010

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Before taking your bike out for a spin, especially if you haven't gone out in a while, it's a good idea to clean it up, service it, and make sure you're safe. It also doesn't hurt to have a shiny bike that doesn't squeak when you go out on a ride with your friends. And you can do all this in the privacy of your own home.

What you will need

1. Lubricant for your chains

2. Dish soap or de-greasing solution

3. Toothpaste

4. Rags

5. Small brush (toothbrush also works)

6. Large brush (toilet scrubber works as well)

7. A bucket or large container

8. Supply of water (garden hose)

Optional item

1. An iPod or some music to keep you entertained

The process (a basic clean-up)

1. If your bike is making weird noises, your problem is most likely rooted in your chain and gears. An easy solution to this somewhat embarassing problem is to clean it up and relubricate it.

Inspiring cycling in Vancouver and the Tour de France

Kevin Um
Aug 13th, 2010

Footage of the 2009 Giro d'Italia (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Canadians showed an unprecedented amount of national pride and enthusiasm for competitive sports. With the City of Vancouver currently focusing on making itself the greenest city in the world by 2020, a similarly inspired public is necessary to make sure the changes keep on coming. One way to accomplish this may be to have a miniature event of something like the Tour de France right here in Vancouver.

In comparison to Europe, cycling as a sport does not receive much media coverage or excitement in North America. Other than during the month of July for the Tour de France, there is close to no coverage of cycling on television. The same lack of attention holds for other forms of media as well.

Let's follow Norway to become the greenest city in the world

Kevin Um
Jul 30th, 2010

The Trampe bicycle lift in Trondheim, Norway (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

The City of Vancouver recently launched the website Talk Green to Us and set out 10 ambitious goals to make itself the greenest city in the world. One goal (number four) specifically focuses on green transporation and aims to make walking, cycling, and taking public transit the dominant form of transportation by 2020.

The website Talk Green to Us allows Vancouver residents to voice their own ideas and has an online voting system that is used to filter out ideas based on popularity. The current most popular idea is "Cycling for Everyone: Develop a complete cycling network that feels safe and attractive to all" with over 450 votes.

Developing a safe cycling network will certainly encourage more residents to commute to work or school on their bicycles. However, the next step towards green commuting is to make cycling in itself attractive to all.

From Bordeaux to Pauillac: the race of truth for the 2010 Tour de France

Kevin Um
Jul 23rd, 2010

Alberto Contador at the Prologue of the 2010 Tour de France (Photo from AC Press Room)

This year's Tour de France has been marked by intense rivalry between Alberto Contador of Team Astana, and Andy Schleck of Team Saxo Bank. Throughout the Tour, Contador has riden defensively in the mountains, following the accelerations of Andy Schleck. The current time gap between the two riders is a combination of Contador's (relative) strength in the Prologue on July 3, Frank Schleck's crash in the cobblestones on July 6, and Andy Schleck's mechanical on July 19. The mountains have done little to shake up the battle between the top two riders. As a result, the final general classification for the 2010 Tour de France will be determined by the individual time trial on Saturday.

Let's make Vancouver the Bike Capital of the world

Kevin Um
Jul 10th, 2010

(Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

The main setback that bicycle commuters in Vancouver face is the lack of well-maintained and safe roads. Most bike routes in the city are just wider roads that are designed to accomodate both cars and cyclists. While this design works well most of the time, the road presents cyclists with many circumstances that can be difficult and dangerous. Recently, a Quebec truck crash killed 3 cyclists. In light of that tragedy, it's time to think again about how to make roads safe for cyclists.

Vancouver trails miles behind cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen in terms of providing accessible and safe bike routes. Below is my assessment of some of the bike routes in Vancouver, and what does and doesn't work about them:

West 8th Avenue

Contador displays his strengths in France

Kevin Um
Jun 7th, 2010

Photo by AC press room

Alberto Contador is looking strong with less than a month to go to the Tour de France. The Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré is serving as his final testing ground, and he is showing spectacular form.


Contador powered through the time trial on Sunday's prologue, and in the process claimed the leader's jersey, the sprinter's jersey, and the climber's jersey, along with the stage win. All this came after he stated in a press conference that he would not race to win. Afterwards, he downplayed his victory by saying, “Besides, there are a lot of riders in great form here who are hunting for the victory while I’m still not at my best level.

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