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Vancouver’s vibrant veloculture

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)

Moving to the present day, there are all kinds of cycling activities going on that are anything but dull and gray. For instance, Vancruisers is a club for local cyclists who favour cruisers, including choppers, beach cruisers, krate bikes and rat rods. They host a range of fun, rainbow-coloured events. One of these is the Little 100 race. Shown above and below are two of the many colourful (and entirely not-grey) participants, taken by Ulrike Rodrigues (see her site for more great photos of colourful cyclists).

And then of course there are the Vancruiser’s beautiful bikes, also photographed by Ulrike Rodrigues:

And in case that’s not colourful enough for you, Bryn from Vancruisers tipped me off to the Wig Rides held regularly by the group. Here are some of the participants – I don’t know when last I saw such a non-boring group of Vancouverites!

Clearly there’s no shortage of colourful cyclists in our city! But let’s not forget, we also have a BEAUTIFUL city to showcase our bikes. Here’s a photo by Peter Ladner that vividly makes this point:

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