Wherein Tiana writes about cycling in VancouverPosted: August 14, 2014
Shawn and I recently spent about a week and a half in and around Vancouver. This trip was a big deal to me for many many reasons and there are lots of facets that I want to blog about.
This post is about my experience of the cycling culture in Vancouver.
At the start of spring, Shawn suggested that we arrange to use bikes around Vancouver and I loved the idea. Immediately, I started looking into bike rentals and into the cost of bringing our own bikes along.
Bike rentals start at $50/day per bike.
Flying with bikes costs just over $300 per bike (return)
It became clear that buying a couple cheap, used and generally in serviceable condition bikes was the answer. On our second day in town we started looking for used bikes. It turns out, there aren’t many actual shops that sell used bikes, Craigslist reins supreme in the area, but doesn’t work well for two people looking for an immediate purchase. On our first evening in town, I saw a couple walking on the sidewalk chatting and bringing some pretty nice custom bikes with them and I figured they’d have some good info. They suggested two different shops, both close to where we were staying. It turned out that one of the two had what we were looking for.
We ended up at Our Community Bikes and lucked out on one serviced bike and one as-is bike and some sweet people giving a friendly discount deal to a fellow Women/Queer/Trans night facilitator. We left that place with two working bikes that only needed a few minor adjustments to suit our needs for the remaining 10 days of our trip.
So… What do I want to say about bike culture in Vancouver?
There are bike routes everywhere! Not only are there dedicated bike paths, but there are entire streets that are dedicated bike routs and cyclists just go on them in huge gangs, all over the place. That was such an amazing feeling, to be totally safe and travel as a group among strangers. Any cars just kind of deal with it. At small intersections there are roundabouts where those on the bike route have right-of-way over the cross-streets. At major intersections there are stop lights that are activated by a crossing button right there at the side of the road, where cyclists can reach them! And then, it isn’t a super long wait for the light to change, it’s practically instant.
It seems clear that cycling as a commute option has been well integrated into the city and the entire time I was there I super duper enjoyed cycling as an option. I didn’t feel like there was the animosity between drivers and cyclists like there is here in Ottawa. In fact, cars often stopped in busy roads to let us cross if we were not at a controlled intersection, or they paused long enough at stop signs to let us go through without having to stop of slow for them. It was so super chill and lovely.
On this day:
In 2012 – moving out – selling stuff
In 2009 – “those mini squash that remind me of crowns for hand puppets”
In 2008 – ” I can now manage showering regularly and feeding myself for the most part.” (insert something about solo-parenting here)
In 2007 – dead bodies in my mouth
In 2006 – public transit gives me Feelings – for real
In 2005 – not into it