How to ride a bicycle in Vancouver

Tips, tricks, facts, and jabs from Vancouver’s cycling community

MonkeyLectric light on bicycle
Cool things you can do with your bike: light up.

by Ulrike Rodrigues

Vancouver cyclists are everywhere. If you’re in traffic, we swirl around you. If you’re on the seawall, we glide past you. If you’re on the sidewalk, we steer around you. If you’re on a bike— well, we’re behind you.

According to the City of Vancouver Web site, cycling is the fastest growing method of travel, and almost 16 percent of Vancouver residents cycle or walk to work—including a full 41 percent of the residents in the downtown and West End neighbourhoods.

And if you’ve noticed more bikes than usual this spring, it’s because 2012 is a champagne year: in the conference hall, 1500 delegates of the international Velo-City Global 2012 conference are rolling up their trousers to talk cycling planning. In the streets, thousands of participants of the third annual Velopalooza bicycle festival are rolling out their bikes for two weeks of themed rides, parties, talks and water fights.

Cycling is not just for weekends anymore, and it’s no longer rumpled. Like a lively golden thread, city cycling has sewn itself into the fabric of Vancouver’s dashing new look. It’s fresh-faced, light-hearted, practical-minded and easy on the eyes. It’s easy to try, too. With its mild weather, separated pathways, and cycle-themed hangouts, Vancouver dares you to not try a day on a bike.

But about those sidewalks. It’s super that everyone’s so keen, but did you know that not only is it not legal to ride on the sidewalk, but it’s totally not cool in the cycling community. And that “cycling community” is actually a misnomer?

Read my cycling tips, tricks, facts, and jabs in the June 28, 2012 issue of Westender (WE) Vancouver, including:

  • 5 things you didn’t know about the Vancouver cycling community
  • Connecting with cycling in Vancouver
  • 5 cool things you can do on a bike
  • 10 ways to cycle in everyday clothes
  • Where to find affordable gear
  • 5 accessories to make your bike more useful
  • 3 easy ways to maintain your bike
  • How to deal with tough situations on a bike
  • Theft-proofing your bicycle
  • Vancouver’s best places to get your bike stolen
  • 5 top cycling routes in Vancouver
  • The most interesting bike route you’ve never ridden
  • 3 cycling adventures in BC

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