I've been back on my bike a lot lately and it feels so good. I often hear people say that there is no way they would ride in the city because it is far too dangerous, and believe me, nobody is more nervous at times than me. (I nearly lost my life in an accident in 2001)
Hopping on my bike is something that I always did without a single thought. (I'm talking riding in the snow in the winter in ontario...whatever the weather, I rode). For years. I am nearing 46 years old and don't even drive a car.
I love cars mind you, and my partner and I have loads of fun with our little car and car club as well. Tons actually!
But as far as driving goes, I've never really had to. I have always made sure that I live close enough to my work to ride transit, ride my bike, or walk to work. (I also spent most of my adult life living in Toronto where more people don't drive than do). There is simply no need. You live downtown and a car would actually slow you down driving in the city.
I have lived here for 13 years now and initially was disappointed in the lack of off road bike paths. It surprised me really. But then again Vancouver is so new compared to the other cities I have lived in, and these things take time.
And it is starting to catch up!
The city is adding more bike routes all the time and improving existing bikeways which is a really wonderful and necessary thing. *see the map above
(the dark green lines are major bike routes/pale green lines are alternative routes)
It is pretty amazing though how quickly you can get to and from certain parts of the city on our 'on road bike streets'. 10th Ave, Yukon st, Heather st, Cypress st, Ontario st, 29th & the off Broadway path are just a few off the top of my head. Yes you do share these roads with cars but they are really set up with the cyclist in mind.
Although I do not hop on my bike with the same wild abandon I did in the 80's & 90's (there are a lot of things I don't do with that same old 'wild abandon' I did back in the day haha!)
I still greatly enjoy riding my bike.
There is just something about riding your bike that feels so incredibly great whether you are commuting or riding for pleasure.
Cycling is a clean green & healthy mode of transportation, and thats just a fact. And it's enjoyable, invigorating and a major calorie burn.
I mean just look at the Seawall...now that is heaven. ♥
And Stanley park? I haven't even gotten into those bike paths on this post!
Bike to work week is coming up the week of May 31-June 6, and if you haven't been on your bike for a while you should give it a whirl!
Just for the fun of it, or to commute.
Bikes are cheap, fun, and like yoga a bike ride fills you up with that incredible life force energy prana like few other things can!
If you aren't sure that you want to invest in a top of the line bike, don't! Don't let money hold you back!
There's Craigslist, garage sales...
(you should see my rickety old bike!)
Just make sure it is tuned up, that you have a helmet (and a fender comes in handy in these parts with all the rain we get! )
Here are a couple of links for ya to get started;
Bike to work week http://www.biketoworkmetrovan.ca
City of Vancouver site- for the latest on cycling, cycling safety etc. (search for cycling)