anyone taking part in VACC's first ever (in November) Bike to Work Week?
anyone taking part in VACC's first ever (in November) Bike to Work Week?
thanks for the heads-up
Not officially, but I will in spirit as I'll be bike commuting everyday.
Bah. I don't ride to downtown so the "event" is lost on me.
No damn pavilion for those of us that grind over the Ironworker's Bridge.
You don't een have to stop by. Just register on line for prizes.
The numbers and the data the VACC collects for the Bike to Work program is one of the most powerful tools to show municipal, provincial and federal governments that people are out there biking to work year round.
If you don't register, when it comes to funding the argument for not giving out any is that few people ride even when eniticed by free give a ways
I ride mostly only on dry days, but I registered for that very reason. This is a very good way to say to local governments "we are out there, support us"
Two commutes this week, Monday and Tuesday
Good points, I'm registered up and it's been a great week for biking but tonight's return trip looks to be a wet one.
And I will admit i have been reticent in registering with the VACC; but consider it done as of today.
I have recently been diving in (so to speak); and am trying to wallow through where to put my efforts.
CM was a start (4 years ago); but that does not feed the Activist Beast a diet with enough fibre :D.
North Surrey............ride a trike. Any other trikers, only seen a few in the three year I've owned it.
Anyone read the letters section in todays Province?
DECEMBER 26, 2008
Only in the Lower Mainland will you find someone stupid enough to think that "going green" rather than taking personal and public safety into consideration is the right thing to do.
Recently, while while driving on the Lougheed Highway, halfway between Mission and Maple Ridge, I encountered a cyclist commuting to work heading westbound in the middle of the lane.
This is a highway, mind you. People were being forced to follow someone on a bicycle down the highway at breakneck speeds of about two miles per hour.
There are so many things wrong and unsafe about this. On one of the most treacherous days of the year on B.C.'s highways, you have someone daft enough to think it's OK to ride their bicycle on a snowy icy highway.
Come on, man, take the bus -- or find a safer way to get to work.
You were putting yourself in an extremely dangerous situation, as well as all the other motorists around you.
But hey, you left no carbon footprint, right?
Over the past week, especially the last couple days, commuting back and forth to work has been challenging. Christmas eve day was probably the worst, but I was still able to do it safely and without incident. But being car-free, you do what you have to do. And usually the only time that I take transit, is when I'm too sick to ride my bike.
Driver's just don't realize, or maybe have the perspective that we do, as to why we do what we do. And if that means taking the lane, for the safety of ourselves and the other traffic, then so be it. It's not something that they would normally understand. They just see us an an annoyance and/or impediment to their world.
With respect to riding on a this stretch of highway, and in those conditions, honestly, I can't comment because I wasn't there. I've ridden that stretch of highway a number of times, when I've gone touring and have left the city via this route. Riding on a highway under inclement conditions wouldn't be my cup of tea per se, but then some cyclists may not like riding in the city under these conditions either. It all depends on what you're used to, and what you can safely accomplish.
I've been at work a few times when an unexpected snowfall came down and had to slog home in less than ideal conditions. For the most part I was able to stay out of a motorists way, but for some (short) parts had to be in the way and relied on co-operation from other road users to be safe.
I mostly don't want to be riding in the way of motorists in these conditions because I worry about how the cars can (and do) lose control far more than if I lose control. If I do fall, the last thing I want is for a motorist to slide into me.
It seems most traffic has been pretty horrific this past week and that while a bike might not have been the best thing on the road, it may have not been all that much worse than what was already out there. I'm not sure that, if I could avoid it, I would head out on the road until the rain clears the roads of snow and ice. I don't think others would take riding in these conditions any lighter.
I wonder if Terry's journey was more important than the cyclists journey or if he just thought it was. Maybe Terry is also one of the majority of motorists that think they are far superior drivers than all the others out there, so it's OK for him to be out there but not others.
I think I get Terry's point. I think he (she?) was concerned the cyclist was making things more dangerous, but only the only thing written about the riding was that the cyclist was forcing everyone to go slow. Is slowing down making anything more dangerous in the snow? I'm not sure. It could be seen as contributing to a safer speed of travel.
Oh, and BTW, taking on the snow on a road bike? Gotta give props! I've done it and it's more challenging than using a fat tire bike! I see you're on the BSB. How was going through the deep on the sidewalk? Were you forced to take the lane and slow traffic yourself at any point?
The double edged sword that I find with designated bike streets, is that in non-snow conditions - they're great, and I do use them frequently. I am very cognizant of my presence in traffic, and I try not to impede flow if at all possible.
But when we get snow, those streets are a write-off. So if you are a utility/carfree cyclist like myself, your only other option is riding on the well maintained yet busier roads; or taking transit. And on the topic of transit, I prefer not taking it because I know exactly how long it will take me cycling. There are some exceptions and allowances of course, because of less than perfect road/weather conditions.
Also, I've found that most impatient people, just think that their time is more important than anyone else's. So if you're that slow driver, or that damn cyclist, you're just wasting their time.
People, driver's in particular, need to realize that we cyclists, maybe only require ten more seconds of their time. If they don't have ten seconds to spare, maybe they shouldn't be on the road. Of course I know this can be a cumulative thing, but anxiety affects your driving ability and judgement when you're on the road.
Secondly, when it comes to driving skill and ability, it's best not to make assumptions, period. Though this is hard to do at times.
An example would be me. A driver may assume that I have no driving skill, but that is incorrect. I've held a Class 3 with an A and M endorsement, as well as my private pilot's licence.
With respect to flying, one of the most important things that I've learned, was that as the PIC (pilot in control), you are responsible for everything. You can never assume, because it is your responsibility to know. If you don't know, you have to find out what is necessary. If there's an incident or an accident, it more often than not comes back to what you did or didn't do, rather than what the other person did, or what the weather and conditions were like.
The city has maintained the sidewalk on the BSB fairly well. It kind of went to pot the last couple of days though. As you probably know, it's illegal to ride on the road of this bridge, and I would never do this. It isn't safe. I've seen a lot of atrocious and irresponsible driving on this bridge. I would walk this bridge before I would ride on the road.
There have been times that my taking of the lane, has impeded the flow. But I have also stopped and pulled to the side, to allow the built up traffic to pass me, when necessary. And I have no problem doing that. It may delay me a minute here and there, but commuting is give and take. I don't like intentionally irritating drivers. I just want to get where I'm going safely, just like them. We just prefer different modes..
I agree about transit. You just can't depend on it.
It's good to hear of a cyclist being responsible and reasonable. I think most (certainly not all) drivers are too, they're just taking a bit of time getting used to sharing the road. More advocacy through education is needed.
I found one of the prime problems coming home in the snow was the build up of snow in between the cogs of the cassette. Eventually, it rises, compacts to ice and the chain starts to slip. A good case to get a Nexus 8 speed I suppose.
I wonder how the water build up that's coming with the melt will go. I'm heading into work on Sunday. There should be some big puddles out there.
Considering the temperature is supposed to warm up substantially as well, the melt could be ugly. Is it more of a concern in Richmond because it's so flat, compared to Vancouver that is?
Actually, Richmond is very dry because it has continually improved it's sewer and drainage systems over the years.
I moved here in Dec. '71 (one of the whitest Decembers recorded, but since I moved from Nelson, BC the snow was far less than I was used to and was surprised at how worked up everyone was about the snow) and I remember any field would be totally flooded after very little rain.
There has been so much commercial growth over the years that the increase in taxes from those businesses paid for mass improvements in city infrastructure including improving and building more pump houses that drain the city of excess moisture. The irony is, despite being below sea level, Richmond is one of the driest cities in the lower mainland when it rains. When news reports of floods come out after heavy rain, it's usually in White Rock, Surrey, North or West Van at the bottom of all those hills.
I see the problem lying in all those drain grates that have been covered by the snow banks. I picked up my son at airport station yesterday (when the roads were relatively clear) and the were a couple of corners that were small lakes. After todays snowfall (the city workers were out plowing again, instead of uncovering those drains) with the rise in temp, and the rain that'll come tonight, it's going to be duck city.
That letter is pretty rough, hey? When I first read it, I thought he said in the middle lane, rather than in the middle of the lane. If the rider was taking the rightmost lane, that's pretty standard procedure, and "Terry" should probably learn to live with it. The wonderful thing about highways is that they have multiple lanes; if you don't like bikes, stay in the left lane.
look at the posted pic of the conditions this past week
It's likely the road Terry travelled on looked like that.
Terry was complaining that the cyclist was in the middle of that single lane holding him/her (and others) up.
Well, I should never say never.
The sidewalk hadn't been touched as of this morning (~6:30 am), but the streets were clean. The sidewalk was totally unrideable, so I walked the bike for about 20 m before jumping the bank and cycling on the road. Only two cars passed me. It was illegal, but safer.
I would have had to exit the sidewalk anyway, as the small sidewalk plow was coming up from the other side.
Christmas day, I picked up my son at the bus loop and the roads looked pretty clear but on Boxing day we had that new snowfall. I drove my son back to the bus loop and the roads were terrible.
What a difference a day makes. I went out this afternoon and the roads were clear.
I'll head out early tomorrow morning not too worried about holding up traffic (the sides of the roads are still built up) on a Sunday.
Maybe by Monday the sides of the road will be clear. Another couple of days and it'll all be gone (I hope).
We are all either part of a problem or part of a solution. I would suggest that taking a lane of a highway in any weather condition in any vehicle at 50km/h below the posted speed limit is being part of the problem. In fact, impeding traffic on a highway is most likely unlawful. As cyclists who commute under most conditions we are part of that solution and if for no other reason, we in a small way reduce congestion. Here's a quote we've heard too: "One Less Car". By increasing congestion which increases the likelihood of accidents far more than decreasing speed increases safety the lone cyclist is really creating "Many More Cars".
We can hate the motorist, but in the 900 odd days I commuted in Vancouver, I was safely passed or given the lane by probably more than 50,000 of them. Or more precisely, by all but one car and one bus. There is a lot to be said for making a few common sense choices with respect to road use, not only for safety, but courtesy too. If we choose the moral high ground for no other reason than because we can, we could easily find some of our highways closed to us by those who pass us everyday without complaint.
I made it into work on Sunday but boy, was there a lot of ice on the road.
The #2 road bridge had clear lanes for cars, but the the bike lanes were still snowed under. I called the muni to ask them to clear it for Monday and they said they would but this morning it was as it was on Sunday.
The Province had anpther columnist write on cycling issues today:
Cyclists should have safe routes but no free ride
Motorists pay taxes for road work and riders should, too Jon Ferry
It was the evening of Boxing Day, one of the worst times to be out and about. But I wasn't about to let a little snow stop me from testing the controversial suggestion that one way to help solve Metro Vancouver's transportation woes might be to make our roads more bicycle-friendly -- by taxing cyclists.
Except it wasn't really snow; it was freezing, sloppy soup. And we weren't in a heated motor vehicle. We were braving the elements outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, myself and four hearty cyclists out for a Critical Mass ride . . . one of those monthly protests that obstruct downtown streets and anger motorists, at least when hundreds of cyclists show up for them.
We chatted by the big Christmas tree and toasted absent riders. Then, at 6:15 p.m., the four were gone, pedalling hard up Howe Street. And I was left to ponder the mindset of the average Vancouver cyclist, not just those for whom it's an all-season, all-weather event.
Well, clearly many feel vulnerable on the roads. As New Westminster childcare worker Dennis Bibby, one of the Critical Mass riders, told me: "Right now, the bicyclists are just sort of sitting ducks."
Certainly, many motorists need to adjust their thinking toward cyclists.
Some bike riders, however, display a snotty, us-versus-them attitude toward car drivers -- which is likely to become even more divisive early next year as Vancouver city staff re-examine giving one or more lanes of the Burrard Street Bridge to cyclists.
It's a proposal that didn't find traction in the past. But in these eco-obsessed times, bicycling has become politically correct, and politicians have started pumping money into bicycling infrastructure.
Bicycling advocates, though, want more. And, strange as it may sound, I agree with them: The best way to discourage conflicts between cyclists and motorists is to provide bike routes that are safe, easy to use and don't block other traffic.
No, my beef with local cycling activists is not with their cause. It's that they tend to be all take and no give, and don't seem willing to pay for the privilege of riding on public roads, as motorists must do through a whole series of fees and levies.
My view is that it's time Victoria made cyclists fork over their fair share of road-related taxes -- starting with an annual licence fee of, say, $50 a year.
Bibby thinks it's too early to consider such a bike tax. It's under active discussion, though, in Portland and Seattle. And Seattle Times columnist James Vesely notes that we already license everything from dogs to boats: "Cyclists, known for their community spirit and exalted senses of self, should welcome this opportunity to help government support their activities."
Exalted senses of self? Yes, some Vancouver bicyclists do seem a bit high on themselves these days.
So taxing them might help bring them back down to Earth. Or at least it might earn them a measure of respect from a critical mass of tax-weary motorists.
Down the tax road again. I hope someone from BC will set Mr Ferry straight.
Actually I couldn't resist so I wrote this:
Mr Ferry, have you been paying lots of gas tax? Which taxes and fees are cyclists not paying, beside those at the gas pump? Property taxes that help pay for municipal roads, provincial income tax to pay for municipal highways, and sales tax like all other taxes that just add to general revenues that pay for everything. Most cycling adults have driver’s licences, so if any of those dollars that were to contribute to road maintenance, which I'm sure none do, they would pay those too. Many own, register, and insure automobiles; they just choose to utilize their roads differently. I am 100% willing to pay for 100% of the wear and tear that my 20 lb bike on 2.3cm of rubber inflicts on the road. Add it to my tax bill; I'm sure I won't notice.