Stanley Park, Vancouver
♫ Bicycle Race by Queen
After a bit of a break for the summer (to ride my bike, naturally!) I’m back with a few highlights of one of BC’s biggest cycling events: The Whistler Gran Fondo.
The third edition of the ride featured over 6,000 cyclists making the (mainly uphill) ride from downtown Vancouver to Whistler— 122 km in total.
If you like those numbers, then check these out. The race included, at my count:
- 40 bikes with flat handlebars
- 1 tandem bicycle
- 1 recumbent bicycle (yes, its rider had a long beard)
- 0 unicycles (unfortunately)
- 1 purple tu-tu
Congrats to Marvin Guzman (or was it James Scale?) for taking first place overall, and Leah Guloien for winning the women’s category!
In 1974, Hans Spima took his Braun Nizo Super 8 camera, equipped with an intervalometer, mounted it on his camera, and went for a ride around Vancouver. Nearly 40 years later, he rigged up a machine to transfer the images from film to his computer and posted the result on Youtube for the world to see.
In 2012, my wife and I took my Canon Powershot D10 camera, hacked with an intervalometer script, mounted it on my camera, and went for a ride around Vancouver. A couple of weeks later, I transferred the images from the memory card to my computer and posted the result on Vimeo for the world to see.
We tried to recreate the route as closely as we could. We mostly succeeded— I’ll leave it to you to figure out where we didn’t. Here’s the route we mostly took.
OK, folks: no more excuses, just get out and ride your bikes.
Too snowy? No problem.
Job requires you to wear a rabbit suit? No problem.
Too many kids to take to school? No problem.
Too much sperm to carry? No problem.
Go see The Boston Globe’s Big Picture feature for more beautiful photos!
Thivener only started his new job last Monday, but he’s already got some thoughts about where he’d like Calgary to go:
The first thing I’m going to do is try to learn, as much as possible, what are the barriers to bicycling, as seen from the cycling advocates, from staff, from the aldermen and their aides, and the general public. I think a lot of people have a lot of knowledge out there, and I want to learn from it.
It’s not all about building bike lanes. We need to build a network of bikeways that connect to each other.
We know we have a lot of great roadway infrastructure in place already, but we will need to make some modifications, to carve out some space for bicyclists,… to make it safe and attractive for bicycle users.
We’ve got to have better bike infrastructure in the downtown. It’s not enough just to unleash the bikes without new infrastructure.
Calgary’s weather is cold, but really it’s not that different from some of the Scandinavian cities, like Stockholm, where they have 10% bike ridership. They have great infrastructure, and they can overcome the weather.
The vast majority of cyclists [in Calgary]— about three fourths— are men…. The research shows that if you can get a lot of women biking, you will get a lot more men biking as well— and a lot more older people; a lot more younger people.
All the best!
→ Photo from StreetsBlog.
Yesterday, staff at the City of Vancouver released a report recommending that the bike lanes on Hornby Street, Dunsmuir Street, and Dunsmuir Viaduct should be made permanent fixtures in Vancouver’s transportation infrastructure.
The recommendation is based on a few factors, not least of which is the increase in ridership on these (and Burrard) bike lanes since they were installed and the increase in safety along the bike routes.
The report goes before council later this month, and I’m hopeful that they will adopt staff’s recommendations.
Let’s take a closer look at the report — embark with me, if you will, on a wonderful journey of statistics and graphs! (I promise it will be better than it sounds.)
Look at that elegance! The curves! The shapely figure!
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the woman riding the bike, that’s one of the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest Stars of All Time, Rita Hayworth.
Retronaut has more pics of her and her friends riding their bikes to a picnic about 70 years ago.
(I would say that they just don’t make them like that anymore, but they do.)