To celebrate a successful (yet somewhat soggy) Bike to Work Week I ventured out this morning for a tour of downtown with Dave from Opus. I was going to take photos along the way but I thought it best to pay attention to the routes, the perspective, and the glorious weather at atmosphere that was all around. I know Roland has mastered the art of snapping photos and taking videos of his daily bike commute using small devices but my camera just wouldn’t be able to handle that. However, I did collect tons of information about cycling in Vancouver.
We started off by crossing downtown with ease, using bike lanes and maneuvering the streets of the West End (that are sometimes like a maze for a car). Dave said his favourite spot to scope out the latest bikes is in front of the HSBC building on Georgia Street, where all the couriers hang out. We then headed over to the new convention centre although the bike paths are not yet complete – this meant we had to carry our bikes down several flights of concrete stairs to reach the seawall in Coal Harbour. Over to Stanley Park, Second Beach, English Bay, and up to Burrard Bridge we went as we made the crossing to Kitsilano. Winding down to Vanier Park (where the Childrens’ Festival is taking place) Dave showed me the proposed location for a new BMX and mountain bike park.
While we were in the area, we stopped by Museum of Vancouver to pick up some information about the upcoming Velo-City exhibit (June 4th, 2009 – September 7, 2009) before heading back over the Burrard Bridge.
The entire time I was riding a Cervin Urbanista bike, by Opus. An upright cruiser-style bike that had 8-speeds, hand brakes, fenders, kickstand, and a basket (that made me want to go pick up some groceries on the way home). We’ve been living car-free since 2005 so we’re mostly just walkers and transit takers however getting up on a bike, crossing town in a breeze, and realizing that this city actually is highly accessible for cyclists made me want to go out and pick us up some two-wheelers. We’ve talked about it a lot and would use the bikes for things like getting to work and more importantly, the beach in the summer. I really liked the Cervin because it was comfy, casual (not hard-core mountain bike style) and still totally functional with the multiple gears. I used to BMX in my punk teenage years (and mountain bike before that) but I find this type of bike best suits our needs as it’s not only functional, it’s a step up from being a simple cruiser.
In case you’d like to check out an Opus bike for yourself, you can head to Mighty Riders (Broadway and Ontario & 4th and Burrard), Ace Cycle (West Broadway), Jubilee Cycle (Imperial, Burnaby), Obsession Bikes (Lonsdale, North Vancouver) and Cove Bikes (Main St, North Vancouver).
Remember it is the law to wear your helmet and please be alert when you’re out on the roads. Bike to Work Week is coming to an end but check out the Vancouver Cycling Coalition for upcoming events and information. This is a city of cyclists and I look forward to being a part of it all in the very near future.