Saturday, November 28, 2020

Nov 29 People Protected Protest Ride in Stanley Park CANCELLED


Sorry, folks, the next People-Protected Protest Ride in Stanley Park will NOT take place on Sunday 29 November. Due to unfortunately high COVID numbers, we've made the call to postpone. 

Hopefully, we will be able to have next next family-friendly ride soon, but in the meantime, here's something else you can do. Please write the Park Board about the safe cycling infrastructure you'd like to see in Stanley Park. 

Let’s continue to show the Park Board that we want permanent protected bike lanes on Stanley Park Drive and Pipeline Road, in addition to the current access to the sea wall path.  We also want the sea wall gates opened so that non-standard bikes and child trailers can get through. Let’s explore other ways to ensure the safety of sea wall users without excluding families and disabled cyclists from the sea wall path.

There is a form on the Park Board website here.

Look forward to seeing you all on bikes in the future!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

People Protected Bike Ride on Stanley Park Drive 1pm October 18

Come for a People-Protected Bike Ride on Stanley Park Drive with us this Sunday, October 18, at 1.00 pm, meeting at Ceperley Car Park.  Stronger, more confident cyclists will be riding on the outside of the right lane, protecting the children and less confident/vulnerable riders who benefited the most from the temporary separated lane that was inexplicably removed on 25 September, with Covid-19 cases at their peak in BC and reduced cyclist numbers after a week of forest fire smoke.

The Park Drive bike lane was removed alongside the reopening of the Park Board’s recreational and leisure facilities across Vancouver. However the removal of the protected lane closed a recreational facility used by tens of thousands of people of all ages and abilities. A better comparison is the City of Vancouver’s ongoing improvement and expansion of its Slow Streets program including the Beach Avenue Bikeway, the busiest bikeway in the city. And all this at a time when fewer people are driving to the park and there’s even less need for two lanes for drivers. 

We’re campaigning to have the protected lane on Stanley Park Dr returned in Spring 2021 when Park Board commissioners will vote on a potential permanent Stanley Park Drive bike lane. There isn’t enough room for all the people who want to cycle on the seawall - we also need a bike lane on Stanley Park Drive to share the load, and a protected return route down Pipeline Road for people who want to cycle safely to the middle of the park or cut back before the hill.

Please keep at least 2 metres distance from other riders not in your household and bring a mask.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Unofficial Beach Ave Bikefest Sept 27 2020

Family rides on Beach Ave Bikeway
Photo: Lucy Maloney

Looks like we need to reschedule the Unofficial Beach Ave Bikefest 2020 due to the air quality. [Sad trombone] We will try again in two weeks, Sunday, September 27th, 3-4pm again! 🤞 for good weather/air!

Unofficial Beach Ave Bikefest 2020

Choose a costume! Organise your cargo! Bring the family! Come on down to Vancouver’s most popular and scenic cycling destination for some healthy outdoor fun!

The inaugural unofficial Beach Avenue Bikefest will be taking place on Sunday 13  27 September between 3.00 and 4.00 pm rain or shine!

This event will be Covid-19 compliant - there will be no gathering and no giveaways, just laughs from afar at costume-clad cyclists. All you have to do is choose a costume, and/or decorate your bike, and/or load up your trailer and ride up and down Beach Avenue. Don’t have a trailer? Just dress up and/or decorate your bike.

You can post your own photo on Twitter using #BeachAveBikefest, pause for a photo on the grass triangle where Beach Ave and Pacific Street meet at Jervis Street when you can safely distance or just smile at one of the roving photographers.

“Judging” will take place on Twitter at #BeachAveBikefest on Sunday evening or as soon as we can manage it. We will be awarding creativity and hilariousness of cyclist costumes, bike decorations, instruments played, and loads carried. Choose a theme! Make us laugh!

And if you love riding on Beach Avenue Bikeway and in Stanley Park, fill out the City of Vancouver survey on Making Streets for People by September 7, sign the HUB Cycling petition to Make #BeachAveBikeway Permanent and fill out the Park Board survey on Space for Cycling in Stanley Park by September 13.

Please note, this event is not associated with any organisation, we just think it might be a bit of safe, healthy fun in these dark times - participate at your own risk.

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Upcoming Family Cycling Webinars

Join me online in a webinar all about Family Cycling! I'm working with HUB Cycling to present an introduction to riding with your kids, from wee ones up to big ones. This FREE webinar will be held on three different dates in July & August. Register here, on the HUB Cycling website

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Family Cycling Live Q&A for HUB Go By BIke Week

Tuesday, May 26 I answered questions about family cycling live on Facebook as a part of the HUB Cycling Go By Bike Week. If you caught the livestream, or even if you missed it, I've collected some of the resources I mentioned here, all in one spot.

First off, the best place to start if you're cycling in Vancouver & the Lower Mainland, is the HUB Cycling resources page. You'll find tips on route planning & maps, insurance & theft prevention, buying a bike, rules of the road & safety tips, cycling groups, issues & improvements, bike friendly businesses, plus data on cycling.

A few related videos I've found useful:

Last but not least is the Vancouver Family Biking Facebook group. This is a closed group, so you'll need to request to join & be sure to acknowledge that you've read the group rules so you can become a member. It's a friendly little community with a couple thousand cycling parents who regularly share tips, gear, & help each other find bike, child seats, & advice on anything related to family cycling.

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Friday, February 14, 2020

#Modo Love Story

I joined Modo in spring 2003. At the time, my main transportation was transit. I biked sometimes & walked a lot too. I thought it might be handy to have a car sometimes, but had no desire to drop tens of thousands of dollars to buy a good one, or deal with a cheap but unreliable beater. Modo was a great solution!

Suddenly having access to a whole fleet of cars was pretty exciting, as I'd never owned one. I'd never  had my own vehicle waiting for me in my driveway 24/7, so the concept of making a booking online, then walking a few blocks to pick up a car wasn't a big deal for me. 17 years ago I wasn't thinking about reducing my carbon footprint as much as I do now, so I probably drove a bit more than I really needed to because it was such a novelty. Still, I rarely used the cars more than once a week.

Getting Hitched With Modo

In the fall of 2003, Oliver & I got married. We used a Modo car (our favourite one at the time: a little blue Volkswagen Beetle) to travel up to Squamish, where we hiked up to the Third Peak of the Stawamus Chief.


To read the rest of the love story, head over here to Modo's website. 

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

#Bike365 Challenge for 2020

My Tern GSD on the False Creek Seawall 
A few days into the new year, I was inspired to start another year-long social media challenge. If you've been following me for long on Twitter or Instagram, you probably know I love me a good hashtag challenge. I did #365FeministSelfie in 2014, I have participated in #30DaysOfBiking the last few Aprils, I decided to write a blog post every single day, plus a few others I'm forgetting the names of.

The reasons for these are generally the same: challenge myself to stick with a thing, use social media for both moral support & obligation to "stay honest", promote the thing in a small way by showing how I do it.

The plan this year is to ride every day of 2020: #Bike365. This challenge is, well, actually not terribly challenging for me, in terms of the cycling. I already bike five or six days a week usually. The real challenge is more about consistently writing & photographing my cycling. Biking is to me what water is to fish, & I often take for granted the aspects of it that are really worth sharing.

So if you're interested in following along, or joining in by chronicling your daily rides, please do! I'm mainly sticking to Twitter, though I may post some of my days on Instagram if I manageto get good photos. I've started a thread where I'll collect my daily #Bike365 tweets here, if you'd like to see.

P.S. You can still use the hashtag if you don't actually ride every single day of 2020--it's more about normalizing cycling for transportation than bike fundamentalism!

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Friday, January 3, 2020

#CarFreeFamily 2019: How Much Does it Cost?

It's that time again... time to tot up what we spent on getting around in 2019. I decided to do a Twitter thread on this, so rather than reinventing the wheel, I'll borrow heavily from that & add in a little more context, since I've got a wee bit more space here.

This year's transportation costs include:

  • Modo Car Co-op bookings
  • Poparide trips for Oliver
  • bike maintenance & parts for our fleet
  • Mobi bike share memberships
  • charging my Tern GSD e-cargobike

What I'm not including is:

  • the Modo bookings made & paid for by my employer, HUB Cycling, for work as a cycling instructor
  • transit trips made two & from my work, because this is also covered by HUB
  • all the taxi rides I took because of my broken ankle, which were covered by Worksafe BC
  • the cost of buying my Tern GSD
I suppose I could include depreciation for the bike or something, but honestly, I don't know how long I'm going to use this bike or what I'd get for it if I sold it, etc, so it's really hard to calculate. The Tern GSD S10 cost about $7900 with all the passenger & cargo accessories I got, extra accessories, extra locks, & $818 in taxes.

Carshare, Rideshare, & Bikeshare

Took a Modo car on a dark & rainy night to B's choir concert
We drove about as much as usual, 19 Modo Car Co-op bookings, a bit over 500km, but no rental cars, which is what we often use for out-of-town trips. Our Modo bills totalled $708 for the year. So MUCH less than owning one!

By the way, if you're interested in joining Modo, you can get a $50 driving credit if you sign up with the code SPOKESMAMA.

Oliver took a couple of rideshare trips to the Okanagan via Poparide, one of which straddled New Year's, so I've only included one way. These came out to $136.

Our Mobi memberships are also quite low cost--$20 each--because we qualify for their Community Pass program. More details on the Mobi site here.

Our Biking

Tern GSD on the Seawall 
I estimated that the cost to charge my Tern GSD e-bike was about $0.035 per KM, or $37 a year based on the past 5 months. I originally included $15 for this in the transportation costs. HOWEVER, I grossly overestimated this by multiplying the kWh by the time it takes to charge, which is wrong. So ignore what I tweeted, the total should be about six times less, or a bit over $6 a year.

2019 was a good year for bike maintenance too. We didn't have many flats or major issues with our bikes. Total: $559. Less than half 2018's total. Part of that may have been because the new Tern GSD hardly needed any work & it was my main ride for the last five months of the year.

However, we did buy a few things like studded tires for two more bikes, so that bumps it up by $140.

P.S. If you are looking for a good bike mechanic, take your ride in to Clint at Velo Star Cafe.


Transit cost us a measly $102 for the four of us. Other than my work trips, which I mentioned above, we just don't take the bus, Skytrain, or Seabus that much.

Some conclusions

A lot of our savings come from living in an area that has everything we need within walking or biking distance, plus pretty great transit & bike infrastructure. We really don't need to drive for 90-something percent of our trips. I realize it ain't the same in most of the rest of North America, but it doesn't have to stay like this. Also, I recognize that many people can't afford to buy good e-cargo bikes like mine--I couldn't either, to be honest, until I got a settlement from ICBC after I got hit by a car in October of 2018. Here are a few things, let's call them action items, that I push for in my advocacy work:

  • We need rebates for e-bikes & to exempt them from tax so more people can can & will buy them. They're expensive, but research shows they do replace car trips, which can only be a good thing for so many reasons!
  • We need to expand frequent, fast transit & robust carsharing in other cities so more people have better choices than owning vehicles & driving all the time.
  • We need to build a well-connected all ages & abilities cycling network in all our cities to make it safer & more enjoyable for more people including children to cycle for transportation.
  • More employers need to incentivize transit & active travel to work like mine does!

The Total

Photo Credit: Flickr via Compfight cc
Transportation-wise, 2019 was a bit of a weird year. Because of Oliver's new job & my broken ankle, we didn't go on any camping trips or travel anywhere as a family. 2018 was a more typical year, & we spent a bit over double this year's total, which you can read all about here if you're interested.

All right, now that I've made you read through my whole TED talk (drum roll please)... here is the total transportation costs for our family of four in 2019:


Now I know some people might include the cost of buying my Tern GSD e-bike, but even if I had included that, the total would still be less than the average annual car costs in BC!

Now, your turn! What were your transportation costs for 2019? Including travel, all car costs like parking, maintenance, insurance, etc. I'd love to hear about it in the comments below...

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