Although our first memories of riding a bicycle most likely involved a box of Band-Aids, a tube of Polysporin and our parents losing our utmost trust, most of us have grown a strong relationship with this two-wheeled mode of transportation.
Bike month was in June and is put on every year by the Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) association. BEST began in 1991 with a small group of dedicated cyclists intent on sharing their passion and vision for community building and environmental sustainability through bicycling. Quickly BEST became the local voice for cycling issues and the organization coordinates various events throughout the year including National Environment Week and Bike Month in June.
Vancouver bike stats
The city has generated some interesting statistics that you may or may not have known about cycling in Vancouver:
- There are currently more than 400 lane-kilometres of bike routes in the city.
- Approximately 60,000 trips are made on a bike every day in the City of Vancouver.
- 15.9 per cent of residents in Vancouver cycle or walk to work.
- 41.4 per cent of residents in the downtown core and West End cycle or walk to work.
The team at Invoke love to bike – every month is bike month at our office. Besides the fact that the parking situation and bylaw officers in Railtown do not support gas-guzzlers, Invokers bike to, and from, work, to lunch and even to sales meetings.
Our lobby has become the parking lot for all our bikes and at any one time there are at least 10 bikes sitting amongst the sleeping office dogs. Some people have mistaken our lobby for a bike store, while others have attempted to walk in and snag one for their own, along with an aforementioned office dog.
Meet the Invoke Cyclists
Bike’s name: Gwen
Type: Single speed, bright blue Norco with a pink lock
Why do you bike: I bike because then I can sleep in more in the morning.
One time, at Invoke… there were so many bikes I couldn’t get into the office. #firstworldproblems
Type: Three bikes, two motos
Why do you bike: I ride because it’s fun and I can have more than half a pint and still be legal to ride it.
I love my bike because… It only takes 7 minutes to bike to the office (one Stones song). In this hood it takes longer than that to find parking, and you’ll probably get a $35 ticket too.
Bike’s Name: Wally
Type: Hybrid blue norco – more on the roadie than mountain bike side
Why do you bike: I bike because it makes me feel good in the morning, and I really dislike transit.
I love my bike because… It lets me zoom by drivers stuck on Main Street and lets me sleep more. It’s also pretty fast.
Name: Sean Tyson
Bike’s Name: I don’t name bikes. That’s weird.
Type: Vintage 1960s Raleigh Triumph (british racing green, original Brooks leather saddle, 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub)
Why do you bike: Biking is the most therapeutic thing ever. It helps me decompress after work, helps me wake-up before work, and it allows me to drink copious amounts of alcohol since I don’t have to worry about driving. It’s also really fun. The new bike lanes are great but I actually enjoy navigating douche bag drivers on the road. I also like not polluting the world.
Lastly, living in Holland made me a much more pragmatic biker. Over there, if stuff is in your way (people, cars, garbage, etc.) you just go around it. You don’t give dirty looks, you don’t get upset, you just navigate the object like it’s a game. Keep on pedalling and keep on smiling. No need to get agro.
Bike apps to help your commute
Fancy tracking how many miles you’ve put down? Stranded on the side of the road with a defunct chain? There’s an app for that. Here’s a list of some neat bike apps we like to use:
Bike Doctor is like a pocket mechanic – ready to help you out whenever and wherever. The app provides detailed instructions and repair tips for any part of your bike. Tap on the “Bike” button to bring up a picture of a bicycle, tap the part of the bike with a problem, and a list of repairs relating to that part appears. From cleaning and lubricating, to doing a brake upgrade and repairing a flat, Bike Doctor has you covered.
iBiker was voted the best wireless fitness product in 2010 by The Wireless Association. This app tracks your rides and maps your routes outdoors using geo-location, and records metrics such as weight and blood pressure. It’s free, but if you want you can upgrade to full functionality with heart rate monitors, speed and cadence sensors, power meters and foot pods. Workouts will never be the same.
Biking in NYC has never been easier now that there is Spokes NYC. The app is a bicycle routing application designed to generate ideal bike routes with turn by turn directions. Other features include a bike rack locator pointing you to one of over 5000 bike racks citywide and a bike shop locator. Our favourite feature is the ability to report thefts from a given bike rack or location allowing you to alert fellow cyclists.