Vancouver might not have made it into Copenhagenize's Top Cycling Cities list this year, but as a community, we're sure growing in leaps and bounds. This city has come a long way over the last several years, and it shows when you see the increasing number of people embracing cycling as a way of life. I absolutely love how many beautiful women I see out and about on bikes these days. When I began waaaaaaaay too many years ago to mention now, I was a rare thing, a woman on a bike on the city streets all year long, but that's changed. These days I see gorgeous girls on sweet rides All. The. Time.
Blessed be. The whole city has begun to embrace cycling in a way I hadn't even hoped for a few years ago, when animosity ruled the roads. Suddenly it has become much more social. I was riding up the Ontario bike route the other night when I noticed a group of people sitting on a lawn, enjoying a few frothy cold beverages. I stopped, exclaiming "Sweet! Is this a bike party?"
"Nope. It's a free beer party." Funny how the universe works. Only a few weeks ago, I was wishing that my city could match others I had heard of, where a cyclist might wander upon free beer...et voila! Ask and ye shall receive! Turns out Dave was celebrating the life of his dear friend Bill Reny who had just recently passed away, and he did so by sharing a keg of beer with the people he met out on his neighbourhood street. You've gotta love this city.
Speaking of our beloved city, its yearly celebration of all things bicycle related - Velopalooza - is in full swing, and I just wanted to take a minute to share some of our recent cycling adventures with you.
The weekend kicked off on Friday with the P.U.P. ride. Cyclists met in Strathcona park, and traveled around the city for a few hours, stopping occaisionally to take in Pop Up Performances staged in open areas around town.
The bikes alone are worth coming to check out, but that's always the case with a Vancruisers event.
You'll always see beautifully restored and maintained bikes from decades gone by, along with an assortment of comfortable steeds.
Saturday saw the biggest cruiser ride of the year. Participants met in the parking lot of Pat's Pub before heading out on a tour of the city with several scenic stops along the way. This ride is always a wonder to behold.
It's always a ton of fun, too, making your way through the city streets with so many fellow cyclsts!
It never ceases to amaze me how positive a reception these rides always generate. Maybe it's the old-school bikes that make people smile, or perhaps it's the cast of characters grinning from ear to ear!
iWhatever the reason, t's an event unlike any other, and it grows year after year after year.
No matter where the cruiser rides start, they always end up somewhere beautiful to behold, and this ride was no exception.
The pace is gentle and relaxed so that no-one gets left behind. It really is fun for the whole family.
There are several stops along the way, so that even if you've not ridden your bike in years, you'll find yourself comfortable and in good company. These rides really are for everyone.
If you don't come with friends, you'll certainly leave with a few, because everyone is welcoming and kind, and happy to see you.
At the end of the day, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the shortest night of the year.
Thanks for reading spokeNscene, dear reader... I absolutely love that you're here.
(Please ignore the text/font/photo irregularities. I am working in two somewhat incompatible systems, and trying to work out the kinks.)