Monday, May 30, 2011

Basic Bike Mechanics workshops

I was at Maple Ridge Cycle this afternoon and I saw that Jordan, one of Troy's bike mechanics, is offering basic bike mechanics workshops on Friday nights after hours, one-on-one or for groups.
(Contributions appreciated. Proceeds to downhill racing + post secondary school)

Great opportunity to learn how to fix a flat, adjust your brakes etc.

Contact Jordan for more information at

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bike route signs: A gallery

Have you ever wondered where you are on a bike route? Or how far it is to a major destination?

Point your city's planners and engineers responsible for cycling infrastructure to this page. Below are a handful of examples of bicycle signage that might helpful and in some situations not helpful. However, this post will be constantly updated with different signs out there serving cyclists.

Read entire post...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Discover Bike Ride #3 - June 18 - Central Valley Greenway

Bike to Work Week May 30 - June 5

Have the high prices at the pump made you grunt and groan recently? You may want to consider riding your bike for your commute, or at least part of it. It might not be as hard as you think.

Did you know that:
  • the West Coast Express stations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have bike lockers?
  • there are also bike lockers at the Haney Bus Loop?
  • these bike lockers can be rented for $10 a month?
  • all Translink buses in the Metro Vancouver area have bike racks?
Click here for more information on using the bike lockers or taking your bike on the West Coast Express.
Here's some useful info about bikes on buses, or on the Skytrain.

One thing that is interesting to know as well is that Vancouver is expecting to launch a public bike share system in 2012. Many of these PBS's are popping up in cities all over the world and rapidly becoming very popular. Once the Vancouver bike share is operational, it may help make it easier for people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to choose a greener mode of transportation for their commute. Exciting stuff, but we'll have to wait a bit.

This spring, during Bike to Work Week, we will be setting up our Bike to Work stations in the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area in the following locations:

on Wednesday June 1, from 4:00 - 6:30 pm:
at the West Coast Express / Park and Ride station

on Friday, June 3, from 4:00 - 6:30 pm:
at Memorial Peace Park

Click here for a map with the location of the stations

The local bike shops, Maple Ridge Cycle, Local Ride and Westwood Cycle are all participating with the Bike to Work Week event by providing free bike mechanics and prizes. When dropping by one of our stations, make sure you fill out a ballot in order to have a chance to win a prize. We are also offering drinks and snacks, provided by Superstore and Save-on-Foods.

You can sign up for Bike to Work Week on the Bike to Work website. Ask your colleagues to join your team. Even if you're the only one at your workplace who bikes to work, you can still sign up and log your miles to track your reductions in GHG's, kilometers biked and calories burned.

Finally, I thought you might enjoy watching this inspiratonal video, where you can see some of the changes that have taken place in New York in recent years. Note the bike lanes buffered by parked cars. If they can find the space to do this in New York, surely it can be done in Maple Ridge!

Hope to see you at one of our stations!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Discovery Bike Ride #2: Pitt Meadows dikes / Barnston Island

During the torrentuous downpour we had this past Saturday afternoon, the Race the Ridge Towncore Criterium race course around Memorial Peace Park got flooded and the course eventually had to be changed. Councilor Linda King showed an admirable sense of duty. Obviously feeling responsible for the one and only drain that wasn't draining the big "lake" on the cycling course fast enough, she stood guard in the middle of the lake, in the pouring rain, every few minutes removing any grass or whatever else that could be clogging the drain. We should have had a camera! Not surprisingly, we had no bikes to look after for any spectators!

The race itself was, as usual, spectacular. The racers didn't seem fazed by the rain, although I'm sure it must have been a really tough race for them. They just kept going! For those of you who are interested, here are the results.

We can't let a little bit of rain discourage us from planning more bike rides though. Are you ready for the next one? Well, please keep your fingers crossed for a glorious sunny day this coming Sunday because we're heading out for our next Discovery Bike Ride!

Join "Peet's Ride", starting from the Stomping Grounds Coffee House in Osprey Village (see map) at 9:45 am on Sunday, May 15.  Come and make some new cycling friends and explore the dikes in Pitt Meadows!  Distance: approx. 20 km.  Here's a map of Peet's Ride.

If the weather cooperates and there is enough interest once we get back to Osprey Village we can have lunch (bagged or from the Stomping Grounds) and head across the Golden Ears bridge for a loop around Barnston Island: map.  This would be a little more strenuous and quite a bit longer.

Please note that we will need to ask all participants to sign a waiver at the start of the ride. Please arrive on time to allow us to get the waivers signed. Kids under 18 are welcome to participate, however they will need to be accompanied by an adult, who will be responsible for their safety. Please ensure that any participating children are physically able to complete the ride. On our rides we will try to avoid busier roads as much as we can, however sometimes we may have to ride on a short stretch of a somewhat busier road to connect to quieter streets.

Oh yes, just a reminder: cyclists are by law required to ride single file on roads, and also to wear helmets.

Please send an e-mail to Jackie at if you're planning to participate.  For those of you who would like some company riding from downtown Maple Ridge to Osprey Village, please indicate this in your e-mail. A group of us could meet at Memorial Peace Park at 8:45 and ride together.

In case of rain the ride may be canceled. This will be posted on this blog on Sunday morning by 8 am at the latest.

Hope to see you Sunday!

Peter Jongbloed

Friday, May 6, 2011

In Recognition of Community Contribution Thru Good Design

After having disparaged the owners of the Liquidation World Mall (blog post April 17) for their laughable attempt at parking lot improvements, I would like to highlight a few local businesses that have made great efforts at enhancing their presentation and at the same time improving the urban/built environment to the benefit of us all. Thanks for the investment in facade improvements, new construction and the reclamation of derelict structures. This is the front line of urban revitalization along with city's Town Centre Investment Incentive Program. As well, the city's street re-constructions of 224th St., Lougheed Hwy, and 227th St. have made a tremendous improvement to the look and feel of our fair city. 
Fantastic timber frame entrance and landscaping!
Great job Tom Stinson, owner!
An appealing new store-front, Bruce Fuller.
Fuller Watson - committed to this town for decades.

Very "professional" looking building - 22320 Lougheed Hwy.
A vote of confidence in the town core. Welcome!
Thanks for the memories Haney Car Wash. Time for something
a little nicer in the middle of town. Haney Place Mall owner

Narland Properties will turn the lot into an entry point for the mall, 
enhanced with landscape features and to be more pedestrian
 friendly, according to the Maple Ridge News story.

Very attractive and functional green bulge-outs protect
the pedestrian and enhance the walking "experience",
by shortening the crossing distance at intersections.
Come and spend some time downtown!

City of Port Moody to Create Cycling Master Plan

Monday, May 2, 2011

Race the Ridge, May 7/8

Some of you may have heard of the annual Race the Ridge cycling event. This Cycling Stage Race is presented by Local Ride Bike Shop in Maple Ridge. This year it's confirmed for May 7-8, and it’s on track to be the biggest edition in the event’s nine-year history.

This challenging three-stage road cycling race showcases the diversity and beauty of the Maple Ridge area, while offering exciting, high-speed, and spectator-friendly cycling events on tried and true courses. The competitions kick off on the morning of Saturday, May 7 with the scenic yet lung-busting 22km Golden Ears Time Trial. That evening features the most spectacular event of the weekend – the Town Core Criterium. This fast-paced, aggressive race in the heart of downtown Maple Ridge will see riders taking risks in order to come out on top in this multiple lap contest. In traditional stage race style, the final event of the weekend will be a road race. On Sunday, May 8, Race the Ridge will once again see competitors challenge the rolling 10km Thorn Hill course, using strategy, smarts, and pure strength as they vie for the win over multiple laps of this demanding circuit.

As always, Race the Ridge will continue its important mandate to develop the next generation of cyclists by offering a full Youth Stage Race with three stages for youth under 17 and a free kid’s race on Saturday, May 7 during the Town Core Criterium festivities.

For the more laid-back cyclist who doesn't quite feel up to the challenge, the Town Core Criterium, which runs from 3:30 pm until about 8:30 pm, is a pretty spectacular race to watch. So come on out for a great afternoon full of action and excitement! For the schedule of the race and a map of the course, click here.

Our Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows VACC Chapter will operate a bike valet at this event in Memorial Peace Park, next to the Leisure Centre, right where the race takes place. We will be handing out discount coupons to participating and spectator cyclists for local businesses, such as restaurants and coffee shops.

Hope to see you there!