Sunday, April 29, 2012

VACC is now 'HUB: Your Cycling Connection'!

Despite a few raindrops we had a great time riding the Central Valley Greenway to yesterday's Year of the Bike Party in Vancouver. Met up with some other people on bikes and got to enjoy some of the cherry blossoms along the way (yesterday was also the day of the annual "Bike the Blossoms").

The VACC decided to give ourselves a new, fresh look and name, which - even though it had already leaked to various media - was officially revealed yesterday at the party. We are now called 'HUB: Your Cycling Connection'!  This new name is intended to "refresh its image and broaden its perceived reach as a central organization for programming, advocacy and engagement across the entire Metro Vancouver region.'

Here are some pictures that Dave Rush took during the ride:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ride Central Valley Greenway to Year of the Bike Party Vancouver, Sat. Apr. 28

This coming Saturday, April 28, we're planning (depending on the weather) to go on our first Discovery Bike Ride for the season, and we hope to gather a crowd to join us on this ride! We'll be heading out to the Year of the Bike Party in Vancouver, a big celebration for the VACC, since we'll be revealing our new look and name!

We'll be meeting at Hume Park (at Braid Station) at noon. The ride will follow the Central Valley Greenway to Science World. Along the way we'll be joining up with other groups riding from all over Metro Vancouver to the party. The final meet-up will be at 2 pm at Science World and from there we'll ride en masse to the party at the Woodwards building. This is going to be an awesome ride!! It will be about 20 km one way. On the way to the party, Rick Halas and/or Peter Jongbloed will be leading the ride.

The party should be a lot of fun, with lots of family activities, music, dancing and, of course, food! Take a look at the VACC website for the details. Would be nice if you can dress up for the occasion. There are prizes to be won!

It'll be up to participants if they want to go back on their own, or hook up with some others in the group to go together. You can either ride your bike back to Braid Station, or take the Skytrain back (it's a short, easy and pleasant ride from the Woodwards building along the Carall Street Greenway and the separated paths along False Creek to Main Skytrain Station).

We would like to get an idea how many people would be interested in joining us on this ride, so please let me know  @ If you send me an e-mail, I can also let you know if the ride has been canceled due to the weather. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earth Day 2012 Maple Ridge, April 21

What a gorgeous day we had for this fantastic event! Over the last few months Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot helped us collect 16 bikes that were in good enough shape for our bike-give-away. In the morning Jim Coulter, publisher of The News, drew the names of the lucky new owners, and in the afternoon MLA Michael Sather and Councilor Al Hogarth helped us draw 8 more names. After the draws, the bikes were washed, and Dustin of Maple Ridge Cycle did some repairs on some of the bikes. By the way, Maple Ridge Cycle is going to move to its new location soon, off of Lougheed. Owner Troy will have more space. I saw he's already stocking up on bikes. He's got quite a selection of cruisers. Troy has lots of plans, a.o. he wants to start organizing family rides! Can't wait to see his new shop.

I haven't seen any photos yet of the happy faces at our Cycle Recycle station, but for me this was the best part of Earth Day!

Here are some bikey photos of Earth Day:

I was blown away by the Stromer electric bike that I tried. Great for the hills in Maple Ridge, and you can do longer distance rides too. One charge will take you as far as 80 km. Check out the website:
Stromer electric bikes
photo credit Alex Pope
I also tried a neat Bullitt cargo bike, from Transportation Alternatives. Takes a bit of getting used to! Here's the website: and a photo:

Looks like the Bull-itt and the Return-it guy were made for eachother!
photo credit Martin Waliszewski
bus bike rack
photo credit Ian and Vicki McLeod

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Birth of world-class cycling infastructure

Latest cycling column in the Maple Ridge News:

During an unexpected two-week visit to my birth country, the Netherlands, in March, I was once again drooling over the fantastic cycling infrastructure in my parents’ home town, Lelystad.


And here are some pictures:

bike/pedestrian bridge in Lelystad
Bike path and one of the bike parking lots at Lelystad train station
car free shopping street in Lelystad

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Maple Ridge April 21: photos bikes for the give-away!

As promised, here are some pictures of the bikes we'll be giving away on Saturday. This is so exciting!! Thank you to Ridge Meadows Recycling Society for helping us to save these bikes, and also thank you to any generous donors!

If you're interested in winning one of these bikes, drop by for the draws at 10:30 and 12:30 at the Earth Day celebrations in Memorial Peace Park. We'll be in front of the Leisure Centre. Make sure you get there early, so you have enough time to take a look at the bikes and fill out tickets for the bikes that you're interested in.

After each draw, the new owners of some of the bikes will have the opportunity to learn how to do some minor repairs under the guidance of Dustin, Maple Ridge Cycle's qualified bike mechanic, or one of our knowledgeable VACC volunteers. Others can watch and learn as well!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Earth Day 2012 celebrations in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

We've been awfully quiet lately. First it was cold and rainy, so I thought I'd take a break, and then we got some great sunny biking weather, so guess what I was doing!?

Anyway, I'm happy to tell you that we'll be once again involved with the Earth Day events in both Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

Earth Day in Pitt Meadows will be celebrated on Thursday April 19, in Hoffman Park, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We'll have an information booth there, so drop by for a chat, some colouring sheets and word searches for the kids, or a free bike map. If you haven't seen a velomobile before, we'll have one on display. We're also offering free bike parking.

We'll be at the Earth Day celebrations in Maple Ridge in Memorial Peace Park on Sat. April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's event is going to be a blast! Ridge Meadows Recycling Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and they're blowing out all stops! Do check out the link to see all the awesome activities that are being planned for this day.

Together with RMRS, the VACC is organizing a free bike give-away. We have been asking people to donate any unwanted/unused bikes that are gathering dust in a corner of the garage for this purpose. We are selecting bikes for this that will only need minor repairs, if any. We already have a number of mostly adults' and some kids' bikes. If you have a bike that you would like to get rid of, you can drop it off at the Recycling Depot on River Road. If you're not able to drop it off, send me an e-mail at, and we can arrange to have it picked up.

We'll have 2 draws: one at 10:00 (10:30) and one at 12:00 (12:30). Come check out the bikes and try them out. We will provide some helmets, but bring your own if you wish. 3 Winners of both the morning and the afternoon draws will get the chance to learn how to do some minor repairs on their 'new' bikes under the watchful eye of Dustin, a qualified bike mechanic (courtesy of Maple Ridge Cycle) or one of our own volunteers.

We will also have our Translink bus bike rack at this event, so don't miss this opportunity to practice this simple, but for some possibly intimidating, skill. Steve's velomobile will be there too, so if you didn't have a chance to admire it in Pitt Meadows, you'll have another opportunity. Finally, we will have free guarded bicycle parking.

Hope to see you, and your bike, on April 19 or 21!