Cyclist getting doored

Cyclists Getting Doored

A common cause of injury to cyclists is getting doored – someone in a car in the path of an oncoming cyclist suddenly opens a door, creating one of those “unstoppable object meets an immovable object” moments. And in this case, the answer to the question, “What happens when an unstoppable object meets an immovable object?” is that the cyclist gets hurt. Sometimes, the cyclist gets killed.

Standing in the bike laneThis video is a fascinating portrayal of a cyclist getting doored in New York. The cyclist was wearing a helmet cam and caught the entire incident on video. Luckily, he wasn’t hurt badly. The event took place in New York, and the video shows an interesting slice of New York life. Notice that while the slightly injured cyclist tries to crawl out of the bike lane so as not to impede other cyclists, every one else just stands around in the bike lane for ages, sending passing cyclists out into the traffic.

The traditional advice to avoid getting doored is to ride at least four feet from cars.

Bike lanes right next to car lanesIn this video, you can see that the cyclist could not do this because the fairly narrow bike lane is right next to the car lane. At one point you hear the cyclist say that he gets ticketed if he doesn’t ride in the bike lane, but then he gets doored if he does.

Yet another no-win situation for cyclists. As long as cyclists remain at the bottom of the road-users totem pole, we will have to keep dealing with – and surviving – these no-win situations.

The only way out would be to go and live in Amsterdam, where there are more bikes than citizens, and one can choose to cycle on a variety of routes that are reserved for bikes only – so that people can actually bike safely. And bike with their children – imagine that!

Bike lanes in AmsterdamUnfortunately, it is pretty much impossible to immigrate to Holland (yes, I checked. My only way in would be to somehow manage to marry a Dutch woman, and I cannot imagine my wife would take kindly to that).

So in the meantime, for those of us trapped in the time and space  continuum that is early 21st -century-not-Amsterdam, all we can do is try to keep at least four feet away from cars whenever humanly possible. Yet another reason why I am a huge fan of physically separated bikes lanes, such as the new lanes on Hornby and Dunsmuir in downtown Vancouver.

Garmin Edge Touring

Problems with the Garmin Edge Touring Navigator GPS Bike Computer

A while ago I wrote a mainly positive review of the Garmin Edge Touring Navigator GPS Bike Computer. However, since then I have had some absolutely infuriating problems with it.

Here’s a list of the main problems with the Garmin Edge Touring Navigator.

Garmin-Edge-Tourer-Finding-Satellites-174x300

  1. It is tricky to get it to it start recording. Contrary to what it says in the manual, you have to select a route, press Ride, AND press Start. You would think once you have pressed Ride and you start riding, it would start recording, but no, that would be too simple.
  2. It is very slow to pick up satellites (you see the display on the left a LOT). This is especially true downtown. I do NOT understand why the TomTom in my car picks up satellites instantly, but Garmin bike computers take three blocks to figure it out. Especially given that the bike computers are more expensive than the car GPS’s.
  3. It does not stand up very well to bumps on the road. The bumps make it do things, as if you had pushed its buttons. For example, several times it reset my display page to display altitude, not distance. I have no interest whatsoever in knowing my altitude – I know that I am above my saddle, and that’s all I need to know about altitude! Every time this happened I had the inconvenience of having to go into settings to change it.
  4. It also changed my preferences all by itself. One day I realized it was suddenly displaying miles instead of kilometers (which I had chosen). I assume that was also something it did all by itself when I hit a pothole.
  5. I’ve saved the worst problem for last! It is very hard to use if you don’t need the navigation feature. If for example you just want to record your ride, you can hit the Ride button and start riding. However, the Garmin Touring does NOT like this. It is as if it cannot accept that you don’t want help. So you will be riding along, and look down to see your speed, and instead of displaying the information you want, it will be telling you to select a route. And just try to get out of that without selecting a route! A couple of times I managed to get back to the speed display, but did not notice that the timing and recording had actually STOPPED! Yes, it stopped itself, so the rest of my ride was not recorded. It was infuriating!

Sometimes I can sort out problem no. 3, and get it to continue recording, without stopping the bike. But the other day I actually had to stop my bike, scream at the Garmin (luckily there was no one around to see me, as I guess I looked like a crazy guy screaming at his handlebars), and completely reset it. That was the last day I used my Garmin Edge Touring bike computer.

Garmin Edge 200Since then I have gone back to using my trusty Garmin Edge 200 (reviewed here).  It’s refreshingly simple and free of problems. It doesn’t try to force me to do things. It just quietly records my rides. It starts when I hit the Ride button, and it stops when I hit the same button again. Simple. Best of all, it never just stops itself, and it doesn’t change its own settings, ever.

I haven’t actually flushed the Garmin Edge Touring. I will use it when I do tours. But I will never again use it when I don’t need directions. It’s just too infuriating. And I don’t like behaving like a crazy guy (not in public, anyway).

Pedal Easy Light Weight Electric Commuter Bike

Pedal Easy – Affordable Electric Bikes Assembled in Canada – An Average Joe Cyclist Review

Pedal Easy Electric Bikes are Versatile, Lightweight Commuter Bikes

Ron Wensel is a Canadian engineer who has spent years testing and developing bike frames, batteries and motors, and has successfully developed a range of hand-assembled, lightweight, strong, easy-to-ride commuter electric bikes at an affordable price (around $1,500). I have been test riding one of his Pedal Easy bikes for a few months now, and believe that he has done an excellent job.

pedal easy front handlbarsRon has always been a cyclist, but a series of heart attacks almost ended his cycling days. He was warned by his doctor that he had to keep his heart rate low. Instead of giving up cycling, Ron used his decades of engineering experience to develop a range of lightweight, long-range electric bikes. He pairs these lightweight bikes with small, high-efficiency batteries and discreet but powerful motors. These are not just any old batteries and motors. Ron described to me how he put all of the components through their paces, testing and dissecting them (literally) until he was sure he had top-rate components.

Pedal Easy Electric Bikes Look Like Regular Bikes

The first thing I noticed about my test bike is that it did not look like an electric bike. The battery is concealed in a saddlebag. The rear hub motor is so small and discreet that most people simply would not realize this is an electric bike.

I saw one of my fellow bike commuters in our bike parking the first time I rode it, and he said, “Oh, you’re not on an electric bike” (because usually I do my long work commute on an electric bike). Now bear in mind that this guy is a serious cyclist, and he knows bikes. I said, “Actually it IS an electric bike,” and he was quite shocked. I pointed out the engine in the almost-normal looking rear wheel hub and the battery hidden in the saddlebag. He said, “Wow, that’s really discreet.” He was even more impressed when I told him the price. And impressed again when I invited him to lift it up and see how light it was. With battery, the bike weighs in at just 28 pounds.

I can lift this bike onto my bike rack as easily as any regular bike. The Pedal Easy bike is a cinch to lift onto our Thule bike rack (reviewed here).

The Pedal Easy Electric Bike is Versatile

The great thing about these bikes is that you can pedal them like regular bikes when you don’t need the electric assist. Ron tells me that some people have bought his bikes to use as regular bikes, because each one is a light, well-specced, extremely strong aluminium bike, well worth it’s $1,500 price sticker, even if you don’t need the engine.

pedal easy drive trainWhat it Feels like to ride a Pedal Easy Electric Bike

The basic feeling you get on a Pedal Easy bike is SPORTY. You feel like you are on a high performance bike, cycling along with the strength of an Olympian.

I used the Pedal Easy to bike to work. I have a 22 km commute, with extreme and intermediate hills for the first 4 km. I live by the river in New West, and work in downtown Vancouver. That means that I have to cycle uphill for miles just to get out of New West. Coming home again, it is a long uphill slog to Metrotown. Basically, massive hills both ways, and a lot of them.

Pedal Easy 3 speedThe bike I tested had only 3 speeds (there are other models with many more gears). Even so, the hills were pretty much a breeze. The bike weighs about 28 pounds, and I weigh about 170 pounds, for a grand total of around 200 pounds. So it’s no mean feat to get us up the steep hills of New West.

I am happy to report that getting up those hills is easy with a Pedal Easy electric bike.

Throttle on Pedal EasyThe bike works entirely on a throttle basis. The throttle turns away from you, which took me a while to get used to (I have ridden motor cycles, which have throttles that turn the other way). I have to say that I love the throttle action. It’s just so easy to pull off from a stop sign without putting pressure on my knees. And it’s so much fun to use the throttle to manoeuvre through obstacles. It’s very responsive and well calibrated, so you have a lot of manoeuvring ability. More so than on a regular bike, definitely.

The most fun part is simply zooming along without having to pedal at all. It’s a great alternative for days when my knees are hurting. It even made me think about buying a motorcycle again, but I won’t do that.

Pedal Easy Bikes Help you to Get Fit

A really good thing about the Pedal Easy is that you have to actually use the throttle for the engine to work. This is different from a Pedelec-type electric bike, where the engine kicks in as soon as you start pedalling, and is always there, matching your power output. This is good because you have to consciously engage the engine, so I find that very often I simply don’t use the engine. I pretty much use the throttle when I need it, which means that I do a lot of regular cycling on the Pedal Easy. In fact, I substantially increased my fitness level while using it. Without it, I don’t think I would have been fit enough to do the 30 kilometre MS Bike Tour recently.

I never thought I would ever be able to regularly tackle my difficult commute on a regular bike, but thanks to a couple of months of using the Pedal Easy, I have become so fit that I have now started doing this tough commute on a regular bike. I am very proud of this. It’s one heck of a commute, and I could not have done it without months of getting fitter on a Pedal Easy electric bike.

This is what I love about electric bikes. You can use them to get fitter, you can use them on days when you are exhausted, or when your knees are hurting. You can use them to get over impossible hills. They take the angst out of long commutes, and flatten out really daunting hills. And of course, you can just plain have a whole lot of fun on them.

Specs

Pedal Easy bikes are nicely specced with reasonably high end Shimano components.  They also come with good, practical wrap around fenders – essential for any bike commuter. And they look good!

The lightweight 320 W.h lithium-ion battery gets me about 35 km when I use it very heavily – basically, all the time. Charging takes a few hours. I recommend carrying a spare battery. That way, you always have a backup.

Front Hub Engine on Pedal Easy bikeThe engine is situated in the front hub. With the battery in the saddlebag, the balance of the bike is excellent.

Here are the complete specs of the 3 speed Pedal Easy Electric Bike:

  • Frame & fork material: Double butted, 6061 aluminum, heat treated to T6
  • Gearing: Shimano Nexus 3 speed
  • Shifter: Shimano Revo-shifter
  • Front/rear chain ring ratio: 48/18
  • Tires: Kenda Kwest 700 x 35c touring/commuting
  • Ergonomic handlebar grips
  • Motor: 36V, 350W output power planetary-geared front hub
  • Battery: Lithium-ion (Panasonic’s latest NCR chemistry), 320 W.h capacity
  • E-bike weight with battery16 kg (35 lbs)
  • Cycle Analyst power meter and bio-responsive control system optional
  • Styles: Standard (diamond-shaped) & step-through (sloped top bar)
  • Sizes: 54cm (standard frame), 45 cm (step-through)

Bottom Line on the Pedal Easy Electric Bike

The Pedal Easy electric bikes rate a Gold Bike Star.

goldbikestarI recommend Pedal Easy electric bikes to anyone who wants a great bike with plenty of electric assist available with just a flip of the wrist. They are excellent for commuting, and would also be an excellent choice for long bike tours. Pedal Easy also offers a range of Cycle Analyst power meters for precise display of e-bike parameter. They have some of the most cutting edge technology available in the world of electric bikes.

Ron Wensel and his son Claudio make Pedal Easy electric bikes. Check out their website if you want a quality electric bike, at an affordable price, assembled in Canada.

 

 

 

MS Bike tour cyclists

The routes for the MS Bike Ride in Vancouver

This week the routes for the MS Bike Ride were announced. Maggie and I are a little nervous, because it looks like there are a lot of loooong uphills on the route. We had imagined a comfortable ride along, say, the mainly-flat Central Valley Greenway, and then the beautifully scenic Seaside Route. Instead, the reality is as shown in the map below.

30 km route for MS Bike Tour VancouverThe 60 km route (shown below) actually looks easier, and a lot more scenic – but on the other hand, 60 km is twice as far as 30 km, so that’s not really an option!

60 km route for MS Bike Tour VancouverIn any event, we are signed up and sponsored, and our Average Joe Cyclist team is No. 7 in the fund-raising list, so there’s no backing out now! We’re hoping for rain (rather than the baking heatwave we’re experiencing now), because that will make it less gruelling.

I know that many of you who are reading this are a whole lot fitter than I am – please consider signing up for the MS Bike Tour, and perhaps enjoying the 60 km route shown above. It’s not too late!

MS Bike Ride Vancouver

Welcome to Team Average Joe Cyclist, John Folka!

John FolkaWe are happy to announce we have a new team member for the upcoming Scotiabank MS Bike Tour in Vancouver on 10th August. We are honoured to be joined by John Folka, past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MS Society of Canada. John’s an SFU grad and works in senior management for KPMG.

MS Bike Tour

In 1999 a member of John’s family was diagnosed with MS, and since then they have been given invaluable support by the MS Society. By way of giving back, John has participated in the MS 100 Hole Golf Challenge and the MS Bike Tour. That’s him in the photo (on the left) powering up a hill while participating in the 2012 MS Bike Tour in Vancouver. In that tour he did the 60 km route AND the 30 km route. So John’s definitely a better-than-average cyclist. I look forward to seeing the back of his jersey as he leaves Maggie and me in the dust! If you want to support John’s fund-raising efforts, click here.

Welcome John! 

If you would like to join Team Average Joe Cyclist in the MS Bike Tour, please click here.

MS Bike Ride Vancouver

Raise money to fight MS while enjoying a scenic ride in beautiful Vancouver – the MS Bike Ride in Vancouver

Here’s a great way to have fun while supporting a very good cause . The MS Bike Vancouver Scenic City Tour is a family-friendly ride taking place on 10th August, with a choice of doing a 15 km, 30 km or 60 km route. Cyclists will enjoy cycling through the heritage residential neighbourhoods and scenic waterfront bikeways. Click here to find out more and register.

Or click here to join my team, Average Joe Cyclists, or to make a donation to help us reach our donation goal!

So far just Maggie and I are Team Average Joe Cyclists. We signed up today and will start training tomorrow. It’s our first ever fund-raising ride, and we have chosen the 30 km route. We’d love to have a few more people join our team!

Join the Average Joe Cyclist MS Bike Ride team

The MS Society of Canada was founded in 1948, and has been organizing these fund-raising rides all over Canada since 1989. Annually, over 10,000 cyclists participate in one- or two-day MS Bike tours between June and September.

Funds raised are used for two important things: supporting those living with MS in Canada, and funding research to find a cure. MS causes symptoms ranging from mild cognitive impairment, all the way to complete disability and death. Researchers still don’t know what causes it, or how to cure it.

It’s particularly appropriate to support the MS Society in Vancouver.

MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada, and its incidence is highest right here in British Columbia. It’s so common here that most of us probably know someone who has it, or whose life has been impacted by it.

I personally know a man who is the father of a young family and has MS, and it is heartbreaking to see what this disease has done to him and his family. It makes me think that those of us who CAN still ride, should get on a bike and help ride for a cure.

We can do it - bike MSYou don’t have to be an athlete to do the MS Bike ride in Vancouver – any average cyclist can do it.

If you don’t want to join my team, you might want to put together your own team of family, friends and co-workers to tour Vancouver with you. If there are any business leaders looking for a great team-building exercise this summer, I can’t think of a better one! If you’re interested in putting together a team and have any questions, contact Team MS coordinator Stephanie Mosher at 604-602-3208 or email her at stephanie.mosher@mssociety.ca.

You will have to do some fund-raising – but that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Adult entrants need to raise $300 in pledges, while youth cyclists only need to raise $75. The MS Society offers fund-raising tips on their site.

Apart from having a good time while doing something worthwhile, there are also some incentives. For every $500 you raise, you can get an entry into a draw to win a trip for two to anywhere West Jet flies. For every $300 you rise, you will get an entry for a chance to win two tickets to the September 13 Elton John concert in Vancouver.

For more information, contact Paula Duhatschek: Paula.duhatschek@mssociety.ca | (604) 602-3221

Or just click here to register!

Or click here to join my team or make a pledge!

 

Accept the MS Bike Ride Challenge

 

Welcome to the Seaside Greenway - Average Joe Cyclist

Vancouver’s Seaside Greenway – Opening Party!

Seaside Greenway Sign for Party - Average Joe CyclistHundreds of cyclists braved the rain yesterday to celebrate the completion of Vancouver’s Seaside Greenway.

The event was jointly organized by Vancouver’s HUB, the Vancouver Public Space Network, and neighbors of the area. It included music and food carts at Mill House Park.

The map below shows this new segment of Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure.

Seaside Greenway map - Average Joe Cyclist

The new Seaside Greenway

Seaside Greenway Separate Bike Lane - Average Joe CyclistThis great new route connects Vancouver’s Seawall and False Creek with Jericho Beach. The Seaside Greenway is partly bikes-only, and partly a transformed Point Grey Road, now one-way only, as well as local traffic only.

Seaside Greenway Shared Road - Average Joe CyclistI am sure this route now rates a AAA (All Ages & Abiities). A lot of children participated.

Seaside Greenway Family Cycling - Average Joe Cyclist

Safe cycling and walking for all ages

It was awesome to see very young children cycling in safety. Of course, it’s not yet common in Canada. I saw one little girl biking with her mother and looking quite confused. I heard her saying to her mother, “This is a ROAD for BIKES? Really?”

Here’s a very brief video of this family-friendly Seaside Greenway route, with the opening party in the background.

The opening party was at Mill House Park. We got some great takeout from the Nacho Average food cart .

Seaside Greenway Food trucks at Party - Average Joe CyclistThe park houses Mill House, which is the oldest house in Vancouver, and is now a museum (entry by donation).

Mill House in Vancouver - Average Joe CyclistThe numbers would no doubt have been ten times better if it had not rained the entire day. But people rallied to the occasion in true Vancouver style, with tarps on the ground and colorful umbrellas over their heads.

Seaside Greenway Umbrellas - Average Joe Cyclist

All in all, it was a great event and a great ride. I am so happy to see Vancouver’s cycling infrastructure improving so rapidly.

Thanks to Vancouver’s HUB, the Vancouver Public Space Network, and neighbors of the area for organizing this fun event!

Seaside Greenway End of Trail - Average Joe Cyclist

City of Vancouver Seaside Greenway Completion

Celebrate the completion of Vancouver’s Seaside Greenway on 5 July

Come celebrate the completion of Vancouver’s Seaside Greenway, connecting downtown’s Seawall and False Creek with Jericho Beach for cyclists, pedestrians and rollers!

Saturday 5 July, 11 AM – 3 PM – fun events for all – read all about it on Vancouver Public Space Network here. Or visit the Facebook page here. And if you click on the pic below, it gets much bigger and shows you the route!

The Seaside Greenway

Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Side and Front 4 - Average Joe Cyclist

Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet – An Average Joe Cyclist Review

Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Front and Side - Average Joe CyclistThe Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet is intended mainly for mountain bikers, but it is being worn by an increasing number of commuter cyclists who just plain like the look of it. I know that’s why I bought it. And it’s the only helmet I have ever had that has caused strangers on the bikeways to say to me:

“That’s a great helmet! Where did you buy it?”

Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet side by side with Bontrager helmet - Average Joe CyclistIt sure looks very different from most other helmets, as you can see from this photo of the Urge helmet next to Maggie’s Bontrager helmet. And if you REALLY want different, Urge makes a range of really good-looking, full-face helmets for rugged downhill mountain biking activities.

On the other hand, I know that some people very definitely do NOT like the look of these helmets.

I think it’s a mark of the Urge Endur-O-Matic’s uniqueness that people either love it or hate it.

Most of the time, people don’t even notice helmets. Given that this helmet provokes such a Love it or Hate it response, I decided to do a bare-knuckles kind of Pros versus Cons review. The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet has a whole lot of both Pros and Cons.

Pros and Cons of the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet

  • It looks great! (In my opinion)
  • BUT some people think it looks awful. Judge for yourself!
  • It’s a good, super-comfortable fit, with comfy internal pads. It comes with extra pads, of different thicknesses, to help with fit. The pads are removable and washable – a major plus for keeping your helmet non-smelly. There’s a comfy pad that rests on your forehead. Urge calls it a Gangsta Pad (yes, really), and it’s meant to wick up sweat. I just find it comfy.
Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Inside - Average Joe Cyclist

Look Ma, no cradle!

  • Standard adjustable cradle system in Bontrager helmet - Average Joe Cyclist

    Standard adjustable cradle system in a Bontrager helmet

    BUT just because this helmet happens to fit MY head well, this does NOT mean it will fit YOUR head well. This is because it does not have the complicated cradle adjustment fitting system found in most mid- to high-level helmets (as in the Bontrager on the right). In Urge helmets, there IS NO fitting system. So it either fits you, or you shouldn’t buy it. Which means that this is not a helmet to order online – you have to try before you buy. It comes in two sizes: S/M (54/57 cm) and L/XL (58/60 cm).

  • The huge ventilation holes (eight 30-mm circles) really do keep my head cool on hot rides. Urge claims the helmet channels air using the Venturi effect. The Venturi effect is a jet effect; as with a funnel, the velocity of the fluid or air increases as the cross-sectional area decreases. This the principle used in spray guns. On your helmet, it means a lot of air comes in through a big hole, and gets channeled over the surface of your head through increasingly narrow funnels in an accelerating blast, powered by the decreasing diameter. It DOES feel like I have strong blasts of wind keeping my head cool. (Adidas claims it is using the same system to channel air over my eyes, when I am wearing my Adidas cycling glasses. All in all, I must be riding with my head ENCASED in wind channels!)Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Top - Average Joe Cyclist
  • BUT the giant holes mean that this helmet is really NOT FUN in pouring rain. When I get caught in the rain with it, I forget about the Venturi effect, and just think about the soaking-wet-head-with-rain-running-down-my-face effect (note the holes are on the top, as well as on the side). Due to this, this is definitely a fair-weather-only helmet for me. I think of it as my summer helmet.
  • The Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet comes with a good-looking visor, flexible and said to be almost unbreakable.
  • Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Visor with Giant Hole - Average Joe CyclistBUT the visor has a stupid great hole in it. I believe it is done to make it look good, but the effect is that I get sun in my eyes, and I really can’t see the sense of it. It’s like a rain-coat with an aesthetically pleasing big hole in the front – why would anyone WANT that?
  • It weighs in at an eagle-feather-light 336 grams.
  • BUT so do a lot of other helmets in this reasonable price range (around $100).
  • Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Back - Average Joe CyclistIt comes down low at the back and covers more of your head, protecting more of your precious brain stem. This is because it was developed for mountain bikers, but urban cyclists need even more protection, in my opinion. After all, there are no buses, drunk drivers or F-150s on mountain bike trails.
  • BUT… no buts on this one, this extra coverage is definitely a plus.
  • The lack of a cradle adjustment fitting system makes this helmet quick and simple to put on. You just put it on, do up the strap, and go.
  • BUT I find that the clasps below the ears tend to slip down. Also, because of the lack of a fitting system, I find I have to cinch the chin strap very tight. This sometimes makes me feel claustrophobic. And with all the wind tunnels on this thing, if you don’t cinch it down tight, the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet will bounce around like a bucking bronco on your head when you pick up speed.
  • It’s easy to wear goggles and glasses with this helmet, thanks to good ear clearance.
  • BUT it’s pretty much impossible to wear a helmet light or helmet cam, thanks to the unusual configuration of the holes on top.
Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet Front - Average Joe Cyclist

Is it just me or is this helmet chanelling Star Wars just a bit?

 

Bottom Line on the Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet

You will probably either love or hate this helmet. If you love it, the approximately one hundred dollars you spend on it will be money well spent. The price is very comparable to other helmets of similar quality. Personally, this is my favorite helmet, despite all its cons. Here it is, waiting on my bike, to protect me on my (sunny) morning commute!

Urge Endur-O-Matic Helmet  on my  bike - Average Joe Cyclist

 

Winvan Paving on BC Parkway

Paving done on BC Parkway!

BC Parkway (also known as the 7-Eleven Trail) could be a great trail, but it really isn’t. It has three main problems:

  1. The paving is ruined by tree roots, making the trail so bumpy you have to be careful of doing yourself an injury.
  2. It is atrociously badly sign-posted – the first time I used it I had to follow someone, just to figure out the route. Which was unfortunate, because I think I inadvertently scared a young woman cyclist.
  3. Occasionally one is expected to fly over obstacles, such as at Nanaimo Skytrain station, where the route simply disappears on one side of the street, then picks up again on the other side of the road – with a Skytrain station, a bus stop and dozens of pedestrians in the middle.

Freshly paved BC ParkwayImagine my happy surprise this evening to find that someone is doing something about problem no. 1.  Behold this newly-paved splendour! It’s so fresh that some of the tar was melting in the afternoon sun.

This part of the BC Parkway,  parallel to Rumble Street, used to be one of the worst offenders in terms of bumpy rides. Riding along there, I thought I could empathize with an egg being egg-beaten. And the only alternative was to join fast-moving traffic on Rumble.

Part of BC ParkwayThe map shows the spot I am talking about. The route depicted (in red) is one I did last week, when the route was closed, and I was forced to bike along Rumble.

But now the green route above it is complexly repaved and a pleasure to ride on. Turns out they closed the trail in order to fix it!

Thank you whoever did this! BC Parkway could be a wonderful route. Parts of it are quite sweeping and majestic, but ruined by the bumps. I hope this is Step 1 towards turning it into the wonderful commuter route it could be.

A Blog for Average People who love to ride bikes

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