Critical Manners Bike Ride Vancouver

The Long-Awaited Route!
August 12, 2009, 7:31 pm
Filed under: The Ride

I know I know, it’s what you’ve all been waiting for – the route for the first Vancouver Critical Manners Ride!

Meet at David Lam Park, on the large paved area at the Southwest corner of Pacific and Drake at 5:45pm.

Riders will depart at 6:00pm, heading Northeast in the bike lane on Pacific
Turn Left as Pacific turns into Quebec
Turn Left on Expo Blvd.
Turn Right on Carrall
Turn Left on Pender
Turn Left on Richards
Turn Right on Davie
Turn Right on Hornby
Turn Left on Dunsmuir
Turn Left on Burrard
Turn Right on Chestnut
Turn Right on Whyte
Finish at Vanier Park!

There’s a map of the route here.

If at any time you are separated from the group and can’t remember where to go, make your way carefully and lawfully to Vanier Park and we’ll see you at the end.

Can’t wait for Friday!

**Update Aug 13, 3:00pm**

Seems the route is not what many people were expecting. In case it’s a bit lost in the comment string, I’ve reposted my response here:

Many new riders *are* frightened to ride with traffic outside bike lanes. Nothing wrong with taking baby steps. Picking that route was to make it more accessible to people at all comfort levels.

Besides, the purpose of this ride is to take a positive action. That’s it.

Regardless of how you feel about the route, I hope that everyone who still believes in a peaceful, purposeful and respectful ride will be there with us on Friday!



Great, see ya then!

Comment by Alex

I’m confused. Why is the route largely following bike lanes? Is the intent to show flaws in bike lanes? There are plenty, but why aren’t we highlighting the flaws elsewhere? The route seems like it will have little effect, IMHO.

Explain? Thanks

Comment by Mark

Mark, from the “about the organizer” page:

It’s about being thankful for and using the over 300km of bikeways in Vancouver. It’s about showing that cyclists and motorists can co-exist peacefully and encouraging more people to ride. It’s about proving that cyclists are, at their core, very nice people who want to do the right thing!

Comment by criticalmanners

So anyone who needs to travels in areas without bike paths is just being ungrateful? It is 100% legal to ride your bike on a street which has no bike lanes, and those are the areas where proper road sharing needs the most attention because there is no white line helping people know how to act. Are the Critical Manners riders just scared to leave bike lanes because there’s no one blocking cars from running them over?

Comment by kramerr

I think though that this will just further solidify the mentality that most motorists have that cyclists should only ride on bike lanes/sidewalks. I know the ride is tomorrow, so changing the route already is perhaps out of the question, but maybe just something to think about for next time? I’m sure we all have encountered the disgruntled motorist who yells out the window stating something like “get off MY road!”, obviously not realizing that we have the same rights. Quite frankly, I prefer riding in traffic, as I can ride at a much faster pace than I would on most of the city’s bike paths and bike routes. I’m all for being peaceful and co-existing with the other users of the road, but at the same time I dont feel that we should have to bow down and let motorists boss us around and relegate us only to “designated bikeways”. Just my two cents. Either way I am still stoked on the idea of this ride and will most likely be attending, rain or shine! 😀

Comment by Brendan

Brendan, it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk unless it’s a designated bike lane (e.g. Burrard bridge east side), not to mention totally unsafe for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Comment by jocelyn

Ah, Jocelyn, I think you misinterpreted what I was trying to get at. I am totally aware of the fact that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. In fact I carry a copy of the MVA (atleast the clauses that reference cyclists) with me in my bag at all times, just in case I run into someone on the road who wants to argue with me! Unfortunately, it seems that quite often the fact that it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk doesnt seem to resonate with most drivers. Also, a lot of drivers I have encountered didnt even realize that it was illegal to ride on the sidewalks. In fact on the contrary, they think that riding on the road is the illegal thing to do!

I just think that if we want to leave a major impact on motorists, we need to show them that we can act in a civilized manner while riding on “even ground” (ie: roads that are devoid of a designated bike lane. where motorists HAVE to deal with us). I totally sympathize with the fact that not all cyclists that intend to come out are comfortable with riding in traffic, and I dont expect us to be bombing the Lougheed highway or something, but to restrict the whole ride to just bike lanes is, in my opinion, sort of missing the point.

Anyway, I hope my comments arent coming across as being overly confrontational. I have read through the comments that others have posted here on this site, and it appears that a lot of people just have rude things to say about the ride and are just here to argue. That is not my intention. Im just trying to speak my voice and perhaps spark somewhat of a debate. Thanks.

Comment by Brendan

“that cyclists and motorists can co-exist peacefully” but it has the condition of Seperate But Equal.

Following the laws of the road and being polite/good citizens has no implication of staying in bike lanes. The more willing we are to put ourselves there, the more we will be expected only there.

I completely agree with Brendan’s comments above.

Comment by Mark

A pitbull and a baby can also co-exist if I put the little baby in a cage.

Comment by Lee

kramerr, honestly, many new riders *are* frightened to ride with traffic outside bike lanes. Nothing wrong with taking baby steps. Picking that route was to make it more accessible to people at all comfort levels.

Besides, the purpose of this ride is to take a positive action. That’s it.

Comment by criticalmanners

Bike lanes and routes are where most riders already feel comfortable riding, and sadly its the only place they feel safe riding. I was hoping the Manners ride would encourage, and show, people how to safely, legally/politely ride with traffic. And in doing so, show the flaws of the infrastructure and autommobile behaviors. Instead we’ll celebrate the idea of bicycle ghettos.

None-the-less, thank you for putting this together.

Comment by Mark

Even in bike lanes, I think we will still get the chance to highlight the dynamic of being part of traffic. Sometimes cars stop in the bike lane to drop people off or make a delivery, and then we’ll have to pass on the left in the car lane. Cars have to cross the bike lane to make right turns, and with so many of us out using the bike lane, they may have to wait a bit.

Comment by Alex

we should try to get the police to ticket those who park in bike lanes

Comment by Lee

That would piss off drivers even more than Critical Mass does.

Comment by Kramerr

Thoughtful comments all – thanks! I think it’s fair to say that this first ride will shed a lot of light on what’s impactful and how to move forward in the future.

And don’t forget, the amount of media attention on this alone has drawn a great deal of attention to the fact that cyclists can and do want to be a part of traffic (not apart from traffic)!

Comment by criticalmanners

Do you mean something like “We aren’t blocking traffic…we are traffic.”

Comment by Bob

The problem with CMass’s slogan is that vehicles running red lights and parking perpendicular to intersections with the sole intent of blocking traffic ARE blocking traffic.

Comment by Chris

I think the corking comes as a result of the high numbers of cyclists. You can’t have a few cars interspersed in a group of a thousand bikes, it’s dangerous. The same for running red lights – it keeps the group together and homogeneous. Keeping the cars waiting together until the group has passed through is for safety. Can you imagine 3000 bikes coming down Broadway, stopping at the lights then catching up with the group of cars ahead at the next red light, then everyone (cars and bikes) taking off together on the green? That seems much more dangerous. Sure it’s inconvenient for the motorists to wait, but I think it’s interesting how much attention is being paid to this once-a-month (if that) event that blocks traffic for a couple hours – compared to the numerous traffic accidents, delays and back-ups that happen every single day and rarely involve a single cyclist.

I think it’s great to raise awareness and encourage the shared use of the roads in a safe way, but it’s unfortunate that this event has perhaps polarized a minority group, instead of uniting it. Is Critical Manners trying to prove a point to motorists (by cycling unnoticed in bike lanes)? Or to Critical Mass – a structureless, unorganized group of individuals that are obviously stronger together as a crowd than alone?

Comment by Jen

are we traffic?

Comment by Lee

Please inform the media that although this ride will not be leaving bike lanes and has been scheduled with city-hall neither of these things are pre-requisites to riding safely and legally. I fear motorists will come to the conclusion that “sharing the road” means never riding outside of bike lanes and never riding in a group without approval. I find that obeying all traffic laws does not protect me from harassment and danger from motorists and feel the message of this ride could make the problem worse.

Comment by kramerr

we should try to point out all the bad drivers to the media.

Comment by Lee

I was looking forward to this ride, but now it just seems really silly. I don’t understand the route, why stay only in bike lanes? The argument that unexperienced bikers will be more comfortable is part of the problem. Cyclists need to learn to cycle IN traffic! With cars and buses! This is the only way to legally assert our right to the shared roadway. If Critical Manners changes its ride routes in the future, I may attend those.

Comment by Carly

Remember that the busy four block stretch of Davie St. on the route has no bikes lanes and is not a designated bike route. Furthermore, cyclists have the option of moving to the left lane to turn left from Pender to Richards and from Hornby to Dunsmuir. Finally, since there are no bike boxes on Pender at Carrall and on Burrard at Dunsmuir, in order to drive legally and properly, cyclists will have to move to the left-turn lane in order to perform left turns at those intersections.

Comment by S

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