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!

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Cycle Personalities
August 12, 2009, 9:27 am
Filed under: Bikes in the News

There was an article in the Tyee last week about Portland’s progress on developing bike routes. My favourite part was the section describing the different types of cyclists that inhabit a city:

On one end sits No Way No How, the one third of the population who has no interest in biking whatsoever. Maybe they’ll take a ride on a weekend through the park, but even in the best of conditions they probably won’t bike on a regular basis. They just don’t want to.

Then you have the Enthused and Confident, not quite kamakazis, but close. These are the roughly seven per cent of people who will bike in the city where it’s relatively safe, relatively comfortable, if not a little unnerving for the average person.

Above them, on the extreme end of the spectrum sit the Strong and Fearless, perched on their bikes in the pouring rain, in the middle of the street, ready to go. They represent almost nothing, maybe one per cent of the city’s population, the bike couriers and other kamakazis who will bike anywhere, anytime, now matter how dangerous or poor the conditions.

And everyone else? They’re the Interested but Concerned, the other 60 some-odd per cent of the population with a rational fear of cycling in the city. They like the idea of cycling, they know it’s good for their health, and for the environment, but they only want to do it if it’s as safe and comfortable as their ride in a car or bus. And these are the people that American cities, Portland and Vancouver included, need to aim their bike infrastructure at, Geller argues.

It seems like the people who’ve been most supportive of Critical Manners so far fall firmly into the Interested but Concerned camp (with a healthy dost of Enthused and Confident participants thrown in).

I really hope this ride inspires more of the Interested and Concerned cycling citizens of Vancouver to come out and try riding on Friday!



Critical Manners in the News
August 12, 2009, 8:47 am
Filed under: The Ride

There’s been lots of news coverage for Friday’s Critical Manners ride.

Cyclists launch well-mannered rival to Critical Mass – The Province (August 1st) (Digg link)

Critical Mass bike ride should be “responsive to circumstance”: Reimer – The Georgia Straight (August 5th)

‘Well-mannered’ cyclists aim to make statement – Metro News Vancouver (August 12th)

Cyclists launch critically polite bike protest – CTV British Columbia online (August 14th)

Mind your manners, say cycling advocates today – The Tyee (August 14th)

I hope to see lots of fellow well-mannered cyclists out with me on Friday afternoon!



It’s Ride Week!
August 10, 2009, 3:41 pm
Filed under: The Ride

Looks like the weather is set to co-operate with us just in time, and we’ll hopefully have sun for Friday afternoon!

We’re currently communicating with the city regarding the route – it all looks good so far – and hopefully we can share it all by late-afternoon tomorrow!

Only four sleeps left. I’ll be dreaming of peacefully cycling through the city, will you?



Ducks in a Row
August 7, 2009, 10:17 am
Filed under: The Ride

One of the most prevalent questions about the ride is how on earth we’ll manage to have a “social ride” while adhering to the rules set out for cyclists in the Motor Vehicle Act.

While I hope that all the participants will enjoy meeting and mingling at the beginning and end of the ride, the actual riding part is all business.

First off, the only way to ride within the law is to ride single-file.

Second, the purpose of the ride is to demonstrate that cyclists, even (perhaps especially) in large numbers can and do want to behave like traffic, and in return be treated by all other road users with the respect that everyone on the road should be giving each other.

So yes, we’ll be riding single-file, with due care and attention to the roadways around us.

Critical Manners is about being the change we wish to see in the world, and if we wish to truly be recognized and respected as traffic, we certainly need to ride within the rules of the road, as all other traffic is required to do.



Ride Update
August 4, 2009, 7:00 pm
Filed under: The Ride

There has been so much amazing feedback and awareness around this ride – I’m absolutely floored!

Route-planning is underway, and once it’s cleared with the city and VPD, we’ll publish more details, including a meeting point for the evening of Friday August 14th.

In the meantime, stay tuned to our twitter account (@criticalmanners) and watch for stories of the ride in the local news. This is shaping up to be quite the event! Thanks everyone for all your support and enthusiasm so far.



Layin’ down the Law
August 1, 2009, 1:41 am
Filed under: Safe Cycling

A big part of Critical Manners is cycling within the parameters of the law.

But what exactly is that?

According to section 183 (1) of the Motor Vehicles Act, In addition to the duties imposed by this section, a person operating a cycle on a highway has the same rights and duties as a driver of a vehicle.

The rest of the section goes to explain the specifics of placement on the road (as far to the right as is practical, without being required to ride on unpaved areas), riding on sidewalks (illegal!) and how to turn left at an intersection where there is more than one lane from which left turns are permitted (tongue-twister!).

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition has posted a summary of the sections of the act that specifically deal with cyclists, and you can view the entire text of the MVA here.

I highly recommend at least reading the GVCC’s page, if you aren’t up for devouring the entire act, before the ride!