Proud of My Neighborhood: East Van

Bike East Van
I moved back into East Vancouver after being away for four years. I’m so in love with this neighborhood. I have to share some photos I took while riding my bike around East Van, which won’t do the area justice, because I’m not much of a photographer. But, I’ll certainly try my best.
Continue reading

IMG_20130831_114050

Fall Bike To Work Week

The Hub, a group who organizes cycling events and encourages people to bike, have put together their fall Bike to Work Week program for October 28 to November 3rd. I’ve entered my company just the other night. The company I work for is a construction company. We install kitchens and appliances, and my co-workers and I are spread out among four different job sites around the city. Some of us bike to work everyday, some infrequently and some of the people I work with do not bike at all. There are people I work with that live far from work which makes it difficult to commute by bike. That being said, I put together a team through the Hub’s web site and hopefully a few newbies will get on their bikes and try it out.

If anyone else is interested in participating, signing up their co-workers or simply want to be a part of this great network of people, go to https://bikehub.ca. It’s going to be a good turn out, there are prizes to be won, free tune-ups and snacks along the way. Hope to see you out there!

More Bike Lanes on the Horizon for Downtown Vancouver

1375032_10153310679760237_53940902_n

Vancouver is city divided and many are voicing their opinions about whether or not it is important that Vancouver gets noticed as being a bike friendly city. The debate about city planning, where to add new bike lanes and how much to spend on them is an issue that is front and centre in the Greater Vancouver area. Certainly Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson pushes Vancouver to become a bike friendly city, and for those who read my blog, but don’t know much about him, he is pro cycling, advocates programs encouraging people to ride their bikes, and leads by example by biking to work.

There are more proposed bikes lanes on the horizon for Vancouverites and, as usual, there are many people for and against the upcoming proposals. Vancouver city councillors have decided to add bike lanes on Point Grey Road, between Alma and Macdonald. Other streets nearby by are going to be turned into one-way streets to calm down bustling city traffic. The city of Vancouver has also just passed a 2.2 million dollar plan to build a major bike path in the Kitsilano area.

There’s skepticism because of the people who will again have to adjust their driving patterns so they do not to have to sit in congested traffic that will likely ensue if alternate routes are not available to them. Cars that sit in traffic idle and produce carbon monoxide, which is not helpful to the environment. I also understand that not everyone wants to bike year round in Vancouver. The winters can be cold, wet and miserable. Of course, I’m pro transit and pro cycling, however, I believe the city still needs to work on getting more busses on the road, and needs to look at other ways to entice drivers to use transit here. Translink, our bus service in Vancouver continually raises the price of taking transit, thus making it unaffordable for a lot of people. I believe that it will also take a lot more time for the city to warm up to the idea of cycling being a way of life for people. My point of view, however, is that with Vancouver’s growing population and the increase of condo living in the inner city, will mean that no matter how many more parking stalls or roads people want to add, it’s never going to be enough to sustain all the people moving into the city. We need to be open to encouraging transportation by bike and making sure that the city provides people with more busses at a price that all Vancouverites can afford.

I’d like to know what you think about adding more bike lanes. Anyone have any ideas on how to appease a greater scope of people? Please let me know and also feel free to read more about Vancouver and people’s thoughts on adding new bike lanes.

Read more about bike lanes, approved and proposed, in the Greater Vancouver area

granville island

Bike Ride to Granville Island

facebook_-565648556

Rainy Days and Sundays

IMG_20130915_132055The rain has been coming down on Vancouver—signaling that the summer is at an end. With the end of summer, my husband and I can finally go to Granville Island, one of the touristy areas of the city. The tourists are still flocking, but in smaller numbers than at the height of summer.

The main reason we went to Granville Island is to check out the market for groceries and also the shops to buy a few art supplies. We hop on our bikes, despite the clouds, and hope to get there without getting completely soaked. We travel on an on-road cycling route along 45 Avenue from Burnaby until we turn left on Cambie, and later to Yukon Street which takes us to the Olympic Village. From there we turned right on the off-road path along False Creek toward the Island. Despite the weather, it’s warm, like many Vancouverites, we are not ready to be couped up in our homes just yet, and not just because of a few raindrops. Many people take advantage of the weekend by walking or biking along the False Creek Pathways.

facebook_2012150739For those people who aren’t familiar, Granville Island, is a vibrant little part of the city, with a market full of fresh food, boutique shops, a park, theatres, comedy clubs, art galleries, pubs and restaurants. The island houses the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, it also draws people to it’s many community events, like various shows for the Jazz Festival, The Writer’s Festival, and the Vancouver Fringe Festival, to name a few.

Before we pick up our groceries, we head to the art supplies shop and a few of the boutiques for a little shopping. It’s a good place to pick up little gifts for people. There’s always unique and crafty items you won’t find anywhere else. Usually I have a few kids to buy for at Christmas time, plus my aunts and something for my dad. We later have a little rest and grab a chai tea and sit down and watch some of the buskers perform outside.

That morning, before we left, we made sure we brought both our backpacks and our saddle bags so that we could stuff as much fresh veggies and other food items into them from the Public Market. There never seems to be enough room in our saddle bags for groceries. We like to cook at home and usually tend to buy a lot of food. The market also has a lot of meat and fish, and though we don’t buy a lot of meat, we definitely buy fish, especially salmon. facebook_536847523For some reason I didn’t take any photos of the food. I did take a lot of photos of the flower shops though, I guess my mind was on flowers, their displays caught my attention, so I shouldn’t be so surprised that I zeroed in on them with my camera.

Granville Island is a really beautiful and colourful part of the city to be explored and re-explored. Though I do not consider the Island a true reflection of the city, because it is a touristy space; however, it is a space where the art community thrives in various forms, and where small and independent shops, craftspeople, designers and artists can flourish.