Thanks to all who rode!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Here's a bunch of the fifty-five cyclists (from Surrey, North Delta, Langley, Richmond, and Vancouver) gathering under the awning at the gorgeous Central City tower in Whalley (a.k.a "Surrey Central")
... and here's the Mass of cyclists (which included acting-Mayor Bob Bose for the first portion of the ride) taking off down Fraser Highway.
... and here's the two cars and the dumptruck that stopped traffic coming the other way, by thinking they could reasonably and safely pass our mass of cyclists (illegally, by the way, over the double yellow line). It was a little tense, but we stopped them cold to halt their endangerement of the other cars on the road -- not to mention the cyclists and pedestrians!
... and finally we took a leisurely stroll down 152nd, and around the mall, before heading back to our meeting spot, all the way down 104th.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Cycling community celebrated Saturday
Friday, March 23, 2007
You can barely see it, but there's a painted bicycle outline on the side of the road (near the front of the car). It's covered in grit.
There's also not too many cyclist-controlled traffic signals or "share the road" signs, or designated "off-corridor" bike routes (like 37th Ave, or 10th Ave. in Vancouver, for example)
Part of the problem though is the way the city is build. More and more scrub brush and forest and field are being torn up for warehouses, for single-family cul-de-sac "neighbourhoods" and there's no good walkable strips (think Main, Commercial, parts of Broadway, 4th Ave, Dunbar, Davie... the list goes on.) I don't know how or when that's going to change for Surrey; but it seems like they need to start cutting up the auto-centric mega-blocks and doing traffic calming to encourage people to get out and walk, and talk...and cycle. (This is a widely-held urban planning principle.) Right now, so much of Surrey is just so... impersonal.
Anyhow, email us if you've got your own Surrey-cycling story to share... or just a photo of either a working or a problematic "bike route."
Um. Yeah. Right.
Mr. Falcon was sent an e-mail on March 5th, an email that was also CC-ed to all the other Surrey MLAs, inviting him and his to the ride. Maybe his staff aren't doing their jobs by relaying information to him... but that's still a sorry excuse.
The Georgia Straight article also presented a strange factual innacuracy by named one Surreyite an "organizer." Duh again.
There are no organizers for Critical Mass. Never has been, never will be. The writer of the article, Matthew Burrows, has been on many a "Mass" ride in Vancouver and should know that.
Anyhow, there haven't been many updates to this blog. Life happens!
I hope more Surreyites have been directed to it thanks to the Georgia Straight article, as factually inaccurate as it might be.
I'm excited about the ride and excited that so many are coming out, hard-core, even with the high likelihood of rain. With luck, it could clear up for a nice hour or two window and get sunny right around 4pm. Could happen.
So yeah. Tomorrow. 3:30pm. Surrey Central Skytrain Station -- look for the cyclists gathering in the square across the street (under the big Central City tower). SkyTrain fare is $2.25 for those who are interested to know. I recommend bringing thermoses of hot coffee and tea!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Yes, Daylight Saving Time goes into effect this weekend (moved up from the usual first week in April), but that's not the issue here...
Some of the early flyers and emails advertised the Surrey Critical Mass first ride as meeting at 1:30pm and leaving at 2pm on the 24th. Well, we found out soon after getting the word out that there is a Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition (VACC) meeting that afternoon from noon until 3pm, right across the street at the North Surrey Recreation Centre (10275 - 135 Street, meeting room #2).
We didn't want to compete with that (and we wanted interested VACC members to be able to join us) so we moved our meeting time to 3:30pm to give them enough time to gather themselves and their panniers.
So, yes, 3:30pm is the meeting time (not 1:30pm) and this is reflected in the updated posters and flyers.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Click on an image to download that PDF! Files are all less than 500K.
"SurreySign" flyer & poster
"Surrey Coat-of-bikes" poster & flyers (double-sided)
Please email us at email@example.com if you have difficulty downloading any of the above files and we'll email them to you directly.
Remember: Critical Mass is a xerocracy, and you are highly encouraged to promote it in your own way. If you want to design your own poster, get to it!
Riding out to Guildford on 100th Ave. the other day, some of us noticed that "bike route" was the narrow strip of shoulder, covered in so much dirt and glass that the painted bicycle icon on the pavement was barely visible. The "bike route" abruptly led into a curb at 148th Street, and turned into a regular lane with solid curb afterwards. Not exactly safe, unless you're riding two abreast and making cars pass you properly!
Also, I remember riding back from Fort Langley and being led by a bike route map down perhaps 100th Avenue again (near 160th Street?), where the narrow busy truck-traffic single-lane had nothing but a gravel shoulder leading into a steep ditch embankment. Fun!
You can download hi-res PDF images of the Surrey bike route maps from the City here. It's interesting that they state the following on the link page: "The Engineering Department is committed that 'all new (transportation) infrastructure shall be constructed bicycle-friendly.'" Let's hold them to that statement!
So just what is Critical Mass anyways?
The term was taken years ago from an observation about cyclist behaviour in some busy parts of urban China. At uncontrolled intersections, cyclists would wait and gather into a group, and that tight group would "push" its way through the cross traffic: Once the cyclists had reached "critical mass" they could safetly and firmly assert their legal right to be on the roadway.
In 1992 in San Francisco, cyclists started doing group-rides home across the city at the end of the workday. They'd take up entire lanes partly as a safe way to not get squished by traffic, and partly to protest the lack of suitable infrastructure (bicycle lanes, push-button crossings) to ensure their safety at other times.
Wikipedia has some more info on the ride here, and you can check out other cities' Critical Mass rides through this link.