Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
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Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!


now mass sept 29

Do you believe in Global Warming?

Do you really have to?

Breath the air, walk the street, try to talk in the street.

There are plenty of angles towards carfree cities.

........................................Critical Mass is but one approach. We need more and many. We need to have mass rapid transit that is affordable, focused on moving people, and mayors that ride their bikes, as in Bogotà. Toronto shows us about new mobility hubs, where people network many approaches to getting around so there is community support to doing it. In Vancouver, our legacy of opposing highway building is key as well. This future without cars is undefined, and will continue to form as world carfree day comes and goes. Critical mass is a temporary community hub, for networking and imagining what possibilities could be. One day permanent spaces officially maintained will also serve that role, to get people around sensibly.

Come out into the streets and mobilise! Government will follow when the
people push pull pedal it along.

5:30pm Vancouver downtown
art Gallery Lawn, Lions side
ride together, course determined organically

It will take all of our wits and creativity to replace this violent culture
of car dependance. Righteousness is not the attitude we need to work with
people and form alliances. Lets do it!

Pre rides to the mass 4-430 meet SFU bikes on the drive, grandview park on
commercial drive, and UBC bike coop

More bikes: more circles of fun!

PS the bicycle bee event is looking to pick your brains for our peer
sharing/learning event in october. The next meeting is Oct 4. Put on any
workshop you like!

Bike lanes prevent over-correction by drivers...

This is an interesting study. Actually looking at bike lanes in use!? It is interesting to see the goals of the project: more lawful compliance, less disruptions to the path of the car, seem to be the primary goals of the project. The aspect of safety - not riding on the sidewalk - is not really studied but previous ideas are reinforced about it. I think a norrow lane for cars at the side of the road should keep them more lawful. I think even a 4 foot lane would do good. It would help keep them off the sidewalk too. plus prevent cyclists having to swerve so much.

Bike lanes prevent over-correction by drivers, bicyclists, reducing danger even on narrow roads 18, 2006

By studying the interactions of drivers and bicyclists on Texas roads, transportation engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that having painted bike lanes on streets and roads helps both commuters stay in safer, more central positions in their respective lanes.

"Without a marked bike lane, there appears to be a lot of uncertainty about how much space each person needs -- even when adequate road space is provided," said Randy Machemehl, the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Centennial Professor in Transportation Engineering and director of the university's Center for Transportation Research (CTR), where the study was conducted.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) provided $114,000 for the study conducted on two- and four-lane roadways where bike lanes had been added. The results are posted at the CTR's Web site at:

Cities such as Austin, Houston and San Antonio where the study was conducted are considering how to increase bicycle lanes as part of meeting federal requirements of the Clean Air Act. Before the study, little was known about the best approach for adding bike lanes to existing roadways for commuter comfort.

TxDOT follows recommendations from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to have five-foot-wide bike lanes. However, existing roadways can be too narrow to retrofit that way.

By studying videos of thousands of passing events involving 31 paid, volunteer cyclists, and combining that with data from other studies, CTR researchers determined the best approach for narrower, retrofitted roadways.

Often, four-lane roadways provide 24 feet for traffic moving in one direction. The surface could be re-striped to provide a 10-foot-wide motorists' lane and a 14-foot-wide, outside lane that is unmarked for shared use. Or the outside lane could be marked to clearly show bicyclists have the outer four feet.

Ian Hallett, a CTR graduate research assistant, and David Luskin, a former CTR research scientist, found that cyclists on a road that provided an unmarked, four-foot lane tended to hug the curb dangerously close. Safer cyclist behavior occurred with a striped lane the same width.

Motorists in the outside, 10-foot-wide lane generally behaved similarly. Without a marked bike lane, they veered away from bicyclists, crossing into the next motorist lane nearly nine out of 10 times.

Often, they veered so far in an apparent effort to avoid a collision that they swerved a full four feet into the next motorists' lane.

"You could put a whole car between the bicyclist and them," said Hallett, an avid bicyclist who's logged thousands of miles in Austin.

With a striped bike lane, six of 10 motorists swerved, but those who swerved only encroached about 40 percent as far.

To ensure that the study findings would be broadly applicable, the CTR engineers chose volunteer cyclists of different ages, gender and cycling experience to observe during more than 8,000 passing events. The videotaping occurred last year between February and March.

Taking advantage of Luskin's statistical expertise, the pair then combined the behavioral information from the 120 hours of video with results from a national study of a similar mix of cyclists. That 1998 study for the Federal Highway Administration involved asking hundreds of cyclists how safe they would feel in various road situations shown on film.

"We went out in the field and actually observed what cyclists do out there, and what the situation was for motorists as well to expand on others' work," Luskin said.

The researchers have provided the study's combined results on computer software to inform transportation officials' decisions about bikeway changes.

Previous studies had suggested other benefits of marked bicycle lanes. Some had shown that bicyclists stop at intersections more often and obey general traffic rules better when roadways are marked to include them.

Bicyclists are also less likely to ride on sidewalks when on-street bike lanes exist. When they ride on sidewalks, studies have shown that it increases their accident risk 25 times. This occurs primarily because motorists pulling onto roadways tend to focus on street traffic. As a result, a driver may fail to see sidewalk bicyclists and collide with them when the cyclists cross a driveway where motorists are merging into roadway traffic.

"Bike lanes reinforce the concept that bicyclists are supposed to behave like other vehicles, and make life safer for everyone involved as a result," Hallett said.

For photos of researchers who conducted the CTR study, go to:

If you are concerned about cycling throughout the Lower Mainland please join the

free animation workshop @ PT!

with animation, one can actualize an imagined utopia, inspiring new worlds:
we need more bicycle/car-free animation!

(It is an intense but satisfying process, these are good teachers)


this is the third of a series of free workshops organized by rickie lea
owens and stephen wichuk which promote and facilitate the makin of
cartoons! self motivated people of all ages/walks of life are welcome to
participate--- no previous experience with the medium is necessary

the course will introduce participants to some basic principles and
considerations of animation through screenings, 2 small optional
assignments, technical demos, a resource library, guest presentations,
group and one-on-one critiques, a main self-directed project and finally an
outside screening to present the works completed (or in progress)!!

you will also enjoy the wonderous facilities of the thistle which include a
zine library, computer lab (armed to the teeth with software), line tester,
light table, sound recording station, screening room and more! we will have
free animation paper and peg bars and each person will recieve a mini DV
tape to archive their work.

guest lecturers will include:
anna horabin tasha brotherton more TBA

the course is 6 weeks in length starting:
sunday OCT 7 and running every tues (6-9pm)*, and sunday (1-4pm) until
tuesday NOV 14 * we will be running parallel to an experimental film class
who deal with shooting and handproccessing super8/16mm film

the course will be held at the purple thistle youth arts/activism centre
which is located @ 260-975 vernon dr. space is
limited to 12

for more info, including course syllabus, or to

REGISTER SOON leave a message for stephen 604 > 872 > 0301 or email:

please feel free to forward this message

sponsored by:
Neighbourhood Small Grants Program 2006 Downtown Eastside & Strathcona and
purple thistle centre


Darn it, I missed this when I was out of town. Anybody go? Stay tuned for
future events I'm sure.

Anti-violence hip-hop showcase in honour of Lee Matasi, featuring Curtis
Clearsky, In:Stead, Brigee K, Tameem Barakat, Influents Crew, and 49th
Peril, with graffiti artists, DJs, and breakdancers. Sept. 24, 1-6 pm,
Leeside Tunnel (east of PNE in Hastings Park, underneath Hastings St.).
Free admission, info 604-->968,0965.


Conference done

Still the problems with the 0000s and 1111s does anyone know of a good file recovery solution for mac OSX [like undelete style, but not manually reconstructing unix inodes], or for that matter, a linux or even wine compatible utilify to undel a vfat flash drive?

I'll put up my stories here soon. Bogota is amazing!

ciclovia total des días
(meaning car-free-cycling-sundays every day!)

<<<Jason Meggs from SF california filming the wonderful regular sunday carfree event.


a wonderful long first day

I`m too pooped to write much. But I figgured out how to post photos!
I didn`t get much sleep as we went to bed at 2 and got up at 6am because the time zone confused us and we thought it was 7am. Also, no luggage! Continental is a bad airline for just dropping you with nothing! Other than that, things are awesome. I think fear of Columbia is overstated. Also much has improved since 1995 when they chose to support culture and bicycles!

Here is the photo of sprawly Houston that I talked about before. I saw worse scenes too but didnt get the photo.

This is the conference courtyard during the morning break. It is a very posh place. We took a taxi to get there and traffic is insane. Pollution and cars are very bad in Bogota. I`ll talk more about all of the interesting conference contents next time.

This is some parking spaces that have been closed so cars can`t use them. Taking away space from cars is a city policy! (in certain cases). But not always is it done well, for example I think they could have been more imaginative here than just putting the planter in the middle. Depave!

This is a hard to see bikelane on the sidewalk. Like in Europe. There is a bus, of which there are many in Bogota behind it. They drive crazy and use dirty Diesel (because the altitude dissallows clean combustion). The busses stop anywhere, let out people from the fast lane at a red light... I have yet to ride.

This is the famous transmillenium line. Considered very radical and modern and progressive here. These red articulated rapid busses with segregated dedicated lanes. You have to get in from a raised platform. We took it tonight to get home after going to a great vegetarian restaurant called El Integral. But the first bus that came we didnt take. As you can see it was packed. The cop pushed people in. We took the next bus which was just as packed and then at the next stop more people squeezed on. Luckily in only a few stops the crowd thinned. The bus we transferred to was nearly empty.

There are cops and military everywhere. They haven`t bothered us though. I`m going to try and get my picture with one of the guys with a machine gun.

hugs all round

-rusl in bogota


Safe in Bogota

Well, here I am. The journey was fine except that my bags didn´t make it! I`m glad that I didn`t bring my bike and have them lose that. I have to phone the airport tommorrow and then go back there tommorrow night and hopefully they will have my stuff.

I got there extra early because of all the toothpaste paranoia at the airport. But it turns out the check in gate wasn`t open until 6am anyways. The security was actually fine to get through. I was able to get food.

It was interesting to see land use patterns from the air. Definate changes over the journey. Hard to describe in words, kind of geometric differances. Houstan Texas is super sprawl suburban development. And lots of oil refineries. I took some pictures of these weird green circles of agricultural land on a dry brown landscape. Petroleum powered irrigation!

I`m not sure but I think between Houstan and Bogota we flew over Cuba? Anyways there was this green area with tiny grids of development that was in stark contrast to texas.

I took a few pictures on the digital camera which arè`nt that great but get the point across. I`ll try uploading them soon. Problem is the batteries on the camera die after 5 minutes because they are not the right type or something.

So I really hope to get my stuff. I have no clothes or toiletries. (remember the toothpaste paranoia). But things are relatively cheap here, so I`m OK I guess. I just don`t want to lose my nice MEC sleepiung bag and jacket and bike pump.

The platypus Hostel is quite hospitable. Not posh. Sharing a room with Jason from SF, Haley from Vancouver and Rachel from Brooklyn. All conference goers. This is going to be fun. Just was trying to help Jason edit his presentation for tommorrow. All about Latin community carfree organising in SF. Problems of gentrification. Does high density carfree promote gentrification? Better quality of life is not exactly the same thing, it does do that.

from Platypus Bogota,

towards world car free day

September 22nd is World Carfree Day. In Vancouver, it means almost nothing. Because nothing has been organised to make it happen. Again. I thought things were going in the right direction when the city project OneDay took up the cause. But they dropped the ball. People really should complain!

As a cyclist however, there is lots of fun to be had with the Bike Love Weekend climaxing in the Velomutation Party. Cyclists are converging here from all over including 30 from Portland!

The rest of the world moves forward. In Bogota this week will be the Towards Carfree Cities VI conference, celebrating their WEEKLY carfree day, the Ciclovia.

I will be heading South to Columbia today to participate. I will be reporting events there as they happen [or as I have internet access] on this blog. Stay tuned. I'll try to post pictures too. Checkout the awesome itnerary of topics! Highway removal? Count me in!



The First International Alley Kitten challenge!

Hello bike loving friends.

I'm here to bring you word of much wonder and excitement soon to be taking place. Thursday the 21st of september to Sunday the 24th will be four days of bikelove as vancouver bikers come together for the Velomutation weekend. We're even throwing an extra midnight mass that weekend to keep the love flowing! (that's right kids, 3 midnight masses in september! plan on sleeping at work or while spending time with loved ones to make up for the lost shuteye).

For details of the weekend's events, hit up and

Of course, the reason for this email is the friday event Kati J and I have been working hard to bring you - the first ever Alley Kitten! That's right folks, an Alley Cat messenger style race on mini bikes. Yes, mini bikes.

Registration at 6pm, race at 7pm. We'll be starting at 666 burrard street, across from the burrard skytrain station. To race, you've got to get yourself a bike with 18" wheels or smaller, though you can pre-register by emailing me or kati if you need to borrow a set of wheels. There will be a registration fee of $3-$5 to offset the costs of putting on the race (you'll be likely doing shots at one or more of the stops on the race. other surprises too!). The race will include skill testing of all sorts (not only the fastest riders will have the advantage) all over downtown. Set to end at the ever popular Science World Gazebo with prizes for best dressed bike, best tricks and top three finishers of the race.

The reason why I am telling you all this is because we need volunteers! We also need racers, so choose your kind and let me know. Another reason is that we need prizes, so if anyone knows anyone with stuff that bikers like, ask for some for us! Hehe. We will reward you with the best of bike love.

Roll deep, and take the lane when you need it- over and out -simon

PS - I'm looking for pictures from the midnight undie ride to post on the website - if you've got any, hit me back here! THANKS!


Early September Bike Events

Back to school and work for cycling commuters.

If you are new to this and want tips or support with your cycle commute try calling BEST 604-->669-2860. They do have a program of supporting workplaces becoming more bike friendly. Though it's not the most sociable organisation.

If you are a UBC student: check out the nonprofit Bikecoop Bike Kitchen in the basement of the SUB, ph 604*827=7333

Is there a bicycle group? I know the Critical Mass pre-ride meets at
Bikes on the Drive at SFU, 8999 Cornerstone Mews 604*291=7433 so you could ask there. Or try the SFP!RG?

Emily Carr students:
get involved with starting a new bicycle undefined advocacy/fun group sometime this month to be called Emily Bike. Talk to Paul or Rusl.

From the BEST Calendar:
  • Wednesday Sept 6
Sixth BEST Day at the Nat 1:05pm
free valet bicycle parking at nat bailey baseball game. if you come by transit or bicycle to the game you get 2 for 1 admission.
  • Thursday Sept 7
PEDAL Basic Bike Repair Workshop 6:30pm
Come and learn how to Fix Your Bike
what: Introduction to bicycle mechanics course
when: The first Thursday of each month, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
where: Our Community Bikes (3283 Main St)

bring: your bike and a snack
Cost: $40.00, register early if possible

contact: 604.879.BIKE or email

PS to that: The Pedal Depot needs volunteers
Now open 5 days/week, the Pedal Depot is looking for volunteers to lively-up the space. We need help stripping and sorting bikes and parts, building up bikes for the free-bike program, decorating the shop, making burrito runs, etc. All levels of mechanical ability are welcome - the Depot is a relaxed, friendly place to hone your wrenching skills. Give us a call 604*708=4992 to learn more.

  • Sat Sept 9
Charity Bicycle Events promoting cycling
BEST Run/Walk Clean Air
Bicycle Trek for Life & Breath [Sat-->Sun]
  • Sunday the 10th

Traffic Jam 12 noon-7pm at SPEC
Come out to Traffic Jam! – it’s a fun filled music concert and free-school event! Alternatives to Highway Expansion? A chance for you to connect with other environmentally and socially interested people and organizations and show your support for protecting the community friendly character of this city. Come with your friends, families and dogs and be part of making Vancouver a healthy, sustainable city! Venue: Woodland Park (705 Woodland Drive at Adanac Street)
  • Sept 11, 2006, monday, 630pm jane and rusl's house
Bicycle Bee Space Proposal Planning Meeting
plan the inclusive energetic bicycle building event
on the international day to remember how incredibly stupid
things can get if we don't try to organize
  • Wednesday Sept 13
Jett Grrl Bike Studio - Intro to Mechanics for Women 6:30pm
Non-intimidating bike skills education by a professional
  • Thursday 14th
Pedal Revolutionary Bike Radio 5-6pm CiTR 101.9fm, also online and Cable

Midnight Mass Bike Ride 11:45pm Grandview Park


Call To Worship--Saturday Bike Church Worship Service--sponsored by Ted and Kyle. Come for Cider Floats, wheel truing contests, and backwards riding

This is from Ted Buehler in Davis California, but it is so funny I had to put it here... Lest ye worry that the jokes are only for ex-Xians, notice the "Rabbi Tai" leading the group too.

Tomorrow's worship service might be a bit sleepy with so many people out of town. So here's the deal. In addition to the usual Blessing Of The Bicycles we'll have some other activities to entice any homebodies to come worship:

  • 2PM. Communion--Cider Floats. I'll sponsor ice cream and cider. Works for beer, root beer, and many other beverages, too. Bring some contributions if you feel so inclined.
  • 3PM Speed-Redemption--Wheel truing contest. We'll get some salvageable wheels from the heap, each person gets 5 mins on the stand, "most improved" wins a Cider Float.
  • 4PM: Redefining Salvation--Backwards riding lessons. In order to demonstrate a "different way of moving forward towards salvation" we'll learn to ride backwards. It's not as hard as it seems--you sit on the handlebars, pedal with your feet on the pedals, and hang onto the handlebars with your hands. The bike seat is reduced to a vestigal organ (kinda like your appendix or tailbone). Anyone who can ride a figure-8 course gets a Cider Float.

Come to the Bike Church, at The Domes, noon to six! Call me (Pastor Ted) with any questions. 530:848.=.3615

Pasture Ted
Rabbi Tai
Their website and wiki is also entertaining: