Vancouver Critical Mass

Mostly event announcements, news, and bicycle related activist opinions...
Download Critical Mass flyers and posters, or upload your own
Email vancouvercm~AT~gmail~DOT~com for a posting password
Yes, we ride the last Friday of every month!


Critical Mask! Hallowe'ekend.

The most colourful ride of the year!
meet 5pm onwards, ride 6pm
from Vancouver Art Gallery Lions Side
free freedom for real
last October Friday, the 26th
Wear a costume in the street! Bike and Roll.
[ masks that obscure your vision are dangerous, wearing a helmet is a good idea, decorated helmets are superdoo - but don't put hard sharp objects on your helmet, duh...]

Celebrate the public space that we create by simply riding together. Inspire drivers and pedestrians with visions of a public city that is welcoming to all, safely, slowly... not ignoring the global or local environment.

pre- rides, 4:30ish ride together downtown:
  • UBC at the BikeHub in the SUB 827-7333
  • Grandview Park on Commercial drive
Please be respectful of all people on the ride, in cars, or on the street - we are riding to make a better city for all. Please always yield to pedestrians on foot. There will be some riders dressed up as police. Always remember that they are trying to do a job [a job which unfortunately tends to enforce the overwhelming presense of cars] but they are not in charge of the ride - may need to be taught how the ride works [respectfully] - and should not be doing the job of the riders: We need to be responsible for corking and for talking to wondering people on the side of the street. Non-CM participants frequently complain that they wish we could communicate better what is going on - it is up to all of us to do that. Maybe we don't really know all that is going on, but talking about it to spectators is the first step to making them participants! The Hallowe'en ride is always a ride of good spirits and fun with all the costumes.


VeloWeen - Friday October 26th. Post CM
Velofusion ANZA club dance party. 8pm
cheaper for CM riders, or with a costume
free if you volunteer at the upcoming parade of lost souls.



Our Community Bikes' Halloween/BDay party
Saturday, October 27
Halloween and [14th !] birthday party.
As in past years, it will be a true shaker.

8 pm and onward into the night.
Our Community Bikes
3283 Main Street (just north of 17th Ave),
604-879-2453 Look for lots of bikes!



Parade of the Lost Souls

Starts at Britannia Oval - Saturday night, October 27, 2007
6:30pm - 10:30pm - Roads Open, Safe, CARFREE!

Commercial Drive Will be CLOSED to Autos between 1st Ave. and Venables St. It's not to late to volunteer for the parade of lost souls, just e-mail

Roadblocks[openings] between 4:00pm and 11:00pm:
  • Between Venables St. and 1st Ave. on Commercial Dr.
  • All access streets on Salsbury Dr. between 1st Ave. & Venables St
  • Cotton Dr. from Graveley St. to Kitchener St.
  • Kitchener St. to Odlum St.
  • Odlum St. from Charles St. to Napier St.


The third annual Night for All Souls will take place on
Saturday, October 27, 2007 from 6 - 10 pm.
Mountain View Cemetery, near 37th and Fraser

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Halloween Skytrain Party - Friday October 26

If any CM folks out there are interested in carrying on the transportation revolution after the ride this Friday... why not steer your two-wheeler towards VCC Clark Station and consider joining us for a Halloween Skytrain Party!

Here's the details:

Hold this date: Friday October 26 @ 8:45pm

Hey everybody – get out your pens and mark your calendars. Get out your fun fur and get sewing… Halloween is just around the corner and to celebrate this most auspicious of occasions the Vancouver Public Space Network is throwing a Skytrain Party!

Join us on Friday, October 26 at 8:45pm at VCC Clark Station and ride the crazy train round the loop to a top-secret public space location. Your trip on board the Disorient Express will feature excellent music, snappy decorations and a cool, crisp sightseeing tour of almost every skytrain station in the Lower Mainland. All for the price of a transit ticket! And after you disembark… we’ll take it up another notch. Oh yes. It’ll be good.

So get your costume planning into high gear and help to turn the Millenium Line into a Crazy Train. Dress the occasion and get ready to ride the rails. And be sure to pass the word on and tell all your friends.

More information available at:

Pictures of last years robot skytrain party to inspire you:

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Modified Velolove Announcements!

. BC Budget 2008 Consultation
. Womyn on Wheels
. Pedal Revolutionary Radio Show
. Love Your Bike
. Midnight Mass Bike Ride
. Hallowe'en Critical Mass Ride and Roll
. VeloWeen!
. Parade of the Lost Souls
. Our Community Bikes' Halloween Party


BC Budget 2008 Consultation Deadline Friday 26th

The province is asking for input on the 2008 budget, which they say will be the "green budget". The have a $4.1 billion surplus so they should invest a lot in public transit and cycling. Carbon taxes, tolls on existing roads and bridges, and a freeze on new road construction would be great as well. And of course, twinning the Port Mann bridge and adding more lanes to Highway 1 is contrary to anything "green" as it would not reduce transportation congestion and would increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Please take a couple of minutes and fill out the on-line form at:

For more information, contact Richard Campbell at


Pedal Revolutionary Radio Show
Thursday, October 25

5:00 to 6:00pm, and every other Thursday on CiTR 101.9 fm.

The revolution will not be motorized! Double-plus-good radio waves of bike culture, politics, music, events, bike traffic reports, and voices direct from the front lines.

!!! Now archived for your listening pleasure !!!


The Revolution needs your input! If you have a bike related event or announcement, contact Ifny at or 604-690-7372. During the show phone 604-UBC-CiTR (604-822-2487).


Love Your Bike
Thursday, October 25

Clean off the grime and get your ride spiffed up before the Midnight Mass
and the Critical Mass! On the last Thursday of every month, join Momentum
and Bikes on the Drive for a free, fun evening of bike cleaning, lubing,
and loving. All supplies provided by Bikes on the Drive.

Time: 7:00 pm ­ 9:00 pm
Location: Bikes on the Drive, 1350 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

For more information, call 604-215-7433 or email


Midnight Mass Bike Ride
Thursday, October 25

Do you have a bike? Do you like riding it? At night? Dig up some bike lights, and pack yourself a nice beverage -- the next midnight ride is the Thursday before the Hallowe'en Critical Mass.

Meet 11:45 pm at Grandview Park (Commercial Drive at Charles Street -- across from the Havana and Turks) and ride at midnight.

The ride happens the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, so mark your calendars. Tell your bike loving friends, and hope to see you there!

For more information and videos:


Hallowe'en Critical Mass Ride and Roll
Friday, October 26

Boah ha ha ha haaaa!!!!

Join fellow bicyclists, skaters, and bladers for this leisurely and spirited ride and roll through the streets of Vancouver in Hallowe'en costumes! Meet at the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Georgia Street side between 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. -- and roll and ride at 6:00 p.m. The ride is on rain or shine. Decorated bicycles, trailers, signs, flags, noisemakers, gettoblasters, sound systems, drums, and wildly modified bicycles are, or course, highly encouraged.

After Critical Mass is VeloWeen at the ANZA Club on the Ontario Bike Route at 8th Avenue.

Pre-rides to Critical Mass:

UBC riders meet at the UBC Bike Hub, on the north east end of the Student Union Building, at 4:30 p.m. for a group ride to the Vancouver Art Gallery. Phone 604-822-BIKE for details.

East Van riders meet 4:00 p.m., leaving 4:30 p.m., from Grandview Park, 1200-block Commercial Drive, for a group ride to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Celebrated around the world, Critical Mass is a grassroots reclamation of public space -- on the last Friday of the month -- which allows cyclists and other self-propelled people to move safely and comfortably through city streets in a car-free space. Non-polluting forms of transportation are promoted.

Upload/View Vancouver Critical Mass Photos at


Friday, October 26

It's the season for trick or treating and we have quite the treat for you:
VeloWeen. Fun, crazyness, and the liveliest music around. Come and dance the night away in your Critical Mass costumes!

The Carnival Band
Down Low
Your Little Pony
Timothy Wisdom

8pm to 1:30am
The ANZA Club, #3 West 8th Avenue at the Ontario bike route.
$5 if you arrive with Critical Mass, $10 otherwise

This is part of the Velo fusion community fund raiser project. All money raised goes back into supporting community projects. For more information visit


Parade of the Lost Souls
Saturday, October 27

The Public Dreams Society is closing down Commercial Drive to all oil burnin, steel crushin traffic for the Parade of the Lost Souls!

6:30pm - 10:30pm
Starts at the Britannia Oval

The parade began in the all weather field at William and Cotton where altars, shrines, fire dancers and an ancestral dome helped us prepare for our journey. Then, musical guides appeared, beckoning us to travel down the river that flows to the other side. The sounds of the drum gave us courage and guided us along the way. The journey ended in Grandview Park where fire keepers illuminated our psyches and we were filled with the delight of life
as we danced, danced, danced in the street!!!

For more information, visit


Our Community Bikes' Halloween/BDay party
Saturday, October 27

It's that time of the year again. Our Community Bikes' Halloween and (14th !) birthday party. We don't have a DJ lineup yet. We haven't applied for the special events license. Hell, we don't even know where we're going to put all the bikes. But we can guarantee, as in past years, it will be a true shaker -- so bring a costume and get ready to dance where we work.

8 pm and onward into the night!
Our Community Bikes
3283 Main Street (just north of 17th Ave), 604-879-2453
Look for lots of bikes!




Womyn on Wheels
Monday, October 22

Ladies fix your bike night at Our Community Bikes (OCB), the fourth Monday of every month.

3283 Main Street (between 16 and 17th Avenues)
6:30 - 9:30pm
$5-10 dollars

This is a trans-inclusive space.

For more information, phone 604-879-BIKE (2453)


Mini Bike Mondays. Random Monday rides of the Mini Bike Army. Meet noon at the Science World gazebo and go on a mini-bike ride of the seawall and downtown. Ride leaves at 12:30. See for details.


Tuesday Fixie Ride. Meet 7:00 p.m. at the Science World Gazebo (1455 Quebec Street). Info


Team Escape Velocity's World Tuesday Night Championships at UBC. A Vancouver road racing tradition, on a challenging, spectator-friendly course! Every non-rainy Tuesday evening from May 01 to August 28 at 6:00pm. Info:


Wednesday Pie Rides around Stanley Park, over to Canada Place, across to Kits, and out around UBC (if desired). Afterwards, a bite at Calhoun's on West Broadway. Meet 5:30 PM at Canada Place (west side). Info: Henry H at hulbert AT or


Wednesday night Pedal Play Bike Fix and Skill Share. 6:30 til 9:30pm at Pedal Metal Studios, 194 West 3rd (alley entrance). Open to all Pedal volunteers -- if you aren't one already we'll make you one. Expect to join the bike polo folk truing wheels and building mallets. Stand time is by donation, $5 per hour suggested. A small stock of used parts available for rummaging futilely through. For details, phone 604-875-8679.


Fast Night Thursdays! Every Thursday, 9pm at Grandview Park. Ride fast & hard. See you there.


Friday Cruiser Ride. Weather permitting, meet 7:30pm at the Lost Lagoon Roundabout. We won't stay past 8:00pm so don't be late! Get your weekend rolling! Info: or


Saturday Morning Trails Ride to the UBC Endowment Lands, Stanley Park, or another destination. Meet 9:45 am at the Coffee Shop at 6th and Arbutus. Info: Mark F at or


Saturday Leisure Ride following bike routes around Vancouver, going to Iona Island or crossing to the North Shore. Meet 10 am by the coffee shop at 6th and Arbutus and ride till about 1:30 pm. Info: Richard W at or


Saturday EastVan Bike Polo. Hot bike polo action every Saturday on the tennis courts at Grandview Park around 2:00 pm (we go elsewhere in bad weather, but usually meet at Grandview first or send someone by to grab stragglers). Bring your own bike (but not your pretty one -- the game is a little rough on bikes). Mallets are supplied (though if you get hooked, as many of us have, you'll likely want to build your own).


Freak Bike Sundays. Race Minis, Choppers, Utility Bikes, Trailers or Chariots. Got an idea we will give it a shot. Every Sunday afternoon between 12-4 pm or til whenever. Staffed by Jim and/or Sailor Neale. Some materials readily available. Welding and consumable donations sought and accepted graciously. Hourly rate applicable/negotiable. 194 w 3rd ave in the alley. For details, phone 604-875-8679.


Sign the Petition:
Better Transit, Not Freeways

If you care about living in one of the most livable cities in North America, now is the time to take action to keep it that way!

The Provincial Government's plan to expand Highway 1 and twin the Port Mann Bridge will result in more air pollution and more danger from increased traffic in neighbourhoods. It will fuel urban sprawl and erode our valuable farmlands. It will cost $2 billion or more and will not solve traffic congestion or lower greenhouse gas emissions. No city has ever built more car roads that ease congestion.

Take action now and sign the "Better Transit, Not Freeways" petition at


Port Mann & Highway 1 Expansion -­ Charge Up the Opposition

As you may know, although the provincial NDP has been raising some good questions regarding the Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 expansion -- they have not taken a firm position against it, for fear of losing voters in Surrey. This stands in contrast to the strong position they took in
opposition to the proposed coal fired power plants in Princeton and Tumbler Ridge -- which they have raised repeatedly, and which seem to be in serious jeopardy now.

Given the increased awareness of climate change issues, there will be an internal debate within the NDP about whether or not to change their position on the Port Mann issue (i.e. To stand up in opposition to the twinning and highway expansion).

Please email your MLA (find contact info here:, with a copy to transportation critic David Chudnovsky at , would be very helpful right now. Please send letters as soon as you're able. Just something simple is all that's needed -- expressing your opposition to the expansion and your wish that the NDP take a strong stand.


On-line Petition Asking For Cycling Tax Incentives

An on-line petition has been created that calls for the Canadian Federal Government to create cycling related tax incentives. Please consider signing the petition and passing this on to your friends and other lists.


Eco-rage and Idling Hot Line

There's an idling complaints hotline at 604-257-2404 where you can phone-in licence plate numbers of offenders. Better to make a quick phone call than suffer a coronary from Eco Rage! For issues regarding idling transit busses, in addition to the hotline you can call Translink at
604-953-3040 with your concerns.

In July, 2006, Vancouver City Council unanimously passed an anti-idling bylaw to cut air pollution. Drivers who leave a car running for more than three minutes face a $50 fine and the fine doubles to $100 for anyone caught leaving a car running. As of January, 2007, fines are to be imposed. The District of North Vancouver passed a bylaw against idling in 2000, but has yet to ticket anybody with a $45 fine. The City of North Vancouver has had the bylaw on its books for more than a year.

For more information, visit the website at

announce mailing list



2007 BC Budget Consultation

The BC Provincial government has extended the deadline for its online survey to this Friday, Oct 26th, 2007.

The results of these surveys are rarely made available, so the usefulness is questionable at best, since right-wing, authoritarian governments like this one just do what their funders want anyway.

I'm hoping that we can throw a wrench into their plans: if we flood them with responses that call for real change, and demand to know the results, maybe we will have some of our money spent where we want it.

In any case, it's 6 simple questions. I'm including my first answer, fyi. Just click on the link here:

~Dave Olson

(Ed: my sources say that the Liberal party is already flooding the survey
results with very unsavoury, and ignorant responses. Please take a moment
to write something from the perspective of those that actually want to
improve the environment)


"Your Choices, Your Priorities"

Q.1 What budget choices would you make to help reduce B.C. s greenhouse gases by at least 33 percent below current levels by 2020?
Specifically, we need:

1) to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on bicycle infrastructure around the province NOW. Not over the next 20 years, NOW.

Making it safe to cycle allows almost anyone to reduce up to 50% of their GhG emissions immediately. Making it safe to cycle means building separated space from motorized vehicles, EVERYWHERE humans travel.

In the cities, it means building what Amsterdam did in the 1950s, which has resulted in a 40% modal-share for cyclists (that means 40% of all trips made in Amsterdam - a city with excellent transit service - are made by bicycle).

In rural areas, it means building separate bike paths that are not accessible to motorized vehicles and which have priority at crossings where motorized vehicles travel. One example would be the extension of the E & N Trail, that only currently exists in the City of Nanaimo, to
Courtenay and Victoria.

Not only would these investments pay for themselves in less than 10 years, they would be politically viable and hugely popular.

If the half billion dollars is not available from the previous or next budget surplus, then it must be taken from the capital and maintenance budgets designated for highways.

2) to spend the $10 billion earmarked for the Gateway project on public transit around the province.

The bulk of this money needs to be spent in Metro Vancouver on doubling the bus and skytrain fleet this year. Yes, this year. This will cost $1.5 billion on buses, $1 billion on skytrain cars, and another $1 billion on the operations of the system, which will allow 10 minute service everywhere in the region and which will allow all the fareboxes to be removed.

To get the majority of motorists out of their cars and into transit requires that all barriers be removed: the farebox, infrequent service, lack of dedicated bus lanes 24/7.

Another $1 billion needs to be put aside for the following year, for bus and skytrain replacements, expansions and operating expenses, after which a long-term, sustainable funding scheme will have been put in place.

The remaining $5.5 billion needs to be spent both on more buses and on expanding bus service in every city and town with existing bus service (25 centres). The existing 250 buses must be quadrupled to 1,000 costing less than $1 billion. Adding the infrastructure to support these new
buses (maintenance and storage areas, dedicated bus lanes) will cost less than $1 billion as well. Removing the fareboxes and ensuring service frequencies are 10 minutes will take about $1 billion over the next two years.

In fact, we can create the best transit systems in the entire world (best, meaning free to use and too frequent to require people to read a schedule) in every urban area in the province and still have well over $2 billion dollars left in the Gateway piggy bank. This can and should be used for communities wishing to begin public bus service.

(3000 Characters Max)

UPDATE: The results of this survey are now blogged at: bc-transport-budget-planning.html

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Resistance to corporate invasion of indigenous territories!

A event featuring Ward Churchill and a report back from the Intercontinental Indigenous gathering in Sonora Mexico.

Sunday, October 28th 6pm Ukrainian Hall 154 E.10th Ave.

A night of speakers and solidarity to support the Ward Churchill Legal Defense Fund and local anti-Olympic struggles!

WARD CHURCHILL: Ward Churchill (Keetoowah Band Cherokee) is one of the most outspoken of Native American activists and scholars in North America and a leading analyst of indigenous issues. He is former tenured Professor of Ethic Studies and Coordinator of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado, fired in retaliation for the exercise of his First Amendment-protected speech and in violation of the doctrine of Academic Freedom.

KANAHUS PELLKEY: Kanahus Pellkey is a Secwepemc & Ktnuxa. She is a Warrior and spokesperson for the Native Youth Movement. She is a community organizer, and has worked with many Indigenous Nations throughout Turtle Island.

GORD HILL: Gord Hill is a member of the Kwakwaka'wakw Nation. He is an artist and organizer who has been active with the Native Youth Movement, the Sutikalh Camp and other groups. He is an activist with the Anti-Colonial/Anti-Capitalist Convergence against the 2010 Winter Olympics.

JILL CHETTIAR: Jill Chettiar is an organizer with the Anti-Poverty Committee in Vancouver. She has been working on struggles for housing and welfare justice and does support work for sex workers rights organizations.

Suggested donations $5 - $20 All proceeds go to Ward Churchill's Legal Defense Fund and local anti-Olympic struggles



ExxonMobil Uses NAFTA To Crush Canadian Enviro/Tax Regulations

CORNER BROOK, N.L. -- U.S. oil giants ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil are accusing Ottawa of breaching the North American Free Trade Agreement by allowing Newfoundland to require them to spend millions of dollars on research in the province. The two companies plan to sue the federal government, alleging it violated a previous NAFTA agreement when a provincial-federal agency adopted a new guideline on research and development in November 2004. In notices of intent filed last month, ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil say the new regulation would cost them $40 million and $10 million, respectively, regardless of the commercial need for such investment or of the resources in place to sustain it. The companies call the guideline "restrictive" as it specifies a fixed amount of money to be invested, and cite the Newfoundland and Labrador government's push for more revenues from the offshore oil industry.



Ride a bike? You must be rich

The richer people become the further they cycle, according to official figures overturning conventional wisdom that the bicycle is largely a poor man’s mode of transport.

The richest fifth of the population cycle on average 2½ times as far in a year as the poorest fifth.

The Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey indicates that the poorest fifth, despite being five times less likely to have access to a car, are very unlikely to consider cycling as a solution to their transport needs.

The London Cycling Campaign said that people on higher incomes tended to be better educated about the health benefits of cycling and more concerned with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Studies have shown that regular cyclists typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger, and those cycling regularly beyond their mid-thirties add two years to their life expectancy.

A spokesman for the campaign said: “People on lower incomes may be more concerned with the need to earn money than worrying about what constitutes healthy living or about the issue of climate change and how cycling is the greenest option.”

He said that poorer people might also be concerned that being seen on a bicycle would encourage others to view them as socially inferior. Richer people might be more confident about their social position.

People living on council estates, especially those in high-rise blocks, were also less likely to have a secure place to park their bikes.

The Cyclists Touring Club recently received a £4.5 million lottery grant to promote cycling among disadvantaged groups.

Cycling groups believe that a lack of education and negative stereotyping of cyclists are the main reasons why poorer people appear unwilling to hop on bikes.

They also blame the absence of role models for disadvantaged groups. There are dozens of well-known white middle-class men who are regular cyclists, including the Conservative politicians Boris Johnson and David Cameron and the broadcasters Jeremy Paxman and Jon Snow.

But footballers and pop stars are rarely photographed on bikes and when they are it is usually while riding in parks rather than commuting on streets.

Roger Geffen, the club’s policy manager, said that the growing popularity of cycling among white middle-class men was in danger of creating a new stereotype that would deter other sections of society from switching to two wheels.

“If we are to appeal to disadvantaged groups, we need to get away from the Norman Tebbit approach of telling people to get on their bikes. Nothing is more likely than that to put them off.

“We need to counter the powerful status symbol of the sports car by finding iconic figures to demonstrate that the bicycle can be cool. A few positive role models could have a transformative effect.”

Mr Geffen expressed disappointment at the controversy recently over the role played by Konnie Huq, the Blue Peter presenter, in promoting a mass cycling event due to take place in central London on Sunday on major roads closed to motorised traffic. She was forced to withdraw from the event after the Conservatives complained about her appearing on the same platform as Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London.

Mr Geffen said: “Konnie Huq is the perfect role model for young people who might not otherwise think that cycling is for them.”

Phillip Darnton, chairman of Cycling England, the Government-funded body that promotes cycling, said that bicycle sales in Britain had risen from 2.8 million in 2000 to 3.5 million in 2006. The number of cyclists has risen by 83 per cent in London since 2000 but there has been little change most other parts of the country.

He added that the most successful bicycle companies in recent years had been those selling expensive brands costing more than £400, such as Specialised, Trek, Giant and Cannondale.

Mr Darnton, a former chief executive of Raleigh, said: “These brands have helped to turn the bicycle into a lustworthy object to own but those on lower incomes are less able to afford them.”

Vicious cycle
The London Cyclist magazine interviews a well-known cyclist in each issue.
Here are some of the answers:

Boris Johnson, Conservative MP
Why do you cycle and talk on your mobile at the same time?
Just as I will never vote to ban hunting, so I will never vote to abolish the freeborn Englishman’s time-hallowed and immemorial custom, dating back as far as 1990 or so, of cycling while talking on a mobile.

Lord Hoffmann, Law Lord
Do you always obey the Highway Code?
Up to a point, Lord Copper. Sometimes I lose patience at lights when there is obviously nothing in sight.

Malcolm McLaren, former manager of the Sex Pistols
Why do you ride a bike?
It’s spiritual.

John Ritblat, former chairman of British Land
What was your best cycle moment?
Mini skirts and hot pants.

Why do the majority of bike riders assume that everone is telepathic, and can therefore read their minds before they suddenly turning left or right without indicating? Why do they think it's their God given right to be able to drive through a red light? If people want to use a bike they should have to pass a driving test, carry insurance AND be subjected to the same rules of the road as car drivers, including not using mobile phones or i-pods. Sorry trendies - you use the same road as me so you should be subject to the same laws.
~Linda Johnson, London, England

I began cycling to work because I was inspired by my workmates, & my employer provides a secure bike shed plus shower. This morning, I came in on the bus, because I couldn't face cycling today. The cause? Nasty, dangerous "undertaking" yesterday, by a man overtaking on the inside just as I moved left to let him past on my right. His excuse was that he thought I was in "the wrong place" (i.e. in his way for some five seconds). He could not understand why I had used the "ahead" lane to go straight on at a junction, instead of the cycle lane which had traffic turning left across it. This ignorant, contemptous and dangerous attitude towards cyclists may now be inherited by his kids, who were in the car with him. I also drive. We are all humans going from A to B, but when many British people get behind the wheel, they regularly commit dangerous acts of aggression that would not be socially acceptable anywhere else. French drivers respect cyclists & give them as much room as possible.

Elsie, Edinburgh,

Ask any parent about cycling and they will say that the roads are too dangerous. That is why there are not enough cyclists in this country. Having lived in both Germany and The Netherlands, cycling in this country is seen to bring you a lot closer to God, right up to the Pearly Gates.
The perception and the reality is the car rules in this country and car drivers do not look out enough for the two wheeled road users. Ask a driver and over 70% will say the cyclist doesn't pay road tax I do therefore I am more important.
Class and wealth has very little to do with cycling. Fear of death has more
~John, London,

I am English but currently living in Berlin. I am female and 39 and I cycle everywhere as do my three children. When I was living in London 10 years ago, I also used to cycle regularly to work which I loved, despite the occasional hill and scary encounters with unsympathetic car drivers. The great advantage of London weather is that, although it "sometimes" rains, it is never really too cold to get around on a bike. I strongly recommend it. Liz Scott has made a very important point though. England is still very dangerous for cyclists: the government needs to ensure that all roads have proper cycle paths so cyclists don't have to go on the pavements (putting pedestrians under stress) and also don't have to risk their lives constantly on narrow streets. Only then will everyone feel safe to venture out on a bike. Bicycling is also a very good way of ensuring that our children do not become obese and that they learn that driving is not the only form of travel.
~Emily Brown, Berlin, Germany


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