Today was a supposed rest day in Vancouver, but the problem with staying with friends you don’t see often is that you spend so much time visiting you don’t get much rest. I’ll have to catch up on sleep out of the city.
Rod & Quinn were working today, and I had a few errands to run, stocking up on supplies before heading further west. That gave me the chance to try out Vancouver’s bike share system, and see how it compares to other cities. My verdict: the network is good, the bikes are not. There were tons of bikes everywhere downtown and the nearby neighbourhoods, and the price was reasonable (I paid $6 for 24 hours of access, with all trips under 30 minutes free). The bike was not adjustable enough. I’m not that tall, and still couldn’t get the seatpost high enough for comfortable cycling. A lack of a rear rack and a mediocre front basket limits your carrying capacity. This was my first time trying a bike share system that provides helmets, but they seem to mostly observe the letter of BC’s helmet law without observing the spirit—they were difficult to quickly adjust so I doubt the poor fit would provide much protection in a collision. Still nice to see bike share work in a place with helmet laws, which I’d previously didn’t think was possible.
I spent time browsing stores in the outdoor outfitters district, but in a sign that I’ve done a good job preparing for this trip I didn’t buy anything. My reluctance to add any more weight to my pack certainly helps.
After the MEC stop, I went to Famous Foods, which I heard had lots of hard-to-find dehydrated foods at good prices. I was not disappointed.
Riding around town let me see a lot of Vancouver’s great bicycle infrastructure. It’s also nice to seem them actively improving the non-great stuff, like this local street bikeway on 10th Ave being upgraded to protected bike lanes. I did not mind having to get off and walk that section.
Still to many murderstrips, though.
I also made a point of visiting the new fully-protected intersection at Quebec and 1st. I rode through there a few times just to experience it in multiple directions.
Some other highlights
- Sushi lunch with my friend Warren, then coffee after to continue the conversation. Warren is going to ride out of Vancouver with me.
- Visiting the fashion district and trying on a $1200 rain coat that is way out of my price range but would love to find on clearance some day. It looked _great.
- A late-night beer with my sister-in-law. It was the first time we’d spent without our spouses there, so we finally had a chance to talk freely about this family we married into (who are reading this blog 😘).Today’s distance: 17 km Cumulative distance: 151 km