The popularity of cycling is rapidly growing thanks to the city's increasing support. Vancouver has more than 450 kilometres of bike routes, convenient bicycle parking, and numerous cycling communities that organize tons of great bike-friendly events. Vancouver is a great place for cycling, where this clean and highly energy-efficient form of transportation is celebrated on a regular basis. Even in December, you can see cycling enthusiasts joining Vancouver Critical Mass, which is a cycling event held on the last Friday of every month in more than 300 cities around the world. Here are some of the best 2013 cycling events in Vancouver.
When: May 27–June 2
Bike to Work Week is an annual event that promotes commuting to and from work and features various events and workshops on safe cycling skills and bike maintenance. The event is recognized by more than a million people in Metro Vancouver and hosts thousands of participants. Twice a year, cycling commuters flood Vancouver, promoting one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways of travelling to work. Bike to Work Week is breaking down the barriers to cycling. To participate in the event, you have to register on the site and create a biking profile. Signing up online gives you an opportunity to win different prizes such as cycling accessories, and it also provides tips on safe cycling and allows participants to track their kilometres as well as calories and to compete with other organizations.
When: June 15
Bikefest is a community celebration of cycling. It features skill clinics, demos, and workshops. Visitors can try out gear as well as bikes from vendors, browse exhibitors' booths, or sell their old bikes at the MEC Bike Swap. Cycling experts offer lessons, including yoga and nutrition. Moreover, visitors can also look forward to bike races, performers, entertainment, and kids' activities. The festival also features the Flowriders with their legendary Flowshow performance, which is a demonstration of modern mountain biking, including big jumps, high ladders, teeter totters, and much more. Visitors will also have the opportunity to have their bicycles engraved for free by VPD Community Policing.
When: June 16
Car Free Day is a fun, completely volunteer-run event whose main mission is to nurture and grow car-free spaces in collaboration with local communities. Once a year, cars are taken out of the streets and communities present their own car-free festivals at Kitsilano, the West End, Main Street and Commercial Drive. The festival drew more than 40,000 people who celebrated the community and partied on the streets last year.
When: June 22
The annual Summer Solstice Ride organized by Vancruisers is the biggest ride of the year. It´s a relaxed ride hosted by Jason Rains that starts at The London Pub and continues through the False Creek seawall to Kitsilano Beach and finishes at Jericho Beach at the sunset. Participants should wear Hawaiian shirts.
When: June 29–July 6
The BC Bike Race is a seven-day mountain bike stage race from Victoria to Whistler that includes more than 500 international participants each year. The race is beloved by participants and has become a cultural phenomenon in the cycling world. It provides a tour of BC´s West Coast trails, towns, and lifestyle. The race managers often invite celebrity guests who ride on certain stages.
BC Bike Race
When: July 25–August 11
Velopalooza bike festival is a wacky pedal celebration that features more than 127 various bike events across Vancouver and surrounding areas. The rides are full of fancy costumes and glowing bike lights. Anyone who has an idea for a themed ride can add their theme and lead an event. Velopalooza has fun for the whole family with rides for food, rides with silly costumes, historical rides, and rides for kids.
When: September 7
Gran fondos or “big rides“ are mass-participation cycling events designed for a large number of cyclists at different skill levels. The events are very popular in North America. It´s not a race; participants ride at whatever pace their want. This concept was first introduced to Canada in 2010 with GranFondo Whistler. Soon it became Canada´s largest mass cycling event, with more than 7,000 cyclists in 2011 and 2012. The ride offers some breathtaking views of the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway and ends with a massage and a party.
Several other events accompany the gran fondo, including VeloSpoke, a showcase of the latest trends in the cycling industry. VeloSpoke, which takes place in the two-day lead-up to GranFondo Whistler, brings together more than 100 exhibitors as well as high-profile cycling personalities.
Third Annual East Side Ride
When: September 22
East Side Ride is another exciting event by Rod´s World Famous Cruiser Rides that explores cycling routes east of Main. The route starts at the Legacy Liquor Store and continues east, taking participants by a few East Vancouver landmarks such as Mountain View Cemetery and Trout Lake, finishing at St. Augustine´s.
When: October 12
The annual Ladner Pumpkin Cruiser Ride starts at the Riverhouse Pub and Marina and heads out into the farms and fields of Ladne, past Roberts Bank, and continuing north to Westham Island. Participants can stop for some pumpkin wine and pumpkin pie at the Westham Island Fruit Winery before returning back to the Rivershouse Pub. Linda hosts the ride this year, and the fun begins at 1:00 P.M., so participants should meet at about 12:00 P.M.