Bike To Work Week in Winter!? What a Great Idea! Oct 26 till Nov 1

All summer a nearby staff bike rack at a local clothing design firm was jammed full every day but with cooler weather and a bit of rain it is almost empty now. However more and more people realize that it is awesome to ride all year. HUB has helped with this growing trend of year round bicycle commuting by having a fall Bike To Work Week event that encourages you and your coworkers to challenge each other to ride at a time when many people give up. Once you take this step you often realize that riding all year round is no big deal and always better than the alternatives, plus you can keep your fitness at a higher level all year round no sweat. Sign up online for free and be part of this fun challenge plus a chance at terrific prizes including a Vietnam holiday trip.

Leafy Vancouver Seawall Bike Commuter Ruth Hartnup
Vancouver Seawall Bike Path in Fall. Ruth Hartnup photo

Of course if your bike is not ready for the challenge it may be less than safe and a bit discouraging so visit Bike Doctor for some prescribed bike care. Bike repairs are discounted for all Bike To Work Week participants as are important parts like Brake Pads, Fenders and Lights. Discounts are also in place for HUB members so consider joining this helpful group!

After years of helping out at Bike Celebration Stations with bike repairs the most frequent and easy bike repair that I have to help with is brake adjustment. Most of the time your brakes were fine all summer but they were wearing down and now with cooler weather and wet they just don’t work well. Come in and get them tightened and replace worn out pads. Brake adjustments cost from $10 and are ready in 20 minutes in most cases. Don’t stop! Come in and fix those painlessly and fast!

Number two common service is gear adjustment. Most gear adjustment is dealt with by cable tension and for $10 and 20 minutes that will be ready. While we do that we will check your tire pressure and fill your tires which is the number one most needed adjustment at BTWW Celebration stations.

If you are not sure how things on your bike are working come in for a free examination of your bike. This is done within minutes and no obligation to make a purchase. Get your tires filled and oil for free too. Come in anytime this week for a quick service and grab a coffee or explore the shop while we get your bike riding well again. Remember if you sign up for BTWW you will also get 10% or more off your purchase and you can enter to win a bike too! Get set for the best ever Bike To Work Week Vancouver.

City bike with Ortlieb pannier bags and Ibert child seat
City bike with Ortlieb pannier bags and Ibert child seat
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Rent a Bike and Enjoy an Easy Ride to Farm Fresh Harvests at Trout Lake Farmers Market

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Are you missing out on the famous Trout Lake Farmers Market because parking is a hassle? Does the long walk back to the Skytrain with bags of groceries put you off this great local food source? Renting a bike from Bike Doctor makes it easy to enjoy this East Vancouver Saturday tradition, which continues to Oct. 24th

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Slow Streets for tomorrow’s moment.

The daily commuter.
The daily commuter.

It’s funny how many people say “Oh, I would love to ride to work, but it’s too dangerous! I would feel much too unsafe sharing the roads with the traffic. It’s too dangerous!” I used to get into it, pointing out that in fact it’s driving a car which will endanger your health and wellness, not riding a bike. It always surprises me how few people understand the risk they undertake every time they get behind the wheel of a car, and yet they refuse to ride a bike for safety’s sake! Nobody seems to be aware that the number one reason that people are admitted to hospital for a serious head injury is a car accident, not a bike ride. Bikes are safer than cars, and by a landslide. Where are the helmet laws for people in cars?

They’re the ones involved in most of those high speed crashes that are taking people out at such an alarming rate.

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THAT’s what makes it so funny that normal, everyday average people all share this myth of a belief, this silly lie, that cycling is somehow dangerous or risky. It is something we are all comfortable seeing a four year old doing, so how dangerous can it be? The truth is that Riding a Bicycle is Safe!! It is so very much safer than driving or catching a lift by car could ever hope to be, because speed is the one consistency between dangerous accidents, and a person on a bike can always choose to stay away from cars which travel at speed, whereas a person in a car seeks faster roads out. Crashes that happen at any speed over 30 km/hr are far more likely to cause injury or death. Anything that happens at speeds under 30 km/hr, (or 20 American) is more benign. Survivable. It’s several orders of magnitude safer, in fact. Speed is alsays the defining difference.

Motor crashes are not inevitable, and it really isn’t hard to enforce slower speed limit with a little digital surveillance. Easy. If we rewrite our motor vehicle acts so that maximum speed in urban centers is half what people travel today, the accident and injury numbers would plummet dramatically, and the mass destruction of life and limb would become a thing of history. What do you think? Would you slow your car down enough to save a life?

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Vision Zero a multi-national road traffic safety project which aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries in road traffic. It started in Sweden and was approved by their parliament in October 1997. Vision Zero is working beautifully. It’s completely do-able. Let’s make it so already, shall we?

David and Goliath: small, local business is more powerful than you’d think.

You have a social conscience. You do what you can to ensure that your Vancouver is healthy, beautiful, vibrant and strong. You make choices every day choices that reflect your priorities. You care about the environment, and you care about your commuity, and that’s why you make the decisions you do, day by day. You ride your bike to work, even in the rain. You shop locally, and you support the many businesses that give Vancouver so much character.

And that’s the thing. We are you. We share your community and make the very same choices. We drink local beer and eat in local restaurants and shop in the hood. We care about this city just like you do, and like you we pass on what we earn here in town instead of paying shareholder dividends to tax evading multinational corporations who prioritize funding offshore shell corporations. We do it because like you, we know that community matters. Bike Doctor is a small, locally owned and operated business, and we’re just like you. Like you, we stay abreast of the true threats to healthy cities and sustainable economies and we do what we can to stop them. We know what kind of monkey business the big box stores get up to just to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, and like you, we are smart enough to avoid them. Because places that are home to numerous locally owned businesses are more prosperous, sustainable, and resilient than those in which much of the economy is controlled by a few big corporations.

We take it one step further. The Doctor places a premium on local and Canadian products, so that you know for sure that your money will grow your economy. Bet on the little guy, and create a strong community fabric.

Ride the Vancruisers Little 100 Relay Race!

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Vancruisers Little 100

There’s still time! Who knows? You might just win, you never know, and it’s always a great prize when you do. We won the second place prize last year, a $200 gift card for professional custom paint detailing. Not bad for an afternoon’s ride in the park!

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I enjoy all of the Vancruiser events, but this little gem stands alone as my favourite on the annual calendar. Some people say that Vancouver isn’t a friendly city, but the Vancruisers always make it abundantly clear that the people who say that sort of thing clearly haven’t met the cruisers. Yet. They should. If you feel that way about Vancouver- even just a little bit- then act now. Go to the Vancruiser’s Calendar and come out and join in the fun. Everybody is welcome to come and watch the race, but if you act now you still have time to find a team of at least four, and a good cruiser bike for the race on the afternoon of Sunday March 23. You even have time to come up with a costume. I mean kit. You’ve time to find a great team kit.

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It’s a tremendously fun in the sun social event where several teams of at least four riders taking turns riding laps on a bike all compete to finish100 laps of the old, paved, root riddled oval first. Those fat cruiser tires come in handy on this particular track. So do the wacky cost…er team kits, the cheerful, fun, happy crowd, the odd little shot of dutch courage given to the athletes every so often and the sweet bikes to be seen and enjoyed everywhere.

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So round up your friends, give your favourite bike the once over, and come to the Strathcona Oval on Sunday, August 23. Registration opens at noon. See you there!

Do you need a tour guide?

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Do you like to ride your bike? How would you like to try something completely different? How does a cycle touring adventure on Saltspring Island sound? Or perhaps you would like to explore the wild side of Vancouver Island, instead. How would you like to explore the west coast of Vancouver Island north of Sooke? Let your imagination roam. Where would you like to go? What do you want to see? A bike offers freedom unlike any other adventure, and we can help you plan and prepare for the rest.

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Between us, we have traveled all over the place and we’ll make sure that you can do it, too. How about Hornby Island? How would you like to spend a few days looking south at the Georgia Strait from Hornby Island? It’s about 156 km one way from Vancouver, so you can do it in either one day or two, depending on how fit you are. There are all sorts of lovely trails to explore on the island, too. It’s a great way to vacation.

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Just pick your destination, and let’s get to it. We can give you as much or as little support as you need to make your tour a success. All you have to do is choose. Are you interested? Give us a shout!

Staying safe: enjoyable cycling on city streets.

If you’ve not ridden in a while, getting back on your bike might be a little bit intimidating, but the truth is that cycling is a safe endeavor.  It’s certainly safer than driving, and by a long shot.

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The best way to begin is to take a moment to plan your route. Most cities have trip planning websites available, with maps outlining which streets have protected bike lanes, and which are designated bike routes. Or better yet, just drop by Bike Doctor, and we’ll give you a free map to reference whenever you might need it. Use it often! Vancouver has a great, growing network of bike lanes and routes which are wonderful fun to use and explore.

087Many cities around the world have begun to embrace separated bike lanes, because they are a proven, fiscally conservative investment with easily measured benefits. They improve public health, benefit the neighborhood businesses, and reduce traffic congestion, all for a relatively small capital outlay. Bike routes are the next best alternative, with less motor vehicle traffic, and slower speed limits for safer travel.

But no matter where you ride, you have the right to be on the road, and you’ll find that most drivers are courteous and respectful of cyclists. As a general rule of thumb, a motorist will typically give you as much space as you take for yourself, so don’t ride so close to the curb that you haven’t any room to maneuver. Take a couple of feet, and you’ll find you have that much room on the other side, too. And when you’re beside a row of parked cars, make sure that you stay out of the door zone, just in case someone opens their door in front of you without shoulder-checking. If there are a number of parked cars, and then a space without cars, don’t weave in and out of the cars in an attempt to give passing motorists more room to pass quickly. Hold your line to ensure that you remain visible to the motorists in the lane behind you.

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Be a good citizen. Make sure that your intentions are clear. Signal your changes in direction with ample time to spare, so that drivers can prepare for your move. Make eye contact, and obey the rules of the road. It’s simple, really.

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Public roadways really are meant for all of us to share. Cycling is a great way to get around, a choice which benefits everyone. Common sense cycling etiquette will make it easier for us to all get along on our journeys through town.