Bicycles

Published on May 30th, 2016 | by Roy L Hales

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Bicycles Are Faster Than Cars & Transit

May 30th, 2016 by  

Originally published on the ECOreport.

Vancouver just held its eighth annual Share the Road Challenge. There were 13 teams, each composed of someone driving a car, someone with a bike, and someone using transit. They started from different locations throughout Vancouver and North Vancouver, anywhere from 2.4 to 10.4 kilometers from the finish line at the downtown London Drugs. The distance did not matter, as long as each team started from the same point, because this was a race to see which form of transportation moved through rush hour traffic faster. This was the first year in which all the bicycles were faster than cars and transit.

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Bicycles Were Faster Than Cars And Transit

“This was the first time it was a clean sweep. Last year it was close. In the eight years we have been doing the event, the bikes have actually won about 66% of the time, cars 24%, and transit 9%,” said Laura Jane, Director of Corporate Engagement and Events at HUB Cycling.

She added, “We also take into consideration how enjoyable the commute was and how much money they spent. The bikes tend to do well on that as well. “

Gert Heijkoop, The Consul General of the Netherlands, told a television crew, “The future is for bikes more than cars in inner cities.”

Laura Jane says that 40% of the trips in Amsterdam are made by bicycle, and she was encouraged to witness the Consul General’s support of cycling in Vancouver.

He was the only competitor to use an e-bike, classified as a “bike” for the competition, and beat both the car and transit members of the Netherlands Consulate team.

“The idea was commute through rush hour, with the goal of arriving by 9:00 AM. We try to simulate a morning commute to work. Obviously all team members left at the same time because that is the only way we can see who arrived first. There were some people who arrived fifteen minutes before 9 and a few who arrived after,” said Laura Jane.

HUB's Laura Jane (r) and Giselle Ocampo from the Provincial Health Authorities team check in to record arrival times - Courtesy HUB Cycling

The first person to cross the finish line this morning was a bicyclist from the Vanity Team.

Although the City of Vancouver cyclist won, this was not a rematch of last year’s event, when city councilor Andrea Reimer (transit) beat fellow team mates Mayor Gregor Robertson (bike) and councilor Kerry Jang (car). This year’s team was composed of city staff.

TransLink, Lafarge, and Bike Doctor were among the other entries.

Bike To Work Week

The team at Bike Doctor commuted in 2.9km from their store at 137 West Broadway - Courtesy HUB Cycling

Vancouver’s Share the Road Challenge is the kick-off event for Bike to Work Week, which runs from Monday, May 30th to June 5th.

Registration is free, and participants can create teams, map routes, log trips, and see their calories burned online. Prizes include 6 brand new bikes and a trip for 2 to Amsterdam on KLM. Participants are entered by logging their bike trips on the HUB Cycling website during the event week: May 30-June 5. Visit www.bikehub.ca/btww for more information.

Celebration stations are located around Metro Vancouver throughout the week. The map and schedule can be found here.

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All photos courtesy HUB Cycling: The Finish Line: at the London Drugs on the corner of Granville and Georgia; HUB’s Laura Jane (r) and Giselle Ocampo from the Provincial Health Authorities team check in to record arrival times; The team at Bike Doctor commuted in 2.9km from their store at 137 West Broadway; Bike To Work Week Poster


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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.



  • Renee Cousins

    And then there are cities like Calgary. Where 1/3 of the population lives in the suburbs, about 20km or more away from their work. Where it’s tantamount to suicide riding about 4 months of the year and the other eight it’s one of three modes: cold and raining, windy as all hell or scorching 30-degree heat. I’m told that there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing, and that’s true to a point. But sad to say, very few work places here have showers and it’s no fun working all day smelling like a gym. Add to that our spotty bicycle network and generally aggressive drivers who think running down a cyclist is good sport, and you have a city that’s just no fun to bike in. I still try and do my 22km commute on bike once a week. If I take the paths, it’s well over an hour — I can save a good fifteen minutes taking the roads, but I’m definitely risking personal injury. Or I can drive it in like 20 minutes. In my EV. During rush hour. Listening to tunes and being insulated from the wind, rain or scorching heat. And I won’t smell gross all day at work.

  • neroden

    Fastest, but most exhausting. I’d rather ride in comfort on a train.

    • winkybiker

      Not exhausting, but exhilarating. It keeps me in shape, too. Pay to sit on my a$$ and ride in a box fully of sweaty strangers? No thanks.

      • neroden

        Different horses for different courses. I think it’s great that you bicycle — but if you ever get arthritis in your knees, you’ll stop biking.

        • winkybiker

          By riding, I keep active and keep the weight off and hopefully lessen the chance of arthritis. The nice thing about cycling is that it doesn’t shock or jar your joints. But yes, I accept that cycling isn’t for everyone.

  • Djoni

    This seems obvious.
    Bike don’t pill up one on the other as car do, pretty easy to skip anything that would bloc a 2 tons vehicle.

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