Bike Adventures in the City: Velopalooza, Car Free Day & More

Bike Art Vancouver

This year we are suffering from a cloudy and gray June, people call it Junuary. So last weekend as the forecast was calling for rain on Saturday and showers on Sunday, we decided to stay in the city. It wasn’t too bad as we were also tired from the last two weekends and there were some cool things to do it the city. It is now Velopalooza, which is a cycling festival with different rides and events related to bikes all around the city. On Sunday it was also Car Free Day, an annual event in Vancouver, where bikes and pedestrians take over the streets and cars are not invited. It’s a nice idea, because who said the streets belong to the cars anyway? There are organized events in about four different locations around the city, but people also organize small street parties, BBQ’s or street hockey games in the middle of the road.

Gwendal and his kids & Asaf, before the ride

On Sunday we joined a Velopalooza ride orginized by Gwendal Castellan. Gwendal, and later joined by his girlfriend (now wife) Tania rode their bikes from Patagonia to the North-West Territories. Check out their movie Long Road North. Anyway, this ride was called BĂ©ret-Baguette Ride and the theme was to dress up French and bring Baguette and other French ingredients for a French picnic. We improvised some clothing, but apparently striped shirts are considered French these days (or in the 1930’s), and many people dressed up wearing striped shirts.

Stripy shirts people

Group shot

We rode through Chinatown which was lots of fun and eventually we made our way to Stanley Park where we had our picnic. Both during the ride and in the picnic we raised the curiosity of many people. I always like the surprised looks on people’s faces when you ride in a group, like in Critical Mass.

Riding through Chinatown

When we arrived to Stanley Park we chose a nice grassy patch, not too far from a rain shelter, but luckily it didn’t rain and we could enjoy the food. There were varieties of baguette, but I think I am the only one who brought homemade. There were also many different type of cheeses, sausages, wine and more. It was lots of fun.

French style picnic

After the picnic we went back to Commercial Drive. We were actually there before the ride too, during Car Free Day where Asaf and Gili tried some funky bikes. I decided to pass.

Gili, trying out a funky bike

Asaf, trying out a funky bike

We finished the evening in a great improv drag show hosted by our friend Dan Dumsha. As we were leaving Havana restaurant it was raining. At least the rain held off till the end of the day and we could enjoy a dry day and a wet ride home.

French mustache to fit the French ride

On Wednesday we got our weekly sunny day and we joined another Velopalooza bike ride. The name of the ride was “Ride till the crows come home” and it was a night ride to Burnaby to watch the nightly congregation of thousands of crows. The organizer was an hour and a half late for his own BBQ. We brought a watermelon to share, but eventually did not open it, so Gili carried it all the way. The ride was lots of fun, we cycled the “Central Valley Greenway” and saw many crows. But as we continued farther the crows did not follow us. It was already close to midnight when we reached the hill before UBC. I was so tired and hungry again that we ended up eating the watermelon on the grass just before the hill to get some energy. It almost felt like summer….

More photos

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