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Biking season is here

As the bike Mecca of the world wakes up to aA promisingly warm summer, its inhabitants takeA their wheels out of the basement to ride onA endless trails and on the abundant urban bikeA lanes the city has to offer.
Vancouver stages a scenario quite differentA from what most Brazilians are used to. WhetherA a daily commuter, a road cyclist or a mountainbiker,A riders in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, BeloA Horizonte and other metropolises face a ratherA bike-unfriendly environment when compared toA BC’s largest city.
In 2012, the City of Vancouver, in partnershipA with Simon Fraser University, broughtA Andreas Rohl all the way from Denmark toA speak with Vancouverites about his successA in increasing the number of cyclists in Copenhagen.A In the Danish capital, 36% of all urbanA trips are made on a bicycle and cyclists literallyA form large pelotons across the city when goingA to work or school.
Bringing Rohl’s advices across the AtlanticA was only one of the steps towards accomplishingA the goal of becoming the greenest city inA the world by 2020. The creation of a public bikeA sharing system and the installation of more bikeA repair stations on the streets are actions to beA taken in the near future, most probably.
Such infrastructure and bike-friendly urbanA planning favour not only daily commuters, butA recreational cyclists and amateur athletes.A Paulo Costa, a Brazilian engineer, has been aA cyclist for 20 years and was impressed withA what Vancouver has to offer for cyclists uponA his arrival here, five years ago.
Costa emphasizes how safe it is to ride hisA road bike in the city and asserts that serious bikersA have great places to practice the sport, suchA as at UBC, Stanley Park and the North Shore.
“Some of my professional friends pedal toA Squamish or even all the way to Whistler a fewA times a year,“ affirms the engineer.
Pro and amateur mountain-bikers also haveA their space in the city. In fact, Vancouver’s NorthA Shore is considered to be the origin of modernA freeriding and is the research locus of the worldrenownedA brand Rocky Mountain. If the gnarlyA trails on Mt. Fromme, Mt. Seymour, Cypress andA Burnaby Mountain are not enough of a challenge,A Whistler’s double-diamond runs are a coupleA hours away for more adventurous down-hillers.
For those who would like to rent bikes duringA warm summer days and ride them aroundA the seawall, a fast Google search yields a wideA variety of results in the West End.
If your love for cycling is too big for occasionalA rentals, buying a bike is easy. In fact,A Costa says it is a lot less complicated andA cheaper than in Brazil. Craigslist and eBay areA great options, but require patience. If you wantA a brand new bike right away, the downtown coreA and the North Shore are your best options toA find bike shops. Also, these shops often organize
group rides, a great way to make friends.
Photo: Lucas Socio

About Vi­tor Borba

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