Frequently Asked Questions

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Bridge Etiquette: Lions Gate Bridge and Approaches

Riding over the Lions Gate Bridge is a spectacular and fulfilling experience. All riders are expected to ride on the sidewalk and to obey the one way rule following the direction of traffic. Southbound (i.e. Vancouver bound) riders should be on the west side of the bridge and causeway while northbound riders should be on the east side of the bridge.

There is enough room on the sidewalks to pass other bicycles and pedestrians. As common courtesy you should announce your intension to pass with a bell or calling "On your left" before passing. When pedestrians are on the pathway slow down to about a jogging speed and also announce your presence with a bell or a call if the pedestrian is walking in the same direction.

Bridge Etiquette: Iron Workers Memorial Bridge and Approaches

What Are the Bicycle Helmet Laws on the North Shore?

Is it OK to Ride Against Traffic?

No. According to http://bicyclesafe.com/:

Riding against traffic may seem like a good idea because you can see the cars that are passing you, but it's not. Here's why:

  1. Cars which pull out of driveways, parking lots, and cross streets (ahead of you and to the left), which are making a right onto your street, aren't expecting traffic to be coming at them from the wrong way. They won't see you, and they'll plow right into you.
  2. How the heck are you going to make a right turn?
  3. Cars will approach you at a much higher relative speed. If you're going 15mph, then a car passing you from behind doing 35 approaches you at a speed of only 20 (35-15). But if you're on the wrong side of the road, then the car approaches you at 50 (35+15), which is more than twice as fast! Since they're approaching you faster, both you and the driver have lots less time to react. And if a collision does occur, it's going to be ten times worse.
  4. Riding the wrong way is illegal and you can get ticketed for it.

One study showed that riding the wrong way was three times as dangerous as riding the right way, and for kids, the risk is seven times greater.

Nearly one-fourth of crashes involve cyclists riding the wrong way. Some readers have challenged this, saying if 25% of crashes are from going the wrong way, then riding the right way is more dangerous because it accounts for 75% of crashes. That thinking is wrong. First off, only 8% of cyclists ride the wrong way, yet nearly 25% of them get hit -- meaning wrong-way cyclists really are three times more likely to get hit than those who ride the proper way. Second, the problem with wrong-way biking is that it promotes crashes, while right-way biking does not. For example, cyclists running stop signs or red lights is 17% of their crashes. But do we therefore conclude that not running signals causes 83% of crashes?! (Hint: No.)

Is it OK to Ride on the Sidewalk?

No. It is illegal to ride a bicycle on any sidewalk unless directed by a sign (Province of British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act- Section 183)

Common exemptions to this on the North Shore include:

  • Lions Gate Bridge (and the Stanley Park Causeway)
  • Iron Workers Memorial Bridge

Is it OK to Ride on the Upper Levels (Hwy 1)?

Yes and no. Riding on the Upper Levels is allowed along the West Vancouver portion of the highway Between Horsehoe Bay and Capilano Road. Riding on the Upper Levels is not permitted east of Capilano road.

What Do You Mean by City Biking?

City biking is a term to define bicycling in a city environment for purposeful trips, such as commuting to work, going shopping, visiting the doctor/dentist/hair dresser, etc. It does not include recreational riding (mountain biking and general "riding for fun"). Most city biking is done along major transportation corridors with the object of efficiency as opposed to enjoyment (although enjoyment does play a big part in why we do it!).

I Wanna Jump Stumps, Dude!

Right on! The North Shore provides some of the best mountain bike terrain in the world. For more information we suggest you check out the North Shore Mountain Bike Association web site.

Do You Just Hate Cars or Something?

Not at all! We all own cars and use them ourselves. The objective of the NS-VACC is not to take away vehicle capacity if possible, but rather to increase the safety and feasibility of using bicycles as an alternative to the car. In the process of doing so some automobile capacity may be impacted, but in our view this is a necessary step for increasing overall bicycle usage resulting in a healthier environment and a fitter, happier and healthier population.

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