A fascinating video of a bike ride through Vancouver in 1974. The embedded video above skips the first 6 minutes, which is all in North Vancouver. There’s also a shorter version if you only have 3 minutes.
It’s interesting how crappy the bike infrastructure was back then. I’ve biked across the Lions Gate Bridge hundreds of times, but it looks like a death trap in 1974 (6:15) – a skinny sidewalk and no railing separating you from traffic.
The apartment I used to live in is visible at 8:53 – a giant concrete tower that doesn’t look out of place in 1974. False Creek (11:15), where I live now, has seen some of the biggest changes, with the construction of the Olympic Village. The Salt Building is recognizable, but that’s about it.
A Song of Ice and Fire
The TV series is good, but the books are even better. It’s difficult to describe what makes this series so amazing – but I like how the characters grow, evolve, and the suddenly die. George R. R. Martin has no problem killing off main characters, which was alarming at first, but as a reader it does keep things interesting. I just started book 4 – A Feast for Crows. If you’re looking for other good fantasy or science fiction books, check out this handy flowchart of NPR’s Top 100 list.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
This game looks awesome! It comes out on 11/11/11. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy and am prepping for 3 days of non-stop dragon-slaying action on the November long weekend. I haven’t been this excited about a video game since Mass Effect.
Hot damn that’s cool.
A short documentary on cycling in Vancouver. It was only recently published, but the content is already dated – the interviews were conducted before the Olympics, so there is no mention of the separated bike lanes downtown. It is amazing to think how much progress has been made in the past year.
Cycling is enjoying a renaissance around the world, with more cities investing in cycling infrastructure, and more people using bikes as a means of transportation. It’s not too surprising considering that oil prices continue to rise, and bicycles are the most energy efficient means of transportation we have ever invented.
Copenhagen and Amsterdam
Copenhagen and Amsterdam have been at the forefront of cycling culture for decades. In both cities everyone bikes and bikes are used for every imaginable type of trip. These are the cities to look at for inspiring ideas that can make cycling safer and more accessible. Ideas like the Green wave, that times stoplights along bike routes to the speed of a casual cyclist – 15-20km/h.
In many ways, Paris kicked off the cycling revolution with its Velib bike-share program. Copenhagen and Amsterdam have always been the darling cities of cycling, but Paris showed how a city without a strong bike commuting culture (cycling was a sport – think Tour de France – not a means of commuting), can grow to embrace bike commuting. Before Velib was introduced in Paris, less 1% of trips were by bike. After Velib, that quickly doubled and continues to grow. The introduction of Velib was also accompanied by replacing many car lanes with dedicated bus lanes and bike lanes.
Montreal has similar numbers of cyclists and bike infrastructure compared to Vancouver, but there is one huge difference between the two (and it’s not Montreal’s harsh winters). Montreal has created the world’s best bike-sharing program BIXI, which is now being licensed for use around the world.