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Community bicycle rides abound in Vancouver

As summer approaches a number of groups are offering fun, community-oriented cycling events that encourage people of all ages to hop on a bike and get peddling.

Participants take part in the annual Bike the Blossoms, a ride meandering down blossom-lined streets and one of the many community bicycling events in Vancouver.

Courtesy Modacity

Participants take part in the annual Bike the Blossoms, a ride meandering down blossom-lined streets and one of the many community bicycling events in Vancouver.

From a twilight bike ride following the path of the crows as they flock homeward to roost, to a posse of cyclists in Mexican wrestling masks, biking events in Vancouver are more accessible, creative, and sociable than ever, especially as summer approaches.

Several organizations promote fun, community-oriented cycling events, encouraging people of all ages and abilities to hop on a bike. Still Moon Arts Society hosts the increasingly popular annual Crow Roost Twilight Bike Ride.

HUB puts on bike events like Bike to Work Week, which includes more than 75 celebration stations offering free drinks, snacks, and bike mechanic services.

Velopalooza promotes bike rides and events, with a festival, and a year-round calendar of bike rides. Festival Spokesperson Steve Kirby, a long-time bicycle advocate and one of the founders noted, "Velopalooza's goal is to be the most fun bike festival in Vancouver, and one that aims to promote bicycle ridership in Vancouver."

Inspired by Portland's Pedalpalooza, they started as a one-week festival in 2010.

"From our modest beginnings seven years ago, this year, we expect to have over 60 events over the festival's two-week period, " Kirby said. Opening weekend features the ever popular Bike Rave. Highlights include the Bicycle Beach Crawl, the Led Zeppelin ride, the Seventh Annual Pink Floyd the Sea Wall ride, and the Summer Solstice ride.

The annual bike rave, now Bike the Night, parties underneath the Cambie Street Bridge.

Courtesy Modacity

The annual bike rave, now Bike the Night, parties underneath the Cambie Street Bridge.

Chris Bruntlett, a regular at Vancouver cycling events, co-founded Modacity, with his wife Melissa with a  "mission to celebrate the many emerging bike cultures around the world."

They believe in the importance of "building a vibrant and normalized bike culture."

They are currently writing a book about their summer in the Netherlands where they learned about the changes needed to "shift away from the car-centric paradigms."

Bruntlett noted that Vancouver has "plenty of opportunities for the casual user to dust off their bike and take a seawall ride, which may get them thinking about riding for transportation "

There are "countless fun summer social rides that take place in Vancouver, many of which are posted on the Terminal City Riders events calendar," he said.

Bruntlett's  favourites include Church of Bike Formal Ride, a fancy dress and suit ride (think heels, pearls, and tuxes); Bike Rave (since rebranded HUB's Bike the Night), a night ride bicycle party through the city; Lucha Libre Mask Ride, with riders cruising in traditional Mexican wrestling masks; Bike the Blossoms, a ride meandering down blossom-lined streets; Tweed Ride, where participants don traditional British cycling attire, and vintage bikes are encouraged, and Modacity's own Cargo Bike Championship.

A bicycle geared up for Bike the Night.

Courtesy Modacity

A bicycle geared up for Bike the Night.

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