Back in 2007 I wrote an article for the CTC web site which arose from a shorter magazine article of the same name. “On holiday without my bike” was an encouragement to CTC members to attempt cycle hire and see where it might lead them. However was initially conceived as a full on rant about the sort of cyclist who is incapable of enjoying cycling without their own bike, moaning and groaning either about the difficulties of transporting their handcrafted steed to the ends of the globe or equally complaining about whatever bike they do end up using. I rather toned it down in the end to avoid offending some friends and family.
Now I am the custodian of a blog can I go there again? It is the cycling that counts. When we experience scenery, the people, the transport of delight, flying without wings. Anything with two wheels please.
I got myself in a right mess over the last few weeks trying to sort out how I would complete a cycle tour from Vancouver via a bus trip to Whistler and a ride from Whistler to Kelowna. All the hassle just dropped away when I decided not to worry.
A Bixi city bike (above and right) for the Velo-city conference.
A hired full suspension for the two days in Whistler.And for the tour I have just been to Ride On Again Bikes in West Broadway Vancouver to get a recycled bike that I will happily dispose of at the other end, not having to brave the carriage conditions of a single airline.
Superb service, relaxed about letting me ride a bike or two and just 20 minutes to change the saddle and stick on a rack and bottle cage. Added bonus of meeting Sue Knaup from One Street in the shop buying her own bargain for the trip. And the really nice people at the hotel have let me bring it up to the bedroom. Somewhat defeats the object of a bike that nobody wants to steal – but Canadians are just so nice, they can’t help it.
Even better I frightened the life out of a couple of drivers who had never seen one man riding two bikes before, let alone down a main steet.
So here’s a photo tribute to some hired and borrowed bike experiences. If one day in Vancouver matches these it will be worth it.