The hotel we stayed at in Vancouver had a couple of bikes that they allow guests to use.
I was excited about the pretty blue cruiser the bellman handed to me, until I realized that it didn’t have hand brakes. It was one of those bikes that you back pedal to stop. I hadn’t ridden a bike like that since I was eight years old.
Navigating city traffic was going to be interesting.
The bike lanes in Vancouver are pretty amazing, though. It didn’t take me long to get comfortable with the old foot brakes.
There weren’t bike lanes like this on every single road, but there was obviously some sort of network that seemed to get you wherever you needed to go. It wasn’t a direct shot, but we eventually made our way to Stanley Park.
There is an 8k bike loop on the seawall that circles the park.
The loop is one way for cyclists, which makes a lot of sense. Even though we got an early start, it was already getting busy with clumsy tourists on rental bikes. I will include myself in that category. Having bike traffic all move in the same direction probably eliminates a lot of accidents.
I noticed that the more serious cyclists were staying off the path altogether. They were riding on the roads instead.
There are some beaches, playgrounds and even a beautiful swimming pool along the path.
A crow was helping himself to a drink from the poolside water fountain.
I couldn’t resist stopping at the playground.
The Vancouver Aquarium is located in the park as well. It is a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation. The aquarium rescues, rehabilitates and releases about 100 marine mammals each year. We saw so many fascinating animals, but the sea otters and sloth were my favorites.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped for lunch at the Loving Hut, a local all-vegan, solar-powered food truck. My barbecue veggie burger was delicious.
It was fun exploring the city on bike. I wish it was easier to do that in more places. Bicycles seem to be a popular mode of transportation in Vancouver. The bike lanes got pretty busy, especially during the morning and afternoon commuting hours. As a pedestrian, you need to be careful to not inadvertently step into the bike lane. I learned that lesson the hard way. I stepped off the sidewalk to pass someone in front of me and nearly got run over by a bike.