Remember that you are not limited by the route you would normally take in your car.
In some cases, the fastest, easiest, and safest route may be the route you usually drive. Many times, however, alternative routes can be safer, have less traffic, and save you time. Think outside the car when planning your best bike route.
Here are a few sample bike routes to downtown Vancouver.
The Right Wheels
The first thing you should think about is finding the right bike that best fits your needs. Bike selection is critical to your comfort, safety, and enjoyment. Be sure to take the time to shop around for the best choice. Your local bike shop is a good place to start. They have the knowledge and expertise to help you find the right bike type and fit.
Combining Your Trip with Transit
Adding transit to your bike ride can be a helpful option if your trip is particularly long or if a portion of your route may not be safe or comfortable. All C-TRAN and TriMet buses are equipped with bicycle racks, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
When you register for Destination Downtown and order a Commute Kit, you can choose among a variety of local bike maps, an in-depth guide to bicycling in Vancouver, this wallet-sized resource card, and more.
Other bicycling resources:
Dress for your ride: If you are riding a short distance in dry weather, ordinary clothes will do. For longer commutes, try breathable fabrics. In cold or rainy weather, wear a waterproof jacket, a wool or fleece layer, gloves and a warm hat. At nighttime, try to wear light-colored clothing.
Use lights at night: At nighttime or in heavy rain, use a bright white light on the front of your bike (or helmet), and a red light on the back. These are required by law and very important for safety.
Wear a helmet: Helmets are required for bicycling in the City of Vancouver. Your helmet should be snug but comfortable. If it has cracks in it, it’s time to buy a new one.
Find the best route: Sometimes there is a better bike route than the busy street you drive on. Look at a bike map to find preferred bike routes, side streets and paths. See our recommended bike routes into downtown.
Get a green light: If you come to a red light and see this symbol on the street, position your bike over it. Wait, and soon the light will turn green! Or, if a car is already there, it will activate the light for you.
Two ways to turn left: At a big intersection, you don’t have to use the vehicle left-turn lane. Instead, you can stay on the right-hand side, ride to the opposite corner, then turn around and wait for the light to change in your new direction.
Ride predictably: Ride close to the right-hand side of the road or lane, but not so close that you are in the “door zone” or have to weave around parked cars. When making a turn or a lane change, use a hand signal to tell the people around you.
Go slow on sidewalks: If you need to ride on the sidewalk remember that pedestrians have the right of way. You must use your voice or a bell to tell them when you are passing. Cross driveways and intersections at a walker’s pace and look around you for turning cars.
Obey traffic laws and right with traffic: Bicycles must be driven like vehicles, with very few exceptions. Riding against traffic is dangerous and illegal. A summary of Vancouver bicycle laws is available here.
Use caution when passing right: Stay out of a driver’s right-hand “blind spot.” Be careful when overtaking cars while in a bike lane; drivers don’t always remember to signal and look before turning at a street or driveway.