Monday, September 19, 2016

529 Garage: free bike registry

Have you heard about 529 Garage? It's a free bike registry that can help the RCMP recover your bike in case it gets stolen.

You can register your bike on-line at, or at one of several registration events that Ridge Meadows RCMP will be holding in the next few weeks.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Meeting dates 2016/2017

Our committee meetings are held in the Alouette Room (upstairs) in the Maple Ridge library on every second Thursday of the month, 6:45 - 8:45 pm.

Here are the dates for our meetings from Sept. 2016 until August 2017:

September 8
October 13
November 10
No regular meeting in December

January 12
February 9
March 9
April 13
May 11
June 8
July 13
August 10

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Art Studio Bike Tour, May 8, 2016

Updated April 28:

On Mother's Day, Sunday May 8, we'll do another tour by bike of art studios in Maple Ridge during the annual Art Studio Tour. The Art Studio Tour is on the whole weekend. For details, see the Art Studio Tour website.

It's a lot of fun doing a tour by bike, as it adds an element of adventure, and it's cool doing it with a group of like-minded people, but if you wish you can do it on your own as well. We can send you a map on request and you can print it out yourself.

We're offering a flat route, quite similar to the one we did last year, and a hillier route, with studios that we haven't visited before. The hillier route is a great option for those who wish to get some additional health benefits from pedaling up some hills. I hope to do the hilly one myself this year. Who wants to join me??

We will be riding in groups of  9 people or less.

We need to be prepared volunteer-wise, as each group needs at least one, but preferably two volunteers to guide the group. That's why we ask people to register ahead of time, so we know how many volunteers we're going to need. We may have to cap the number of participants if we can't get enough volunteers. We can possibly also hand out maps at the start of the ride, so those who wish to do so, can do the tour on their own.

Start time for each route is 10 am. Please arrive 10 minutes early to sign a waiver.

We'll probably finish some time between 3 and 4 pm, so bring enough water and some lunch. Several studios will be offering snacks and drinks.

The flat route will start from the Bandstand at Memorial Peace Park. The hillier one will start from Starbucks at 240th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road. If you're planning to do either route by yourself, you can of course start anywhere you like along the route. Another good place to start route #2 from would be Kanaka Creek Coffee on 102nd Ave.

Contact Barry ( to register. Please specify which ride you would like to do.

If you would like to go at your own pace, please contact Jackie ( to obtain a map with artist list.

Please note that HUB volunteers do not assume any responsibility for the safety of participants. If you decide to participate with any of our rides, you do so entirely at your own risk. Please obey traffic rules and regulations during the ride.

For these rides, we do not encourage participation of kids under 16 years of age on their own bikes. We're ok with kids in trailers (flat route only!), but again, parents are entirely responsible for the safety of their own children.

You can find the maps below.

Route #1 (flat, about 12 kms):
The artists on route #1:

#11: Kat Wahamaa - Port Haney Artist in Residence -
11630 - 224 Street, Maple Ridge

#7: Kerry McLaren - Red Dog Studio -
Donnae Bell -
21536 River Road, Maple Ridge

#8: Diane Wooldridge - The Mud Room / Creations By Sisters
21652 121 Ave., Maple Ridge

#9: Kristin Krimmel -
12343 - 216 St., Maple Ridge

#15: Craig Speirs - facebook: Whispering Wind, Wind Dancers 
Diane Speirs - facebook: Alouette Mountain Studio
23386 - 124 Ave., Maple Ridge

#14: Rebecca Fisher - Maple Ridge Artist in Residence -
12178-227 Street

And this is route #2, the hilly one (about 16 kms):

List of artists for route #2:

#19:  Alexandra Lanzarotta - LXandraJewellery
11019 - 237 Street, Maple Ridge

#23: Brigitta Schneitter - Brigitta's pottery
Andres Schneiter - Maple Art
Bill Hartley - Brickyard Productions
Mike Stewart - Mike Stewart
24705 - 108 Ave.

#22: Fiona McQuillan - Westcoast Elements
facebook: Metal Mantra Jewelry
24985 - 112 Ave.

#21: Mark Tigges - pottery
11614-246 Street

#20: Elizabeth Hancock - Holly Tree Studio
12122 - 244 Street, Maple Ridge

Monday, November 9, 2015

Meeting dates for 2016

Our meetings are held in the Alouette Room (upstairs) in the Maple Ridge library on every second Thursday of the month, 6:45 - 8:45 pm.

The dates booked so far for 2016 are as follows:

Jan. 14
Feb. 11
Mar. 10
Apr. 14
May 12
June 9
July 14
Aug. 11

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bike to Farms 2015 now open for registration

Finally we have commitment from the three participating are pretty busy people and have other things on their minds this time of year! So happy that they're willing to have us!

So I can tell you that this year's Bike to Farms event will be on Sunday, Sept. 6, and we're ready for registration! Don't wait too's our most popular ride and we have limited space! We do ask registrants to let us know if they can't make it at least several days before the ride. We'll keep a waiting list if necessary so we can still fill up any cancellations.

We've decided to ask for a $5 registration fee this year to cover some of the cost and to be able to give the farmers a thank-you gift for participating.

We will provide participants with a snack and a drink at the end of the ride. Make sure you bring some water and a snack to keep yourself hydrated and energized during the ride. With the stops the ride will take several hours. Our experience is that the farmers really take their time to show us around, and we may arrive back a little later than planned, so it's good to be prepared.

This is the route (same as last year's route):

Participating farms:

The distance will be about 15 kms.

We'll be riding in two groups of max. 25 participants each.

  • Group #1 leaves from Big Feast Restaurant at noon, returns at Big Feast (or at Memorial Peace Park) at about 3:30.
  • Group #2 leaves from Big Feast Restaurant at 1:00 pm, returns at about 4:30.
Here's my blog post with photos of last year's Bike to Farms ride.

Registration and payment can be done in person (cash/credit card) or by phone (credit card) through:
Pitt Meadows Visitor Centre
12492 Harris Road
Pitt Meadows
tel. 604-460-8300
The Pitt Meadows Visitor Centre is now closed for the weekend. Please register with Jackie at or call (604) 476-9616. 
Payment: cash only at the start of the ride.

(Please specify whether you wish to be in group #1 or #2)

Note that kids under 16 years of age will need to be accompanied by an adult.

Participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to sign a waiver.

For more info e-mail Jackie at 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Latest column: What about closer to home?

My latest column in the Maple Ridge News. Unedited version below:

"The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members" - Ghandi
It's a 'no'. The people have spoken. Loud and clear.
In Maple Ridge, more people (77%) voted against the proposed 0.5% increase in sales tax to pay for transit, road and bike improvements than anywhere else in Metro Vancouver. Would that have anything to do with the fact that we rely more on our cars than anywhere else in Metro Vancouver? It's quite possible. 72% of Pitt residents voted against.
Voter turn-out for the plebiscite in Maple Ridge was 51%, Pitt Meadows 49%. Compare that to the significantly lower 2014 municipal election turn-out of 31% in both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
Whatever message people felt they needed to give, whether to Translink, to the BC Liberal Government, or to their Mayors, or all of the above, this vote was obviously extremely important to them. There's been an abundance of smug post-victory facebook posts about this great achievement, and many people apparently have been doing happy-dances.
Great. So the no-side won. And now what?
The real problems - worsening congestion, lack of transit options for many and poor cycling infrastructure - are now even farther from being solved, and seem to be on track to make our commuting lives more miserable in years to come. Call me negative. I call it being realistic.
On to the next referendum? Forget that!
Let's also consider this: while many blame Translink for all that's bad in the transit world, how can Translink be blamed for the way Maple Ridge has made many rather unwise land-use decisions in the past that now make it pretty darn difficult for Translink to provide cost- and time-effective transit for all in our area?
Somehow the powers that be should, hopefully, come up with a new funding source, eventually. Despite the no-side's victory, fought for with so much passion and dedication, many won't be so happy in the end, 'cause they're gonna get stuck in traffic, big time.  After all, even though many thought this was just about teaching Translink a lesson or two, we just chose the car as our solution to carmageddon, make no mistake about it.
In the meantime, we cycling advocates will continue to give our feedback when road construction is being planned. Life goes on.
I just want to say this. I am convinced that the only way a city can be successful is by being inclusive. A city should work for all. It should be inclusive of people who take transit, people who walk and people on bikes. It should be inclusive of the young and the elderly, many of whom don't drive. It should also be inclusive of those on a low income, many of whom can't afford a car.
A successful city should even be inclusive of street people, many of whom tend to get around by bike. Do you honestly think that if we just don't build bike lanes and install bike racks for them, they'll eventually just magically evaporate from our streets? Just like they need a place to live, they need to be able to get around safely, cheaply and efficiently, if those who are able to work are ever going to be able to get and hold a job.
Cycling facilities should not be seen as optional, as they often still seem to be today in Maple Ridge.
When a brand new, massive intersection appears such as the one at 112th/Kanaka Way and 240th, or so-called 'road improvements' are implemented at 240th by Albion Elementary, we're told we'll just have to wait for our bike lanes until the entire area is built out, which can be many years from now. Until then, we'll have to be content to be biking with the sharks, or stay on the sidewalks. So much for the pride our city takes in its so-called 'multi-modal' transportation system that supposedly works for all.
Seeing so many people speak up in this plebiscite, with such passion, about whatever it is that they felt was so important to them, makes me wish that those same people would speak up with the same passion when it comes to their vision of the kind of city that they want to live in.
Although, you have to wonder, what is their vision of the ideal city?
Many people just seem to want to get from point A to point B fast, and how their speedy, and often noisy and dangerous travel affects others and our city in general seems of no concern to them.
Through our car addiction, we've created a lot of places that apparently aren't worth caring about. The way a lot of drivers speed through our neighbourhoods attests to that. They drive through them as if they don't care about them and the people that live in them.

In the end, it all depends on what we, the people, want. Here's hoping that the many people that cared so much about Translink's governance problems and wasted tax dollars, will start caring enough about our streets and our neighbourhoods, about our kids and their future, and about our seniors, our poor, and our street people, to start demanding proper funding for transit and bike lanes! Call me naive. I guess I am.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Column: Traffic laws need to catch up

My latest column:

Not only are our roads designed for cars, our traffic laws are written for cars, and bikes are more like a fleeting afterthought.
Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, but this principle ignores some big differences that are not reflected in traditional road design, nor in the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Photos Art Studio Bike Tour

The one and only person that had registered for today's Art Studio Bike Tour had canceled yesterday, so I had no idea how many people to expect when we rode to our starting point, the Bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, this morning. But what a wonderful day it turned out to be! I got some help with promoting the ride from Colleen of the Let's Go Biking blog, and we had two people show up from Vancouver and two from White Rock for our ride. In total we had 13 people...a nice group!

Do check out Colleen's blog. You'll find lots of great ideas and tips for rides in the Metro Vancouver area and beyond.

Here are some photos of today's Art Studio Bike Tour:

Just the right size group for our bike tour!

Win Seaton's studio was hidden in a garage in a back alley

Kerry McLaren's studio is any artist's dream. She shares it with  Donnae Bell.
Both create beautiful clay art.

At Creations by Sisters we saw beautiful pottery by Diane Wooldridge
and gorgeous jewelry by Barb  Barringer

We were not the only people arriving at Osprey Village by bike.
Stomping Grounds is the perfect spot for a gourmet coffee.

Artist in Residence Rebecca Fisher showed us her age-old techniques for dying fabrics.
Every piece she creates is truly unique.

Kristin Krimmel is an amazingly versatile artist
with many years of experience and lots of art work to show for it.

Kat Wahamaa is another Artist in Residence, with many amazing talents.
Kat's Finnish and played her guitar for us and sang us a lovely finnish song.
This is Kat beside one of her favorite paintings. It was inspired by a tree. 
Last but not least we visited Alexandra Lanzarotta's studio.
She makes the most amazing jewelry, and I also liked husband Ron's wrist bands made of kangaroo leather.
You can find maps and lists of the artists with links to their websites  in an earlier blog post.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Youth Vision Film Festival: cycling part of the solution to a better world!

The theme for yesterday's Youth Vision Film Festival, organized by Cinema Politica Ridge Meadows, was "Working Together - A Better World is Possible". Out of four excellent entries, one participant, Elina Blomley, had chosen "cycling" as the way to a better world.

I loved all four entries. Two had chosen to tackle homelessness, which was very timely, as this issue has been front and center in the news lately. First prize winner Eva Cowley's documentary featured some great interviews explaining the homelessness issue. The fourth one was about acts of kindness. I don't have links to all four entries, but I do have the one for Elina's documentary, and it's well worth a watch.

Our HUB committee and HUB Headquarters hope to work with Elina to produce more cycling clips in the future!

Update May 13: Here's the link to the winning documentary by Eva.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bike to Work Week May 25 - 31

Bike to Work Week in Metro Vancouver is only a few weeks away. Do you want to be part of it? This is how it works.

Make sure you register and log your trips. Every day you'll have a chance to win a brand new bike!