Bikes On Robson has gradually expanded its business to supply customers with fixed-gear, road, and commuter bikes alongside expert repairs completed within 48 hours since opening in 2006. Cyclist staffers can help customers build a fixed-gear ride or choose a new bike from top industry manufacturers like Fuji and Single Bikes.
Bikes on Robson rents a fleet of single and tandem bikes that come with complimentary helmets and locks. In addition to dispensing quality cycles, Bikes on Robson's staffers expertly administer tune-ups and repairs that remedy issues stemming from flat tires, broken chains, and homesick aliens riding in bike baskets. The business also promotes good biking in Vancouver, including a city info page on their website.
Cycle BC Rentals & Tours sends adventurers on two-wheeled explorations of British Columbia. Riders saddle up their preferred bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle before shooting down the open asphalt as they visit mountains, gardens, beaches, and castles. Over the years, Cycle BC has compiled their favourite routes—complete with distances, notable sights, and celebrities most likely to be caught hitchhiking—into one extensive online database. Riders can rent adventure, sport touring, or cruiser motorcycles, two types of scooters, as well as electronic-hybrid bicycles that give an extra umph when pedaling up daunting hills.
Family-friendly Bayshore Bike Rentals doles out mountain, tandem, and cruiser cycles for adults and kids, with optional bike trailers that cart little ones in the wakes of adult cyclists. Newly equipped riders pedal from the shop through lush Stanley Park or coast along the nearby Vancouver Seawall, a flat, paved path that hugs the waterfront as tightly as an overenthusiastic Big Bird. Cyclists return their steeds at whatever time they choose and pay at the time of drop-off. The shop also rents a collection of in-line skates made by Rollerblade.
Located mere steps from its eponymous body of water, English Bay Bike Rentals pairs patrons with myriad modes of transportation, from hybrid and junior mountain bikes to inline skates. All rentals include locks, helmets, and maps for navigating to nearby sights such as Yaletown. If English Bay’s hour- to month-long rentals don’t offer enough riding time, consider purchasing a used bike from its selection. The shop’s expert technicians can also repair and tune-up any malfunctioning bike, as well as deck it out in accessories such as lights and baskets.
Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental's Tom Littlewood has been an avid cyclist for nearly 30 years. When the former psychologist first hit the roads of New Westminster, especially the Queensborough Bridge, the most common sight was of big rigs as they rumbled past. Now, with bike-friendly routes such as the Queensborough Loop being built along the Fraser River, Littlewood and other cyclists hear not the roar of traffic but the bark of sea lions as they park themselves on the shores for a front seat at the salmon runs. Eagles, heron, and other wildlife also congregate during runs, forming a rich, natural tapestry that cyclists pedal by on one of Tom's bike rentals, often during guided tours. At first, biking for Tom was not a passion, but a prescription. At 33, his doctor gave him a choice—undergo open-heart surgery or saddle up on a bicycle. Tom soon incorporated his prescription pedalling into both his personal and professional life. He began advising his own patients, who were afflicted with anxiety or sleep disorders, to cycle for the exercise, the fresh air, and the sassy feeling of wearing spandex in public. Later, he worked with disadvantaged children to teach them bicycle mechanics in a program he also helped establish in other places, including Cuba. Today, Tom estimates that he bikes 300–400 kilometres a week. He laps the Queensborough Loop five or six times a week with groups. As an advocate of biking who strongly associates the sport with weight loss, good health, and peace of mind, Tom enjoys sharing his passion with others at Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental. Perhaps even more than relaxed group rides, he likes his power rides. So even on days after he's led tours, he climbs aboard his two-wheeled steed and begins pedalling without a moment's hesitation.
The vision for what eventually became the arts-centric Vancouver Biennale organization began in 1998 when Buschlen Mowatt Galleries opened their four-month-long outdoor Open Spaces exhibit. Determined to go beyond the walls of traditional art galleries, the event’s organizers brought their showcase to a mile-long stretch of beach in English Bay and the back of one giant sea turtle. The sculptures, crafted by luminaries hailing from France, England, Colombia, and the US, drew more than seven million viewers during its limited run, and set off the idea that would become the Biennale—a biannual celebration exposing locals to many forms of public art.
Since then, the celebration has expanded to include not only visual arts but performance art and new media. In recent years, events have also included the Vancouver Tour de Biennale, an area bike tour that gathers cyclists to cover varying distances around the Vancouver area as they admire public art displays along the road.