Rides are put on by people like you. Anyone can add a ride or a bike-related event to the Velopalooza calendar. And most rides and events are free!
After a few Vancouver cyclists travelled to Portland for Pedalpalooza, they were inspired to bring that kind of community-driven bike fun to Vancouver. They reached out to more cyclists on the Velolove email list, and a festival was born.
In 2011, Velopalooza grew to 18 days with many favourite rides returning, including the Bike Rave and historical rides from John Atkin and Gordon Price. New ride leaders created lots of great rides, including a chicken coop tour, the Mount Pleasant Family Bike Ride, and the Mystery Ride.
Bike Fun in Vancouver
The Velolove community, from which Velopalooza was born, came together in 2001 when Vancouver hosted Bikesummer – a month long festival that for each year moved from city to city promoting and celebrating bicycle culture. The following year, the Velolove web domain was acquired to continue the spirit of Bikesummer as an on-line community.
Since then, many movements have grown out of that community. Many in that community promoted and participated in Critical Mass – a celebration of traveling by bicycle that occurs the last Friday of every month. From its humble beginnings, Critical Mass was known to attract thousands of enthusiastic cyclists for its larger summer rides.
Vancouver’s fixie, cruiser, and “chopper bike” afficianados found a home at Velolove before creating on-line communities in their own right. Other events and movements, such as the Wholesome Undie Ride (in response to Vancouver’s Molson Indy race), the World Naked Bike Ride, Vancouver’s Car Free Festival, and Momentum Magazine (now a North America-wide publication), were all founded by people using the Velolove email lists.
Vancouver’s Bikesummer, whose motto was the summer of velolove, itself originated out of groups such as The Bicycle People – a loose association of bicycle activists who in 1991 formed Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) – a Vancouver based not-for-profit organization to promote the use of environmentally responsible alternatives to the private automobile, and who formed Vancouver’s HUB Cycling (then the VACC). BEST and HUB Cycling are two of the region’s most active and clear voices for sustainable transportation choices.
Today, the Vancouver tradition of fun activism creating communities and culture continues with Velolove and Velopalooza.