Duncan Wilcock


e-Bikes: No Traffic.
Easy Parking. Join the Fun!

Saturday, December 02, 2023

e-Bikes: No Traffic. Easy Parking. Join the fun!

I am so grateful I have found an alternative to sitting in traffic - for most of my trips.

eBike with Basket, Kid Seat, and Christmas Lights
Like most people, I don’t like traffic. I don’t like sitting in traffic, I don’t like knowing that I am traffic - when I'm driving a car. I see a lot of belly-aching about traffic in our local newspapers & social media. I fully agree that we in North Vancouver do have an epic problem of vehicle traffic.

We spent ~$300 million on the new interchange at 2nd Narrows ($70 million from the DNV's coffers*), and the delays are unchanged. This was predictable - the same things has happened with highway "upgrades" since the 1960s - add more lanes, and the numbers of cars using the roadway increase - so that the wait time is about the same. This is called induced demand. That's why the wait time is the same - people are willing to "pay" in the amount-of-time waiting.

* This article originally written to our local newspaper the North Shore News

Most Trips are Short

So I’ll say again - I am so grateful I have found an alternative to sitting in traffic - for most of my trips. Most trips are short - less than 10km and so most of my trips are short, and I have found joy on an eBike - and because I take up so much less space - I am no longer part of traffic. I whizz by gleefully with a smile on my face, knowing I'm getting some exercise, but also not so sweaty I can't do what I need to do when I get there.

Twice as Fast, Twice as Far

My ebike takes me about 2x as fast as when I tried the same trips on an "acoustic" old-fashioned pedal bike. This means I can go twice as far with it. I use my acoustic bike around Lynn Valley, but for trips to the Shipyards, to Delbrook swimming pool to get my 5yo to swimming lessons, to his soccer practice - it's the best. So liberating, so joyful.

Saving you Money & Time

I also know I am saving society money by looking after my own health - by building exercise into my everyday activity = "active transportation." The Dutch spend $0.75 billion on cycling infrastructure every year - because they know it will save them $27 billion in healthcare costs. Far from "not paying my way" quite the opposite - I am :
  1. One less car in front of you in traffic
  2. Saving you money by being healthier

Sometimes I drive

There are times when I’ll use our car. I prefer not to, but there are times when we do. It’s not about one or the other - that’s too simplistic. It’s about choosing to do something different so as not to wait in traffic. If we reduce the number of vehicles on the road - the roads are nicer for everyone - including those who need to drive.
I’m not a cyclist; I’m a person who drives a car at times. A person who walks at times. A person who rides a bike at times.

Some reasons not to bike:

  • Our roads sometimes don’t feel safe. That isn’t because being on a bike is inherently unsafe. It’s because we are sharing the road with machines 100x heavier. Yes - we need to improve our streets for bikes, and with the growing wave of people getting around on bikes & ebikes - we will. Faster improvements would be better, but we will. 
Riding a bike also is factually more safe than you might think it is.

eBikes For the Win

eBikes really are a game changer - a technological change that makes a 10x improvement to getting around on a bike compared to how things used to be - especially for the Northshore. You’ve seen how many more ebikes there are out there - it’s a growing wave. Give one a try - you won't regret it.

On my eBike: 

I never worry about traffic. I never worry about parking. 

Smiles, not miles. Join the fun!