Sunday, May 2, 2010

Protest, Fish & Chips & Open House

Another teaser and action packed day, a summary of tasks accomplished and a story to eventually be told


While the Mayor of Vancouver has proclaimed to the world that we wish to become the greenest city on the face of the Earth truth be told that unless you are utilizing pedal power or riding electric vehicles then you are only viewed as a source of an never-ending supply of money to keep the Government alive. We have 42 designated spaces for 2-wheeled vehicles . While all the municipalities around us are encouraging use of more fuel efficient machines, which includes motorcycles and scooters, Vancouver is NOT. There is no safe place to park your bike, not corner clearances, not on the sidewalk, and not between cars as they frequently get bumped over. Anyway Saturday was the date slated for our motorcycle/scooter protest. The City (of Vancouver) has regulated that bikes should occupy ONE parking space and pay full price for that space, so as a law abiding group, we did.


We got there early and snapped up all the spaces on the busiest street downtown from Robson & Burrard. We put one bike into each metered spot and paid full price for our stay. Cars were circling the streets trying to find a place to park, and some tried to park between the bikes. The "tipped" over scooter was there to demonstrate what it looks like to have a car push it over.

Our protest was brief as we did not wish to lose tourist sales to the local merchants but the next time we will have a second wave of bikes to replace the original ones as we could get ticketed for "feeding" the meter.

After we left the downtown area, some of us headed over to an Open House sponsored by a local Suzuki Dealer, JP Suzuki in Burnaby.


Time for lunch and the hamburgers and hot dogs were ready to be dispensed as well as a non alcoholic beverage to wash it down. Even potato chips for the taking. While it was a sponsored event I put some paper into the donation bucket.


Today everything was on sale and there was an army of bikes available for Demo rides if you were so inclined. I hung around for a while chitting and chatting and looking for bargains.

A couple of us decided to go for a short ride. We headed south to get away from the city traffic. Over the Queensboro Bridge, west along River Road to Richmond, then south to Steveston highway, we eventually arrived at scenic Finn Slough


After we finished pointing and clicking we ended up in Historic Steveston, BC and shared a large order of fish and chips between the 3 of us


It was a varied day of different experiences: protester, socializer and rider with a full belly. What more could you ask for on a sunny cool day in Vancouver, British Columbia


  1. Bravo! Let me know when it happens next time. I will be there! It reminded me of a protest that I had attended somewhat 20 years ago in my home town. Not to get in trouble with the meter maids we kept moving the bikes one spot further, when the time was up. After a few repeated activities there was much more tolerance towards parked two-wheelers. Even dedicated (free) motorcycle spots were introduced. Hope you guys will succeed!

  2. Vancouver clearly is not Key West North. The housing bubble may have burst, teachers are getting laid off in droves and oil may one day soon foul the reef, but free motorcycle parking is everywhere.

  3. Great job on the protest. I think that presented an excellent visual image for the powers-that-be to think about.

    Once again, enjoyed the videos & loved hearing the history on Finn Slough.

  4. Congrats on the protest! Did the media pick up any of it? Looks like a fun time at the Suzuki OH. I'd love to test ride the Gladius!

  5. Hi Bob,

    What a busy day you had...A protest, a mooch around a showroom, a ride about, all finished off with fish and chips!!

    How did you hurt your back, or is it just old age lol



  6. Awesome! I will make a note of that form of protesting next time our politicians try and screw us.

    Many thanks....

  7. Congrats on the protest. We need more of that peaceful, yet very pointed, kind of protest to drive the point home to the people who are supposedly looking out for our interests. Well done. Hope it gets some results.

  8. We've talked about doing this kind of protest in Seattle, but to my knowledge it hasn't been done.

    I'll be quite curious about results in Vancouver. Do keep us posted.

  9. Bob, the protest was fantastic and I applaud you and your fellow Vancouverian bikers for doing this. We have the same type of struggle in London finding somewhere to park a motorcycle and some parts of our City have just introduced motorcycle parking charges for the tiny amount of spaces that are available. This has resulted in mass protest rides where bikers ride so slowly they stop the traffic in London every Wednesday morning. See for examples of what is being done over here.

    I think however that your protest is more subtle and much more clever. As bluekat said, that presents a powerful image to illustrate the ridiculous nature of the proposed charging system for bikes. I hope that you win this battle but if London is anything to go by, it could take a long time to win because the decision makers will probably not want to back down. You may have to do this quite a few times before your message gets through.

    And then you had fish and chips – what a day!

  10. Dear Bobskoot:

    My first thoughts match those of Sharon's: where was the media coverage. I sincerly hope someone called the TV stations and sent press relesses to the local TV stations.

    I am going to mention this in my blog this week. More riders should atempt this. I hope you do a piece in greater depth on this kind of protest.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  11. Bobskoot the protester! Nice job getting the attention of city officials. I hope this idea creeps down to Portland. Actually, because of our rain (and yours) I would go for one or two floors of a downtown parking structure for motorcycles only. And it would be free parking! Nice post, Bob!

  12. Dear Bob:

    I have been very pressed for time this week, and the squeeze will be even tighter next week. But I wanted to tell you about my imprssions of Finn Slough...

    If the place has accesss to electricity and running water, I'd move there tomorrow. Quite frankly, it is my kind of neighborhood. No keeping up with the Joneses, nor anyone else. But I regret to report I have an addiction and an affliction that would make me choose my next neighborhood very carefully. I need very fast and very powerful broadband to work the way I do, and to live even here in West Chester. How we become suckered into these things.

    I am dismayed by the overgrown grass in what was once a channel. Does the water no longer flow there?

    I have been busting your balls on your reply to Steve about BMWs. Trust me... They are an acquired taste and not for everyone. I would not compare a K75 to your present ride... There is too broad a discrepancy in the development of technology, and again, it is an acquired taste.

    The folks who turned out in my last blog episode could all be classified as hard core.

    Finally, it is easy to offer recommendations after any event has occurred... But I just wanted to make sure you understood that I regarded the parking prptest as one of the most innovative and highly effective forms of motorcycle protest that I had ever seen. I know how hard it is to coordinae these things, and the thin line you walk in aggravating the innocent... But this was great.

    Was the woman who ducked your video camera a reporter or a government agent?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  13. The photo really drives home the impact of the protest. My wife says I'm "such a rebel!". I'm pleased to find kindred spirits!