The Dutch have used bikes for years, but they really got serious about putting bikes ahead of cars in the 1960s (due to the Provos). Watch these videos of how to Dutch design bike-friendly junctions and how seriously they take bike safety -- they are so serious that you don't have to wear a helmet.
Vancouver, we've learned, is experiencing a "bike revolution" in which bike lanes are being widened, streets are being blocked off, and lights are being re-jigged for bikers. I totally applaud these efforts, but it's slightly surreal to have other bikers chat with you at intersections. I've never had a Dutch biker ask me "where are you going?"
Last weekend, we went out on a bike-u-brew-crawl that was silly and fun. It was a mobile party of 150+ people (hipsters/burners*/geeks) who rode from one house to another, blaring dance music on the way.**
One sign that there's still some way to go before bikes are normal in Vancouver? People were VERY careful about locking their bikes (nice article reviewing bike locks)
I took this photo at a roundabout.
Bottom Line: The Provos have come to Vancouver :)
* Here are some amazing photos from past Burning Men
** Way more people were smoking pot in Vancouver than smoke in the Netherlands. On that topic, check out Rolling Stone's pot issue and a Dutcher's views on why ecstasy needs to be legalized