On 2 June 1817, Baron Karl Friedrich Christian Ludwig Freiherr Drais von Sauerbronn of Baden, Germany filed a patent for his Laufmaschine. Also known as the Draisine, velocipede, hobby-horse or dandy horse. Pedals were first added in 1863, and the “boneshaker” became a (short-lived) craze. Tensioned spokes and increased front wheel size led to the “ordinary bicycle” that prevailed (and wrecked havoc) until the introduction of the safety bicycle in 1885. Since then pneumatic tires, variable gearing, new metals and plastics have been introduced, but how much enjoyment has resulted for these humble (and painful) beginnings. Celebration is required!

The Ride: a leisurely ride of approximately 30kms around East Van. The hills are gentle and the riders kind. No one will be left behind.

The Party: after the ride we will head to Will Todd’s home (and makeshift bicycle museum) in Kitsilano to enjoy vegan and non-vegan; glutinous and gluten-free food, along with water and tea. If you want more range in your drinking options, you are invited to bring the drinks you enjoy (a very wide range of liquid options are available nearby, if you would rather not carry your drinks on the ride). Friends from UBC’s Bike Kitchen are also invited.

What should you bring: your marvelous self and your trusted steed and, other than any drinks for you, you are requested to bring only the following for sharing:

  • a functional spare inner tube (patches are welcome) to contribute to my tube library
  • bicycle-themed poetry and stories to share
  • cash to contribute to the migrant farm workers of Flora Farm who are supported by Bici Libre (who recently lost their belongings in a fire) – details here – this is a fun raiser, more than a fund raiser – no contribution is required or expected

To avoid any confusion: this is not a pot-luck, your cooperation will be appreciated.


Distance: approximately 30km

Start: 10am at Arbutus Coffee (Arbutus Street at W. 6th Avenue)

Route: here

Leader: Will – please RSVP by email, so food quantities can be adjusted

4 Responses to “Saturday, 2 June 2018: 201st Anniversary Celebration of the Bicycle’s Beginning”
  1. teresaot says:

    Thanks, Will, for leading 20 of us around Vancouver and then feeding us to boot in the homey confines of your bicycle museum. Once again, there was stellar bread with many accompaniments. Thanks also to Faye for frying up a mountain of veggies for the hungry masses. She might still be there, cooking away. Because when you tell a Chinese mother you’re full, she won’t believe you. EVER. Seriously, though, it was a super fun social, and a chatting with fellow VBCers and the Bike Kitchen folks was a real highlight. Thanks also to Colin for leading the longer ride, while Will led a smaller group on a shorter ride.

    Enjoy the photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/NN2u2egvarpdAhR12

    Faye, go home.

  2. Colin S says:

    Thanks Will for the great event. I had a poem ready but didn’t see an opportunity.



    I can attest to that, Pablo Neruda ,Ode to Bicycles, (i really enjoyed it!!)
    won’t quote it here but worth a read especially today,thanks to Will for the impetus to seek out and enjoy poetry ….and for an excellent get together to boot
    Cheers Dorothy

  3. Faye L says:

    Thank you Will for hosting the celebration to the bicycle. The company, food, ride and your unique bicycle museum were stellar!

    I like to share the cycling poem below. Enjoy!


  4. Will says:

    I did ask those gathered in the Tandem-European Exhibit Hall about bicycle poetry at one point, but I did not realize that all of the poets were on the back porch, slaving over a propane burner (or serving etc). Instead of bicycle poetry, I led a short round of bicycle trivia.

    Thank you both (and so many others) for your collective effort to celebrate together. As is my want, I suggest a ride or an event then, due to my limited execution abilities, require community be formed to bring things off. As someone directly said, it was not an auspicious beginning to a ride when the nominal leader announces that he will not be riding the proposed ride but rather will be taking a different route after first confirming that not one person wanted the alternative option! It seemed to me that it all worked out…

    Many kind compliments on the food, for which I am grateful, and I thought I would post the recipes:

    Coconut Red Lentil Soup
    1 Onion, chopped
    4 cl Garlic
    4T Olive Oil
    3 stocks Celery, chopped
    1 t Curry powder
    1/2 t Ginger
    8 C Water (or 4 C Water and 4 C Vegetable Stock, which is what I did)
    1 can Coconut Milk
    2 T Tomato Paste
    1 Carrot, diced
    1 large Potato, diced
    1 Zuchinni, diced
    1 Bay Leaf
    1 1/2 C Red Lentils
    1/3 C Cilantro, chopped

    Saute Onion and Garlic in Oil. After it softens, odd Celery, Curry Powder and Ginger. Add Water, Coconut Milk and Tomato Paste. Bring to a boil, then add Carrot, Potato, Zuchinni and Bay Leaf and simmer for 40 minutes. Add Lentils and simmer for1 hour more. Add Cilantro before serving with fresh bread. I also call this soup, “Shut up and eat Soup” because when anyone starts on about whether it includes some ingredient that they cannot or will not eat, it does not have any of them in it! With apologies to those who cannot eat Onions and Garlic, but not eating any of them sounds so awful that I might start to cry, if I say more.

    Easy Olive Tapenade
    3 cloves Garlic
    1 can (398ml) sliced Black Olives
    1 jar (375 ml) Manzanilla Olives (green with red pimento inside)
    125 ml Pitted Moroccan Olives (or any strong flavoured black olives – if you want to splurge you could use Kalamatas, but I buy the cheapest strong tasting olives that come pitted)
    6 capers
    fresh juice of 1 Lemon
    3 T Olive Oil

    In food processor: chop Garlic until fine. Add Olives and Capers and pulse until you like the texture (pushing the sides down with a rubber scraper as required). Add Lemon Juice and Olive Oil. Serve. Stores for weeks in the fridge. So easy, so cheap and people stop telling you that you should add olives to your sourdough bread. I think it is best paired with cream cheese on sourdough bread.

    Batter for Pakoras
    1 cup Chana Flour (flour from chick peas or garbanzo beans)
    1 t Salt
    0.5 t Masala
    0.5 t Ground Corriander
    0.5 t Turmeric
    0.5 t Chili Powder (mine is a Mexican style but that is not noticable in this recipe)
    3/4-7/8 cup Water
    2 cloves Garlic, pressed or chopped fine

    Sift the Chana Flour into a bowl. Add Salt and spices and mix well. Add Water slowly to get the right texture for your vegetables (thicker is better for potatoes and other root vegetables, thinner is better for Broccholi and Cauliflower (oh my gods, I just realized that I forgot to cut up the cauliflower that is still in my fridge – everyone come back and I will make them now…)). When the texture is right, add Garlic. Find someone else to be the fry cook (thanks again, Faye). Batter vegetables and then deep fry (about 5 minutes at medium heat) in plain tasting oil (I use Canola, because I am Canadian…). I have no idea whether these would be good if not eaten immediately, because they are always eaten as fast as they are ready!

    As I think most will already know, if you want sourdough starter, just let me know… When I worry that my starter may die due to neglect, I am comforted to know that many of you have colonies of my yeasties who can share some back to me. Collective action has its own security, or we could just build that wall.

    I hope the 202nd year will be another good one. As my neice noticed when she looked over my French bicycle with the rudimentary derailleur that won the Tour de France in 1951-1953, it was so recently when bikes were so much more simple. Some progress is good.

    Peace and Love to you all,


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