The Province Newspaper: “The Bicycle Valet proving popular because it’s free and secure”

Original article here

Thousands of bicycles found free, secure parking provided by The Bicycle Valet at Vancouver Live, the city’s 125th anniversary celebration at Stanley Park’s Brockton Point in 2011.

Thousands of bicycles found free, secure parking provided by The Bicycle Valet at Vancouver Live, the city’s 125th anniversary celebration at Stanley Park’s Brockton Point in 2011.

“A program to safely park and store bikes during selected events around the Lower Mainland is proving extremely popular.

The Bicycle Valet, which operates like a coat check but is for bicycles instead of coats, is run by non-profit Better Environmentally Sound Transportation.

It’s expected 30,000 bikes will be parked this year, up from 22,000 in 2014 and the 300 bikes taken care of in 2006 when the program began.

While the program is sponsored by TransLink’s TravelSmart program and the Vancouver International Airport, organizers of events that use bike valet, like this weekend’s Squamish Valley Music Festival, also help out and provide volunteers to back up BEST’s paid staffers.

Use of the valet is free — cyclists drop off their bike and get a ‘check’ that they must return with to reclaim their bike.

Sinead Stinson, who co-ordinates the bike valet program for BEST, said it’s expected 1,000 bikes a day will be parked during the Squamish event.

“We parked our 100,000th bike last year and we’ve never lost one,” said Stinson.

Making the program even more secure is that it also has insurance in case there is a problem.

“It’s eliminating barriers to sustainable transportation,” said Stinson. “We love it and it’s super popular.”

About 1,000 cyclists used the bike valet at last weekend’s Pride Parade, eliminating the need to find a bike rack or pole to which a bike can be locked. The valet service also keeps the space used for parking bikes more compact than if the cycles were parked randomly.

This is the first year for a Granville Island season location which began in July and continues through August, Fridays to Sundays at 1537 Johnston Avenue.

Stinson said police have told BEST the bike valet has almost eliminated the bike theft issue around the popular tourist destination where it is often so hard to find a spot to park anything.

While there is always at least one paid BEST employee to co-ordinate the bike valet at an event, volunteers are also vital. Anyone interested in helping out can go to the websiteTheBicycleValet.ca or call Stinson at 604-669-2860, ext. 207″

fluba@theprovince.com

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FIFA Women’s World Cup? We’ll Be There!

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The Bicycle Valet is proud to announce that we will be parking bikes during the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015! That’s right!! So, if you’re craving soccer during the absence of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, whose last home game is May 30th, until their return to BC Place July 12th, then the FIFA tournament will certainly keep you entertained!

If you’ve ridden your bike to a Whitecaps FC game before, you already know we keep everyone’s beloved two wheeled companions safe while you enjoy the game.

Free, friendly and safe service is what you should expect when parking with the Bicycle Valet.

What you need to know is we’ll be in the FIFA Fan Zone located in the parking lot on the corner of Beatty St. and Dunsmuir St. The Bicycle Valet will be at this location for all matches in Vancouver, and during all the team Canada games scheduled so far! Check it out:

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100,000 Bikes Safely Valeted!

100,000 Bikes Safely Valeted!

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We did it! On Friday August 28 at Granville Island, The Bicycle Valet arrived at a big milestone: 100,000 bicycles parked since we opened for business in 2006. That’s a lot of bikes!

The lucky winner of the grand prize of a bicycle was Lizzie Goldman, who was visiting Vancouver from Washington DC. Talk about excited! And surprised! A big thank you to Reckless Bikes for donating the grand prize and Travel Smart, who provided a whole lot of great prizes for everybody who came to The Bicycle Valet on the day.

It’s been quite a ride for The Bicycle Valet, and we know it’s going to just keep getting bigger and better. The whole bicycle culture in the Lower Mainland has changed a lot (read: improved) over the last 8 years, and we are happy to be a part of this change. And no, we don’t think it will be 8 years before we park our 200,000th bicycle! Any guesses?

Fewer than 30 bikes to go!

Fewer than 30 bikes to go!

After a busy weekend, we have fewer than 30 bikes left to park before hitting the 100 000th mark!

This means we’ll be reaching the #bikevalet100k milestone this Thursday, August 28 at our regular Granville Island location (behind the Brewery)!

We’re going to be giving away a brand new bike from Reckless Bikes to the lucky 100 000th patron, and some incentives from TravelSmart as we count down!

So ride your bike down to Granville Island on Thursday for your chance to WIN, and for free and safe bicycle parking!

Also, don’t forget to enter to win below for some more great giveaways from TravelSmart!

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