Folding bikes are the perfect mode of transport for cyclists hopping back and forth between Vancouver and Victoria
Compared to the cost and carbon emissions of travelling by car and ferry, the float planes connecting Vancouver, Victoria and the Gulf Islands are an option well worth considering for the eco-conscious traveller.
In fact, local seaplane company Harbour Air says its service between Vancouver and Victoria is the most climate-friendly way for a single passenger to make the trip (compared to ferry, jet, helicopter or twin engine seaplane).
But once you arrive, the challenge of getting to your final destination in a timely, sustainable fashion can still be an issue.
Harbour Air's carbon neutral air service
Renting a car is time-consuming. Relying on cabs is expensive. Trusting in transit is a gamble. One solution is to travel with a folding bike. Not only is it a green way to get around, the cost savings make a folder a fiscally smart reason to ride too.
But travelling green means travelling light, so you'll need a bike that's not too heavy. Local float plane companies have around a 25 lb (11.5 kg) baggage weight limit.
(According to Meredith Moll, Harbour Air’s sales and marketing manager, the company doesn’t charge extra for additional luggage, and if there’s room on the flight you can bring it with you, or send it on a flight before or after your scheduled trip. But it’s important to call ahead to make the appropriate arrangements.)
If short urban trips are the ideal application of two-wheeler technology, is it too much to ask of our pinstriped movers and shakers (especially those working in government) to lead the way by pedalling portable bikes to those downtown business meetings?
As for those who want to run away to the Gulf Islands for a weekend, what better way to establish green credentials and fit in with eco-conscious locals? If you want to be the change you wish to see, these three bikes are light enough to let you ride, fold and fly.
Dahon says the Vector X20 is "one of the finest folding bicycles ever produced." (Image: Courtesy Dahon)
Dahon Vector X20
20.2 lb (9.2 kg)
Dahon is the world’s biggest folding bike manufacturer. They keep moving forward and evolving their original patented design.
The Vector X20 stays below the baggage weight limit through a combination of a lightweight Kinetix Pro wheel set and weight-optimized hydroform main tubes.
Don't let the playful design fool you; the Strida is a quality folding bike. (Image: Flickr / ggacsital)
22 lbs (10 kg)
With their unique triangular design, Strida bikes belong in a different Fringe version of Vancouver where Peter Bishop and Agent Olivia Dunham chase sci-fi bad guys aboard folding bikes and then catch fast, frequent rapid transit instead of tooling around in Ford SUVs. I want to believe. When folded it can be pulled like rolling luggage.
"The M9 features agility and functionality both for urban cruising and suburb travellers." (Image: Courtesy Ori)
Ori M9 folder
24.6 lbs (11.2kg)
Sneaking in at just under the 25 lb weight limit is the Ori M9 folder. As the name suggests, nine gears, and a mid-range price tag.
Given the cost of airport taxis and even the Canada Line’s airport surcharge, harbor to harbor bike/plane multi-modal could save on travel expenses for cash-strapped governments promoting active transportation.