The One Bike Difference

A post by André-Jean Maheu

Last winter I made an effort to commute from my home in Kitsilano to my work in North Vancouver by bicycle as much as possible. As it turned out it wasn’t much of an effort at all. Sure there were a few breezy, dark and wet mornings on Lion’s Gate Bridge but more often than not, my commute home turned out to be the highlight of my day often stopping on the bridge to take in the beauty of the setting sun on Georgia Strait.

So… What difference did I make? Well, the total distance I rode during the winter season is 1,375km. My car gets pretty average mileage for an older car of around 6km/liter in the city. That’s around 229 liters of gas. Each liter of gas produces, from its extraction to the exhaust pipe, 6.25 pounds of greenhouse gas pollution. So that would be 1,431 pounds of climate changing nasty toxic fumes less in the atmosphere. Not bad for just one guy with a bicycle over only one winter. Just over a pound per kilometer!

During all these hours spent pedaling, the idea of Bikes Not Pipes was born. A way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce our impact on climate change, get fit AND fight the obscene exploitation of  the Alberta tar sands and ensuing pipelines and tanker traffic on one of the most pristine and unique ecosystem in the world:  Our Coast.

The basic idea behind Bikes Not Pipes is to get more people to leave their cars at home and ride their bikes as much as possible. Those who can’t ride regularly have an opportunity to support those who can by sponsoring their efforts and turn every kilometer ridden rather than driven into a source of financing for organizations that fight tanker traffic and pipeline development in BC.

For more information about Bikes Not Pipes or to join in as a cyclist or a sponsor, please contact us at or visit the Bikes Not Pipes Community page on Facebook.

See you on the bike paths


An avid backcountry enthusiast, André-Jean Maheu lives in Vancouver where he works as an avalanche forecaster and outdoor skills instructor. His first bicycle trip across Patagonia led to a lifelong passion for cycling in wild and beautiful places.

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