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Frequently asked questions

The Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition is updating the site with a series of new FAQ categories.

-> What does the GNCC do?

-> Is the Cycling Coalition a new organization?

-> Can individuals join?

-> Can organizations or businesses join?

-> Is the Bicycle Coalition a political lobby group?

-> Are you against cars?

-> Where can I find more information on biking or bike projects?

-> What is Bike To Work Week?

-> How can I learn more about increasing bicycle use ?

-> Are you a Cycling Club?

-> How can I learn more about riding properly and legally on BC roads?

-> What kind of events/courses/programs/workshops does GNCC offer?

-> Where can I take a course to hone my riding skills?

-> How do I stay up to date on local GNCC events & activities?

-> Where can I find bike safety information?

-> Where can I ride my bike?

-> Where can I get a bike map?

-> Are there maps/routes available for bicycling in my area?

-> Where can I rent a bike?

-> Where can I buy a used or a new bike?

-> Where can I donate a used bike?

-> I had a crash/accident - what should I do now?

-> Where do I report a hazard?

What does the GNCC organization do?

The Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition is a diverse, member-supported non-profit organization that advocates for a healthy, safe, cycling-friendly city for all. Our vision is that Nanaimo will in the near future, become a city where cycling is as an essential part of its sustainable transportation network, where 'complete streets' have been implemented in all neighbourhoods with safe, accessible on- and off-road cycling infrastructure, and where the needs of people who cycle are taken into account in all municipal planning and decision making.
To accomplish this, the GNCC advocates the following:

  • The mainstream use of the bicycle for transportation, recreation and tourism
  • The effective education of cyclists and all road users
  • The accelerated development of appropriate cycling infrastructure and facilities
  • The encouragement of local groups that promote cycling for transportation, recreation and tourism
  • A vibrant cycling culture

And to reach our goals we:

  • Lobby the Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government for adequate funding of infrastructure projects
  • Work with governments, businesses and community organizations
  • Research and write proactive letters and reports
  • Provide and facilitate cycling education for children and adults
  • Organize bike rides and events on a weekly basis in the community
  • Run Workshops for cyclists and other road users
  • Promote Active Transportation and help businesses become Bike Commuter friendly
  • Support other community organizations working to improve cycling, walking, transit, and other "smart city" strategies
  • Coordinate initiatives with other Vancouver Island bicycle advocacy organizations
  • Work closely with the British Columbia Cycling Coalition in lobbying government for improvements in all aspects of cycling
  • Designing bike routes for commuters, school kids, shoppers and recreational cyclists
  • Creating maps with bike routes for visitors to the Nanaimo area
  • Offer support to anyone looking to improve bicycling

Is the Cycling Coalition a new organization?

The GNCC was formed in 1996 and has been active in the greater Nanaimo for the last 19 years. In 1997 the GNCC started Bike to Work Week and worked with other organizations to develop better road infrastructure for all road users. GNCC is a member of the BC CYcling Coalition and works with the Victoria, Vancouver, Comox and Oceaside coalitions to advocate for cycling.

Can individuals join?

Anyone can become a member of the organization and attend board or committee meetings. GNCC offers many workshops, talks, movie nights, organized bike rides and special events. There is a lot that people can participate in or volunteer for. Individual membership is $15/year or $25/year for a family of four. Go to our Membership page ->

Can organizations or businesses join?

Several organizations have joined GNCC with a Corporate Membership. We have three levels of Corporate Membership, each coming with different media coverage and corporate recognizition.
In addition we have several sponsorship opportunities for each of the 4 programs we offer:
-> Kids Bike Education Program
-> Women on Wheels Program
-> Bike Friendly Business Program
-> Bike Valet Services

Besides anopportunity for titel sponsorship, we also have a Speakers Series 2016, the Bike Summit and we are bringing in movies for the Fall of 2016. We encourages business to download our Sponsor Package for any of our Programs or Events.

Is the Bicycle Coalition a political lobby group?

Yes we are, we have to be in order to achieve change in the way we live, work, travel and play. After decades of under investing in pedestrian, transit and bicycling infrastructure, the urgency is on creating a more sustainable, livable city. Even with the adoption of the Nannaimo Master Transportation Plan, the bureacracy is moving at a snails pace, when it comes to building to the new standards. Our city will only see a change from vision-to-policy-to-implementation, when our elected officials instruct our city staff to get a move on. So Yes , we are talking to our councillors, our mayor and our mla's. It is in the best interests of all citizens of Nanaimo and the region.

Are you against cars?

The GNCC is not against cars. Most of our members are besides bicycle operators, also motor vehicle users and some of us even take the bus or walk. We have no beef with cars but we encourage every driver to consider their options. Especially their option to a more healthy lifestyle, living a longer more productive life. Look at the research that is readily available. Consider leaving your car at home once a week and find another way to go to work, shopping mall or library. What about car pooling?

Where can I find more information on biking or bike projects?

Our website has a large section of resources such as bike maps, routes, links to clubs, bikestores and tips on everything from saddle height, bike safety, bike repair etc. Our organization depends on volunteers and we have a limited resource to publish everything online.
We also offer information on projects in our region and further a field and offer solutions for areas of poor bike infrastructure.

Look under Resources for links to several projects and to other organizations such as the BC Cycling Coalition, The Alliance of Biking and Walking etc.

What is Bike To Work Week?

Bike to Work Week is an exciting community event that encourages everyone to try cycling by providing resources and support for new and continuing cyclists. Bike to Work encourages employees to create workplace teams and log their cycling commutes to win prizes and compete against other local organizations. Each day there are several Celebration Stations around the Nanaimo bike networks, providing free tune ups, snacks and prizes to commuters travelling to and from work.

In 1997 the Greater Nanaimo Cycling Coalition started Bike to Work Week Nanaimo. The Bike to Work Week idea started in Victoria in 1994 and has grown to 36 communities and regions throughout BC. Bike to Work Week encourages avid cyclists and new riders alike to sign up, log their commutes, win prizes, and be a part of making Nanaimo a better place to live, work and play. Improving air quality, reducing road congestion, improving personal health, and connecting with their communities are a few of the benefits realized by Bike to Work participants.

As of 2014, we not only celebrate commuting by bike to work, but encourage and reward those who use their bicycle to do shopping, return library books, visit friends, or go to their favourite beverage location.

How can I learn more about increasing bicycle use?

The GNCC is a great advocate for bicycling and we have many opportunities for people to learn more about the development of bike infrastructure. Also the courses and workshops we provide, develop people of all ages and abilities into confident cyclists.

To seriously increasing bicycle use we need a consorted effort of infrastructure building, improvements to many intersections and road ways, contineous education of road users from motor vehicle drivers, pedestrians to cyclists, and a publicity campaign to entice people to commute by bike a few days a week.

Are you a Cycling Club?

No we are not a club. We are an bicycling advocacy organization that promotes all forms of cycling. We do provide weekly recreational organized rides and special bike events, tours etc.
For competitive road racing contact Mid Island Velo, the Nanaimo Mountain Bike CLub for mountainbiking and the BMX club for BMX rides. We have a their contact information under Resources/Bike Clubs etc

How can I learn more about riding properly and legally on BC roads?

There are anumber of sources on our website about cycling and the law. We also recommend going through the Bike Sense Manual and soon we will have our Bicyclist's Handbook available.

What kind of events/courses/programs/workshops does GNCC offer?

Encouragement Programs - Encouragement programs are critical for promoting and increasing the use of walkways and bikeways. These programs should address all ages and user groups from school children, to working adults, to the elderly and also address recreation and transportation users. A thorough listing of programs and resources is on the GNCC website. Top priority encouragement programs are described below and were chosen based on the experience of some of our members and on the success and impact of these programs in other communities.

Employer Programs - To encourage bicycling and walking to work, employers can provide programs and incentives. When these alternative forms of transportation are encouraged, employers benefit from improved employee health and morale. They are also often positively perceived as protecting the environment and caring for their local community. Promotions could include organizing a Bike to Work Week or a morning Pit- Stop where employees can receive free refreshments. Employers can provide educational workshops, bicycle parking options, and employee incentives. Incentives may include prize drawings, t-shirts, and free tune-ups at a local bicycle shop.

Community Programs - The Smart Commute Challenge is a great example of engaging the community beyond the BTWW. Actively supported and encouraged in the Nanaimo area by GNCC and other partners, it is an excellent means of having residents pledge to commute to work by bicycle. Prizes are available and educational information on commuting to work is provided at www.bikesense.org/. Other programs are the Urban Commuter Course, Women on Wheels, Diriver Education Classes

School Programs - Many programs exist to aid communities in developing safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities around schools. Information is available to encourage group travel, prevent bicycle-related injuries, and sponsor commuter-related events. After-school programs, walking school buses, summer Bike Camps, bicycle rodeos, and Family Fun Rides can be created to provide a supportive environment for children to learn how to ride a bike comfortably and safely, learn how to repair and maintain a bicycle, and tour their city and its destinations.

Bike-sharing and Bike-repair Programs - Bicycle sharing and bike-repair programs encourage use by providing convenient access and empowerment to make more trips by bicycle. Many programs have also served to teach bike safety, maintenance, and on-road skills and have encouraged more people to bicycle for exercise, transportation, and leisure. In addition, these programs have increased the visibility of bicycling in communities. With a bike-sharing program, bicycles are made available for shared use by individuals who do not own bicycles.

Where can I take a course to hone my riding skills?

See our 2016 Course schedule Here

How do I stay up to date on local GNCC events & activities?

You can follow us on Twitter InfoCycling and like us on Facebook at GreaterNanaimoCyclingCoalition. We also send a the SpokeLore newsletter and send updates on events & activities by email. You can subscribe for both at gncc@shaw.ca

Where can I find bike safety information?

On our website there is extensive section of resources on bicycle safety, tips and a library of white papers on every cycling topic. A good bike safety guide is the Bike Sense Manual. You can find a copy here in pdf format.

Where can I ride my bike?


Where can I get a bike map?

The GNCC approached three different city deartments working on a flat map of Nanaimo in working cooperatively on a new bike map for Nanaimo. We provided a GIS mapping student but the project stalled as the city refused to actually produce a useful map with bike routes. What they produced is somewhat useful. Check out their Cycling Map and Transit Map to help you find your way cycling around town. You can find a printed copy of this cycling and transit map in the following locations:

  • Beban Park Recreation Centre
  • Bowen community centre
  • Nanaimo Acuatic Centre
  • Nanaimo Ice Cantre
  • Oliver Woods community centre
  • Service and Resource Centre
  • Tourism Nanaimo
  • Hub City Cycles Community Co-op
  • Rock City Bikes
  • Pacific Rim Bicycle
  • Arrowsmith Bikes

To see bike routes and a bicycle map with recommended bicycle friendly roads look in the Trails & Routes and Bike Map sections of this website.

Are there maps/routes available for bicycling in my area?

Check out our Bike Routes and Trails section under the Resources tab on the top of this page

Where can I rent a bike?

Hub City Cycles Bike Co-op rents bikes at $26.25 a day. Their locate near the China Steps at 12 Lois Lane.
Want to try an electric bike than head over to Pedego Cycles in Qualicum Beach. Their e-bikes rent between $70 to $90 for a full day. Located at 744A Memorial Ave, Qualicum Beach.

Where can I buy a used or a new bike?


Where can I donate a used bike?

In Nanaimo there are a number of options to donate your bike. If your bike is in decent shape and you are looking for an upgrade or change talk to any of the local bike stores if they would offer you a few dollars towards a newbike.

If you just want to donate you can do so at most stores put particularly I recommend you donate to the Hub City Cycles Co-op or to Vibe Bikes. Other options are to donate to one of the schools that have bike programs such as Barsby and Woodlands schools.

And if you want your bike to travel the world you can donate your bike to a person in Africa through Bikes for Humanity. There is a chapter in Comox follow this link.

I had a crash/accident - what should I do now?

Here are some recommendations:

  1. REQUEST A POLICE REPORT: Don't settle for "we don't take reports".
  2. DOCUMENT ALL WITNESSES: Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses. This includes preserving all evidence, damaged car and cycle parts.
  3. SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION: This helps prove you were hit and what your damages are. Be very careful as to what you tell medical staff.
  4. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS: …of your bruises, cuts, property damage (car, bike, clothes), the scene/signs, markings, and skid marks. City Streets Change!
  5. AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGE: A special note for bicyclists: if you are hit while cycling, you may be able to recover personal injury damages from your own auto insurance policy under the motorist provision. Remember Proposition 213 limits your rights to collect uninsured only economic damages (lost wages, medical bills, car repair) if you are an uninsured or an excluded driver. So to maximize your recovery, maintain insurance coverage.
  6. INSURANCE ADJUSTERS: When an insurance adjuster calls you, tell him or her to contact your lawyer. Do Not Let Them Tape Record You!
  7. PROPERTY DAMAGE: Photographs and written estimates of your damages from a reputable auto repair company helps.
  8. MEDICAL BILLS AND RECORDS: The thing to remember here is to explain to the doctor your complaints, starting from head to toe, including past injuries to the same body parts that are presently injured.
  9. LOST WAGES: These may be dependent on your injury – medical documentation. In other words, the insurance adjuster may ask; "If you are not injured, why are you unable to work?" Have your doctor verify your non-ability to work in the form of temporary disability slip which will be your proof.
  10. LIFESTYLE CHANGE: Here, I learn how the injury has affected my client's life, family, job, and recreation and how it will do so in the future. Photographs of trophies or medal, if you are an athlete, or the family, people in off road vehicles, all help to prove general damages. Keep a diary of your athletic training and mileage before and after injury.
  11. FIRST AND FOREMOST: Get a lawyer and chase ICBC aggressively and persistently otherwise you end waiting for a decade for compensation or resolve. See this news item:

Where do I report a hazard?

You can find our website Hazard Report Form here.
If it is within the City on city controlled streets or path contact:
Brian Denbigh - Manager of Roads and Traffic Services - City of Nanaimo
Phone: 250-758-5222 - Brian.Denbigh@nanaimo.ca

For hazards on the Parkway or the Island Highway 19a between the City limits on the north end to Brechin Road and from Comox Road to the south end contact the BC Ministry of Transportation in Nanaimo.
The area manager is Cindy Corner and she can be reached at:
Phone: (250) 751-3275 - cindy.L.corner@gov.bc.ca

Highway 19 & 19a are swept every 120 days by Emcon Services. Should you find any safety issues on paved surfaces which pose a hazard to highway users, please contact Emcon Services at 250-722-9494 or by their 24hr number at 1-866-353-3136.