Two wheels in Vancouver
October 17, 2012 11:36 AM   Subscribe

BC locals, can you get around Vancouver (and Burnaby) by scooter? Will I be able to use it during the winter?

I've recently transplanted to Vancouver, BC for a long term work project. My car did not make the trip with me. I'm thinking about getting a moped for getting around town.
posted by Apollo's Favorite Mistake to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: For sure! Winter will be very dark and damp, so make sure you're visible and have good rain gear, but it will only snow a handful of times all season and that would usually melt within a day or two. I think this is a good plan. Also we have car2go, zipcar, and Modo (the car co-op) if you occasionally need a car.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:14 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

I see people on scooters year round. Are you ok with scootering in the rain every day? Not that it rains every single day, but you kind of have to put yourself into the mentality that it's probably going to rain on any given day in the winter.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 12:55 PM on October 17, 2012

Best answer: You'll want good gortex waterproof overgarments, gloves, and boots. If there is a place at work where you can hang them to dry, all the better. Some days it might be sunny and dry when you leave for work, and then it's flooding by the time you leave work, so having a "scooter bag" that you bring with you rain or shine wouldn't be a bad idea.

Otherwise the roads aren't too bad and it doesn't get windy enough to make scooters unsafe. It's a stereotype because it has a kernel of truth - Vancouverites don't know how to drive in the snow, so you'll want to be confident in your defensive driving techniques.
posted by porpoise at 1:45 PM on October 17, 2012

I'd say that as long as you invest in some good rain gear (because you *will* get wet) you should be ok. For the 2 days it may or not snow, just stay home. You mention both Burnaby and Vancouver though - where abouts specifically? It would be a really long ride to get from the end of one to the end of the other on a scooter.
posted by cgg at 2:48 PM on October 17, 2012

The toughest part of scootering in Lower Mainland for me were a) the wet hills and b) other drivers not seeing you in the rain. I laid my scooter and motorbike down a couple of times, both my fault and other drivers fault. I would recommend high visibility rain gear and go slower on wet days if you aren't used to hills.
posted by acheekymonkey at 6:41 PM on October 17, 2012

The average snow days is actually 11, and you really don't want to ride a scooter/bike on those days.

There is a bike path from Burnaby to Vancouver (under the sky train). I'm not sure whether scooters are allowed on it -- probably depends on if they are electric. And you might want to consider an electric assisted bike rather than a scooter.
posted by lastobelus at 9:33 PM on October 17, 2012

Best answer: I wouldn't recommend it in January & much of February. One issue is the roads - there can be black ice and hills can be very slippery. Two, drivers here are not that familiar with mopeds and likely would not expect to see them on the road, in the winter. Mopeds are very quiet – and in the winter, drivers have their windows rolled up, radio on etc…

Driving along Kingsway or Hastings may not be too bad as these are relatively flat and heavily travelled roads. I would not recommend the hills connecting to Marine Drive, in South Burnaby.
Mopeds are not allowed on pedestrian or bicycle walkways.

A big error many moped drivers make is clinging to the side of the road. Drives me crazy as they are not visible (plus it is illegal). Wear a reflective vest.

Helmet laws changed in July 2012. Check the RCMP B.C. site for details.
posted by what's her name at 7:04 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Great answers from everyone. Thanks for the input!

I'm near Deer Lake in Burnaby. I seems to be spending a lot of time traveling to and from the Skytrain to get anywhere.

The main use would be for my daily commute within Burnaby, but also to get to Skytrain stations.

I do worry about the hills around here and slippery roads.

I am expecting to get wet, very, very wet.
posted by Apollo's Favorite Mistake at 9:29 AM on October 18, 2012

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