Bike Rave Blowback: residents upset over litter, damaged garden

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Bike Rave

Vancouver’s 2014 Bike Rave was hailed a success over the weekend, but residents along the route aren’t quite as pleased with the event. Locals say the two-wheeling revelers left piles of garbage in their wake and trampled a community garden to boot.

As part of the “glowtastic” Electronic Dance Music-fueled bike ride from Science World to Gastown’s Crab Park, participants partied it up under the Burrard Bridge, where residents say the riders left a lot more than their tire tracks.

A cursory inventory of items found by volunteers cleaning up includes cigarette packs, glow sticks, and liquor bottles, reports Global News. Residents are also upset that the group trampled their community garden. One local told reporters he saw “at least 600 to 700 people at one time in the area dancing, drinking, smoking, urinating in the bushes.”

But riders speaking to the press about the mess have been a little more laid back about the alleged litter. One such participant told Global: “We can see now a couple flowers got stepped on. By no means was there mass destruction and again there was nothing intentional.” Another Tweeted an apology:

Proponents of the visually compelling event were similarly dismissive of complaints posted on their Facebook page, such as one detractor, who wrote: “Thx for making a mess you hipster dofus’ss’sssss.”

Participants claim reports of widespread litter and destruction are overblown. Supporter Nate Logan posted in response to the Global News story on the event’s Facebook page: “Completely exaggerated, allmost (sic) no littler was left and what was left was picked up soon after. The broken community garden was nothing more than a broken 2×4. This is the same handfull(sic) of complainers as last year who think that living DT is going to be their quiet retirement home.”

Many riders shared their experiences of cleaning up during the ride, or returning the next morning to help clean up the debris. “I went down under the Burrard and Grandville (sic) bridges and cleaned up a bit too!” one rider shared on Facebook. “Just a few straggling glow lights, cans and feathers. Sure didn’t look like a Bike Rave had happened. Oh but it did!”

Here is some video from the event:

Top image: Obeezy Photo/Facebook

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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