July 6, 2014 4:49 pm

Vancouver bike ravers deflower community garden; raises ire of locals

A picture taken by a participant in the Vancouver Bike Rave on July 5, 2014.

Bike Rave 2014 website

Residents and volunteers in a Vancouver neighbourhood were left with a mess to clean up following the city’s annual bike rave.

More than a thousand people took to their bikes at 9 p.m. last night to participate in Bike Rave Vancouver, which touts itself as your “favourite annual glowtastic mobile dance party on wheels.” The rave started at Science World and wound its way through the city, ending in Gastown’s Crab Park.

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But people living near the northside of Burrard Street bridge say the cyclists stopped under the bridge, had a party and left garbage along with a damaged community garden in its wake.

Volunteers were out this morning removing litter and liquor bottles from the area.

“There was litter everywhere from empties, cigarette packs, six-pack rings to glow sticks on the ground — you name it,” says resident Chris Matthew, who was on-site this morning cleaning up the mess.

“It’s kind of disgusting. We live here and this is our backyard. Plus all this stuff ends up in the ocean. [The bike rave group] should have some respect for our city.”

Vancouver Police Cst. Brian Montague told Global News they had a crew of officers monitoring the event but that every year there are problems with alcohol and noise.

Local resident Bob Currell says the flower gardens were “beaten up pretty good” and there were “at least 600 to 700 people at one time in the area dancing, drinking, smoking, urinating in the bushes.”

A bike rave participant who gave Global News his first name only, said he was impressed by the other cyclists and said as a whole found the group to be very respectful.

“Obviously apologies on behalf of the event in general,” said Willis. “Nobody is about causing harm or discomfort to anybody. I feel like for the overall this was really good. We can see now a couple flowers got stepped on. By no means was there mass destruction and again there was nothing intentional,” he told Global News.

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