I'll be staying in Vancouver for 2 weeks in September and was thinking of renting a bike... Obviously it's a nice way to get around the Seawall, Stanley Park etc, but is it a viable way to get around the city, downtown and other areas? (I'm aiming to cycle to some further areas such as Hadden Park, Jericho Park and Kitsilano). I've been to Vancouver a few times but always as a pedestrian or bus user... so I've never really noticed if the roads were particularly cycle friendly.
From a bit of research I know I need a helmet by law. Is it unlawful to cycle on the pavement? And if so, I'm slightly concerned about riding across the busier junctions, particularly if I'm in the furthest right lane, that I could be hit by vehicles turning right. Do I have to get one lane over to avoid turning vehicles? Or do I have right of way if going straight on?
I've been looking at English Bay bike rentals who do a week long hire for $160, but if you know of any other firms who I should consider I'd be grateful to hear about them.