Decorate your bikes, see Victoria’s lights this weekend

Terry Van Fleet Memorial ride falls on the 14th anniversary of cyclist's roadway death

In preparation for Saturday's (Dec. 15) Terry van Fleet memorial Christmas light bike ride through Fernwood and Fairfield

It’s seasonal fun with an important message.

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition hosts its annual Terry Van Fleet Memorial Christmas Light Bike Ride this Saturday (Dec. 15), 14 years to the day after the cyclist was struck and killed by a drunk driver as van Fleet rode, well-lit and wearing protective gear, down Blanshard Street.

“The main idea is to encourage people to light up (when cycling) and encourage drivers to keep their eyes open and be aware that we’re out there,” said Jane van Hoorn, secretary of the GVCC’s rides committee.

While the overtone is serious, she likes the vibe the colorfully lit-up riders experience on the roadways.

“Last year you noticed that people aren’t honking their horns in an angry way – like when I’m cycling to work – it’s more of a friendly toot,” she said. “Motorists tend to be more polite when we are riding in a group.”

Last year’s ride attracted a record 90 riders.

This year’s 20-kilometre event will primarily travel through Fernwood and Fairfield, with stops every so often to look at well-decorated homes.

Riders are asked to meet at the Fernwood Community Centre, 1240 Gladstone Ave., at 6 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. ride. Lights and helmets are mandatory and decorations are highly encouraged.

Refreshments and door prizes will be available after the ride. For more information, visit gvcc.bc.ca.

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