‘Bike petting zoo,’ family bike ride brings cyclists of all ages together

The riders made their way from Tillicum to Wharf Street on Saturday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Charity Millar completed the ride with three kids on the back of her Radwagon cargo bike. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
The riders met up with another group of cyclists outside the Janion building on Wharf Street. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Elise Cote organized the ride to celebrate her new bike rig setup. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Little Lucia Cote checks out her mom’s pedals after the ride. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich families met up for a big family-friendly bike ride from Tillicum School to Wharf Street on Saturday morning.

The cyclists rode in a pack of bike-enthusiasts both big and small and met up with other cyclists who’d congregated outside the Janion Building to celebrate the new bike lanes on Wharf Street. The cool temperature was no match for the group of more than 20. They set out at 9:30 a.m. and despite a few stops along the way, arrived downtown by 11 a.m.

Elise Cote organized the ride as a means to celebrate her new bike rig setup which now includes a mounted seat for her kids and a trailer at the back. She also wanted to give others the chance to check out the various types of bikes that cyclists in Greater Victoria are using.

READ ALSO: Saanich mom on a bike turned away in Tim Hortons drive-thru

While mapping the route, Cote allotted time at the Cecilia Ravine Park for people to give each other tips, ask questions and test drive each other’s bikes while their children played. She called it a “bike petting zoo.”

Trying out bikes before you buy is helpful because many of them – especially the cargo bikes that seat several people – are very expensive and need to be ordered in from other parts of the world, she explained. Many of the top of the line cargo bikes are made in Europe and are imported in small numbers, she said gesturing to a $16,000 Bakfiets bike that one participant rode. Cote refers to the Bakfiets as the “Mercedes of bikes.”

Cote’s friend Charity Millar just orders a Bakfiets for her car-free family. Her husband was hit by a car while riding and they decided to invest the insurance money in a better bike for the family. Millar noted that not everyone can afford the high-end cargo bikes and that there’s currently no financing options, despite the prices being similar to the cost of a car.

READ ALSO: Bike polo players flock to Victoria for Winter Mixer tournament

The cyclists also like to share their routes and experiences on specific streets and paths to help keep each other safe. While the bike infrastructure in Saanich is growing, Cote and the other cyclists are still hoping for a network of protected lanes – like in downtown Victoria – rather than separate sections. She feels the more risk adverse people would be more apt to hop on a bike if it was safer.

North Park Bikes had also donated a free tune up in honour of the ride, so the winner of the wackiest rig contest earned the prize.

Corey Burger, President of Bike To Work Victoria and chair of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition, noted that local cyclists come together for a number of family-friendly rides throughout the year. The next one, the Christmas lights ride, will take place on Dec. 14 after dark so that the lights can be seen in their full glory.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

The Saanich Fire Department is reminding rural Saanich residents to be safe and follow the guidelines when the open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)
Open-air burning season resumes Oct. 16 in rural Saanich

Saanich firefighter talks outdoor burning guidelines, fire safety

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan arrives at Luxton Hall to cast their votes in advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Pandemic election prompts voter suppression claims by B.C. Liberals

‘These emergencies require in us a maturity that has been lacking in politics for so long’

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

Most Read