Theron Taylor (13) of Colwood leaps out in front of Megan Barnes (M) and Tori Kalyniuk on the BMX track during the School Bike League's BikeJam at the Juan de Fuca Velodrome. B.C. April 8

Jammin’ out

Local BikeJam event growing with help from more than 20 schools’ programs

This cycling event isn’t fast and dangerous, it is fast and fun.

The Greater Victoria School Bike League’s fourth annual BikeJam, spread out over the hills behind the lower fields at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, from the BMX track to the Velodrome, to a converted parking lot with a ramp and a big air bag, kicked of the season on April 8.

“When I started, there weren’t very many kids so I had to join adult sports,” said event organizer and cycling coach Lister Farrar. “Our goal is to let them taste the variety that is in the league and more importantly, meet the other kids. I really enjoyed biking as a kid and I wanted to see easier opportunities for students.”

The Bike League, supported by 20 schools including Spencer and Dunsmuir, is an official school sport much like soccer, rugby and basketball. Farrar said it has been a positive outlet for many students, offering youth a fun outdoor activity, good exercise and reminding them cycling is a convenient mode of transportation.

“Kids should be captured by their imagination about exploring on bikes and there is lots and lots of trails and bike lanes and bike paths that we can enjoy (here),” he said. “We can help get them started … The bicycle is your very first opportunity to explore and be free as a kid so it is particularly good one.”

Event volunteer Mark Matthews explored cycling at 14. Now a professional riding full time, he found himself parked near the air bag showing off some of his tricks off the ramp and volunteering – giving back to the sport that has given him so much.

“It is really cool because it is a whole group of schools and you get tons of different kids that get to ride at different levels and even if you are not an advanced rider, you get to see … all different levels of the sport and different styles,” he said. “It is kind of cool to expose people to that.”

Matthews said the passion for cycling is something he hopes to pass on.

“We never had these when I was 14, this didn’t exist so it is really cool now that this is here, (growing) and becoming really important to lots of people in town.”

Tori Kalynak, 12, is one that has benefitted from BikeJam, attending the event on a whim last year after seeing her brother compete in the event. Cycling is now a huge part of her life, even taking her to Winnipeg as a competitor, a race she won to secure a national victory after less than a year on the bike.

“I didn’t really have any biking experience, but everyone (at BikeJam) was so supportive and helped me get on the bike. It was really great,” The North Saanich middle school student said. “Everyone who also does it we have really great times and you get to go fast.”

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read