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

View Royal’s byelection results are in

The winner is Damian Kowalewich

Millstream Lake Road to close for repairs

No vehicle traffic will be permitted from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1

Royal Roads prof named to Rowing Canada’s Hall of Fame

Former Olympic rower still putting oars in the water

Local volunteers get the scoop on bat poop

Bat droppings key to research in a number of areas

Colwood development draws ire of residents

Developer says he’s listened and addressed residents’ concerns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Mt. Washington offering freestyle programs

Programs include competitive, development and beginner levels

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Most Read