‘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)The riders made their way from Tillicum to Wharf Street on Saturday morning. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Bike petting zoo,’ family bike ride brings cyclists of all ages together
Charity Millar completed the ride with three kids on the back of her Radwagon cargo bike. (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)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)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)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

Low interest rates have acted as a catalyst for the pandemic real estate market. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy)
Real estate sales surging across Greater Victoria but risks lie ahead

Single family home prices jump nine per cent over past year while condo values remain stable

Sidney staff have cleaned up unknown number of screws dumped along Resthaven Drive. (Black Press Media File)
Crews deal with a rock slide on the Malahat section of Highway 1 in 2017. (Black Press Media file photo)
Rock work closes Highway 1 in Langford for spurts

Friday closures could delay drivers up to 20 minutes

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

Victoria police are searching for a federal offender who is wanted Canada-wide after his statutory release was suspended. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for federal offender wanted Canada-wide

Warrant issued after offender’s statutory release suspended

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read