Sussana Grimes (rear) takes a student for her first road ride as part of the 55+ cycling instruction course offered by the Bike to Work Society.

Liberating cycling course for older adults coming to Sidney

Tim Collins

News staff

Most all of us can recall the freedom and sheer exhilaration of pedalling our bike down the street as a child.

It was a liberating experience, and our first rapid transportation method.

But years have passed and, for many older adults (55+) the thought of commuting through city streets, even in a relatively quiet municipality like Sidney, can be daunting.

That’s why the Bike to Work Society is offering a course they call Bike Freedom; a course designed to get 55+ adults back onto the bike seat and pedalling down the street.

It’s a three-part course (each session is about 2 hours) being offered in Sidney at the Shoal Centre (10030 Resthaven Drive) and participants are invited to start at the level appropriate for their ability and experience.

Level 1 of the course (July 8 and 16) is a classroom session designed to instruct riders on the rules of the road and the basics of riding in traffic on a theoretical level.

Level 2 (July 15 and 23) takes riders into a safe practice venue where they will be taught some basic maintenance skills and bike handling exercises, including how to change gears, brake safely and maneuver around obstacles.

Level 3 (July 22 and 30) gives participants to go for a ride with an instructor, navigating city streets and learning the fundamentals of riding safely in traffic.

“The courses are designed to help people who may not have been on a bike for a while and who don’t have the skills or confidence to get out and ride, even though they want to do it,” explained Amelia Potvin, the executive director of the Bike to Work Society.

“We realize that for older riders there can be issues related to physical changes that take place, like slightly slower reflexes or a reduction in strength or hearing, but none of that should stop people from getting out there on their bikes,” she said.

Cindy Marven and Sussana Grimes, two of the certified cycling instructors are living examples of that contention.

Both in their fifties, the duo helped the Bike to Work Society develop the course materials and are both ardent cyclists.

“I was thrilled to be a part of this program, having been a cyclist for most of my life. But I know that it can be a little scary, particularly in traffic on narrow roadways where cars and trucks can sometimes be very close to the rider. It’s why we designed this course the way we did,” said Marven.

“Fear shouldn’t keep people from enjoying the freedom and the fitness improvements they can get through cycling. With proper training, it can be done safely and provide older adults with a chance to relive the joy of pedalling around their community.”

To register for the course, email tessa@biketowork.ca or call 250-920-5775. More information is also available at biketowork.ca/victoria/bike-skills-courses-workshops.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

More Peninsula councillors declare their 2018 intentions

Carl Jensen and Chris Graham, both of Central Saanich, have said they will run again.

Woodwynn Farms to be shut down and sold

The rehabilitation program at Woodwynn Farms is being shut down. According to… Continue reading

Final key components for Johnson Street Bridge installed this weekend in Victoria

Dynamic Beast crane barge arrives back in town on Friday

Wind warning in effect for Greater Victoria

Strong winds could reach up to 80 km/hr along coastal areas

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read