On a trip to Victoria this past summer I met up with my buddy Steve Mark (above left) for a “slow ride” around his favourite hoods, many including pubs.
He told of how he and a group of fellow cycling enthusiasts get together under the group banner of Bike Rides Society for a random and leisurely peddle.
I asked Steve to share their story with PT Readers, he kindly obliged:
There is something quietly brewing in the picturesque neighborhoods around Victoria. Taking a cue from Vancouver, where Bike Rides Society was first established, fellow cyclists are exploring the urban landscape on two wheels. The focus of the mellow cruises is to bring together old friends, welcome new ones and explore the path less taken.
I first attended a Bike Rides Society event in Vancouver a few years ago and was blown away by how much fun it was to ride through the city with a group of friends. I knew I had to introduce this concept to my hometown of Victoria.
The rides are loosely scheduled every two weeks. There is no set route or destination and you won’t find any spandex on this ride. It’s focused more towards exploring new neighborhoods and finding that perfect view for a “road pop” and then on to a neighborhood pub.
Taking in the sites in McNeil Bay:
Over the past few years I have met so many new people. Friends always bring their friends and that the whole idea. Stephanie, a recent transplant to Victoria says “As someone new to town, it’s been a great way to network and get connected with other young and active people. It’s how I found out about the Bike Salons and the research out of UVic on bike safety”
We have even done a few theme rides. Here we are on our “Double Denim” ride.
I came to Victoria back in 1993 to attend Uvic. I studied Urban Geography and was always amazed at all the distinct neighborhoods with their own flavor and character. It was on a bike that I had the opportunity to explore and become intimate with each area. The mild climate, topography and proximity lend itself for year round biking. As the home town of BikeMaps.org, cycling is woven into the culture here and the City of Victoria is going through great efforts to improve cycling infrastructure and safety.
Enjoying some beverages and post-ride grub at the Beagle Pub in Cook Street Village:
So if you feel like getting outside, exploring the neighborhood and meeting new friends “Come Ride with Us.” Join our Bike Rides Society – Victoria Facebook Group.
UPDATE: Chris and Melissa Bruntlett have a feature story on Victoria’s cycling plans in Vancity Buzz:
The direction from mayor and council was incredibly ambitious: to consult, design, and construct a “minimum grid” of eight protected bike lanes – between 20 and 25 km. that would put nearly all of Victoria’s 82,000 residents within 400 m. of a route – before the end of their four-year political term in 2018.