Riders participate in the Big Family Bike Ride on Shelbourne Street as part of the Saanich Cycling Festival in 2011. This year’s event happens Sunday (April 21)

Riders participate in the Big Family Bike Ride on Shelbourne Street as part of the Saanich Cycling Festival in 2011. This year’s event happens Sunday (April 21)

Cycling Fest marks Earth Day in Saanich

Shelbourne Street, at the best of times, isn’t an ideal roadway for cyclists.

Shelbourne Street, at the best of times, isn’t an ideal roadway for cyclists.

But if you’ve ever wanted to enjoy the ride without worrying about vehicles passing you on the Shelbourne’s narrow lanes, Sunday’s Saanich Cycling Festival is your chance.

To mark Earth Day on Monday, the cycling fest is a kid-friendly event that features two bike rides: a 2-km and a 4.9-km route.

The longer of the Big Family Bike Rides, beginning at Camosun College’s Lansdowne campus and ending at the University of Victoria, takes cyclists along McRae Avenue, Shelbourne Street and McKenzie Avenue.

Saanich police cars will provide rolling street closures the entire way.

The shorter ride, the Kids Bike Ride, starts and ends at UVic’s parking lot No. 10. This ride is recommended for kids six and under.

The fun doesn’t end when the ride ends, though. Stage shows, games, a bike rodeo, bike demonstrations, information displays and a bouncey castle will keep the festival going at UVic through to 1:30 p.m. There’s also a treasure map game for kids, with a bike giveaway as the grand prize.

Participants are reminded that wearing a helmet during the ride is mandatory. Riders also encouraged to bring a bike lock to during the festivities, after the ride.

Free parking is available in UVic’s parking lot No. 6. Riders making their way to Camosun from UVic are encouraged to use the bike lanes on Henderson Road.

Both bike rides begin at April 21, 11 a.m., but participants should arrive at 10:45. For more info, visit saanichcyclingfestival.ca.

kslavin@saanichnews.com