Saanich Cycling Festival focuses on family

Organizers estimate some 1,000 people took part in the event celebrating Saanich’s cycling network

Organizers estimate some 1,000 people participated in Sunday’s Saanich Cycling Festival celebrating the municipality’s cycling network.

Sunday’s event also doubled as a birthday party as the first festival happened ten years ago, when 700 riders cycled from the Gordon Head Recreation Centre along Shelbourne Street to Shelbourne Plaza as a way to pressure the municipality into improving Saanich’s cycling infrastructure.

Interest was so high, cyclists were still leaving the recreation centre, when the first arrived at the Shelbourne Plaza, said Coun. Judy Brownoff.

RELATED: Saanich Cycling Festival rides into town Sunday

The event has since undergone at least one format change before settling on the current format that sees cyclists check in at ‘celebrations stations’ along Saanich’s cycling network with the parking lot of Saanich Municipal Hall serving as the central gathering spot for the fourth straight year, where riders can also check various booths and activities. It is also the starting point of the Kids Bike Ride.

The change in format has coincided with a change in focus, said Brownoff. Whereas the inaugural format sought to raise awareness about cycling lanes on Shelbourne Street, the current focus of the event lies on families and encouraging them to explore Saanich’s cycling network that the municipality has created over the years.

“It has become an opportunity for families to get out and enjoy the outdoors,” she said.

Alex Castillo, his wife, and their two children, Andres (2) and Bella (4), were among those families attending Sunday’s event. He said the family uses the local cycling network for recreation about three times a week with the expectation that this number will go as his children become more comfortable on their bicycles. “It’s going to go up a lot,” he said. This said, he himself does not commute by bicycle.

Brownoff said the municipality would like to see Saanich residents use the cycling network for both commuting and recreation.

“Our goal is a healthy community,” she said. “We know that by statistics, that if young children can bike to school, they start school that day with a fresh outlook. So it is really both. On the weekends, families can go out and explore it [the network] together instead of sitting and playing video games.”

Saanich, along with the rest of the region, has a mix of riders, said Brownoff. “So we are trying to accommodate all,” she said. “But the main goal is all ages and all abilities.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Esquimalt arsonist sentenced to two years in jail, thanks police, defence lawyer and taxpayers

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

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

Most Read