Saanich Coun. Colin Plant is using a GoPro camera to take residents along for virtual bike rides through the region as COVID-19 keeps many from heading outdoors.
Plant is an avid cyclist; he rides his e-bike all over the Capital Regional District and can get as far as Sooke before needing a charge.
He frequently films his long rides with a camera on his helmet and then speeds up the video to post on social media. However, on March 23, Plant posted the video of his nearly 54-minute ride at normal speed to allow viewers to follow along.
Plant started the video near his home in Royal Oak and took viewers through trails, streets and parks in Saanich and View Royal. The video is filmed from the point of view of the cyclist, so the viewer feels like they’re riding the bike.
“I offer it as a way to relax and perhaps feel like you too got outside,” he wrote when posting the video to Facebook.
Plant is taking ride-requests from those stuck at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. He hasn’t received any requested routes so far but said he’s happy to oblige anyone who asks.
While he originally shared the video for fun, Plant says he would be “most honoured” if someone followed along from home on a stationary bike or treadmill – like a “cyber-ride.”
He emphasized that solo bike rides are in line with the COVID-19 safety orders coming from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. There is currently a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people and residents are asked to keep two metres away from others to prevent the spread of the virus. Outdoor activities such as walking and hiking for fresh air are still permitted.
Plant noted that he occasionally sees people on the trails but roads are unusually quiet. He avoids others while cycling and stays at home otherwise.
“I’m not living as normal,” Plant said, noting that he’s following Henry’s advice.
Plant asks that everyone pay attention to the orders coming from health officials and think of bike rides they’d like him to film.