Riding a bike through downtown Victoria may seem like an intimidating task, but members of the Oak Bay Active Transportation Advisory Committee say it doesn’t have to be.
Advisory members will host four guided bike rides from various locations in Oak Bay to downtown Victoria on Thursday and Friday morning as part of Bike to Work Week, which started on Monday (May 28).
Their goal is to introduce cyclists to the more attractive, less intimidating bike routes in the area, as well as to provide support and advice to new riders, according to Greg Miller, one of 11 members of the committee.
“The fact that (Oak Bay is) within five kilometres of downtown, of UVic, of the major destinations (in Greater Victoria), is really important,” Miller said. “It’s in a corner of the region where there’s not a lot of cut-through traffic.”
For those afraid of cycling down busy roads such as Fort Street or Pandora Avenue, quieter, wider and flatter streets are all reasons why Oak Bay is a good place to bike, Miller said.
Getting riders familiar with routes that are convenient and that they’re comfortable with will hopefully encourage them to become regular cyclists.
The group will lead cyclists, including Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and Coun. Michelle Kirby, downtown via routes through Richardson and Haultain streets, both of which Miller frequents.
“I actually take both of those routes, depending on whether I’m dropping off my kids (at school),” he said.
The committee’s purpose is to look at both long-range and immediate ways to improve active transportation in the municipality. But that can’t be done without public input, Miller said.
“This is a great opportunity to get some public input and just draw awareness to what the committee’s doing.”
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Guided bike tours:
• Thursday, May 31, at 7:30 and 8 a.m.: Departing from Carnarvon Park near the tennis courts (Henderson Rd., near Townley St.), and travelling along Haultain Street, ending at Centennial Square.
• Friday, June 1, at 7:30 and 8 a.m.: Departing from Oak Bay Recreation Centre (Bee St.), travelling along Richardson St., finishing at the Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch on Broughton St.