Well! It’s suddenly winter again what with the snow and the rain and the windstorms predicted and here I was all ready for spring! And not only spring, but specifically bicycling weather! Not that I consider myself a cyclist yet or anything, but since receiving my birthday-gift bike, I’ve had a few really enjoyable rides that have whetted my appetite and confidence for more riding once I can be assured that I won’t freeze or get soaked (I’m a wuss about such things).
This past weekend was particularly good, despite the fact half of it was taken up by a union meeting. On Saturday I decided that since the forecast was good and I had to go to an awkward part of town for me by bus that I would check out the new separated Dunsmuir Viaduct bike lane and also practice my city-riding on a less busy day (my goal is riding to work, but rush hour freaks me out a little). There was a time many, many years ago when I experimented with riding to work but the gauntlet from the end of the Adanac bikeway to my actual office seemed just a tad too perilous to me…… Now I can literally go door to door on a combination of bikeways, dedicated bike lanes and separated bike lanes which I’ve discovered makes an enormous difference! I’m also really appreciative of the fact that the bike lane on Dunsmuir utilized an existing vehicle lane rather than taking over the pedestrian walkway which is still separated from both bike and vehicle traffic. So, I managed to get too and from my meeting by bicycle without any significantly scary moments and only a minimum of walking my bike (damn you Adanac hill!) and everyone at the meeting was totally impressed! Plus, I made up for a couple of missed workouts earlier in the week which I was jonesing for.
My second good bicycle experience on the weekend happened despite the rain when we loaded the bikes onto my new car and drove out to Fort Langley for the day. One of the activities M. really seems to enjoy is bike-riding so B. and I have been trying to get the bike out more often when she is with us. This past weekend we decided to check out the Fort-to-Fort trail and a bit beyond which follows the banks of the Fraser River through historic fort territory and farmland. The trail itself is almost all flat which made for an easy ride, and we managed to do about twelve km before the rain started down too hard. By the time we got inside for mochas it was full-on raining and we were all feelin pretty good about our little foray along the river. For family cycling I would highly recommend the Fort-to-Fort trail, though our skinny road tires didn’t like the gravel too much!
Turns out there’s all sorts of really great biking opportunities right on our doorstep – and plans for a lot more in the community greenways strategy which really excites me as someone who has always wanted to cycle but been scared off by potential traffic disasters. The more off-road cycling paths, bike lanes, bridge lanes, and designated bike routes that exist the more chance there is that I and the rest of my family will ride our bikes for transportation and recreation purposes. I’m looking forward to commuting by bike this spring and summer as the weather gets more consistent, and planning at least one family biking trip along the galloping goose from Victoria to Sooke too!