Sunday, February 27, 2011

a family of bicycles

Last weekend's visit with my family could have been considered a bike-themed weekend. Having returned from a 3-week trip to Arizona where they thoroughly enjoyed riding a pair of mountain bikes that they'd rented for the duration, my parents were now in the market to buy their own and start exploring the Victoria region on 2 wheels. Along with my sister, who was less determined to find a bicycle right away but also putting her feelers out, we zig-zagged (carpool-style!) through the city to the major shops that carried the brands they were interested in.

I tagged along, snapping photos and learning from all the questions that my dad was asking the salespeople.

The MEC in Victoria doesn't have the same built-in overhang as the one here in Vancouver does, so they popped up this shelter -- like a giant bus stop -- on an enlarged sidewalk out front. With those designs on the glass, I find it quite pretty.

In recent years, the city has been planting these bike racks all over the downtown area. Like Vancouver's newest rack style, they have a 2-bicycle capacity, a small footprint, and fit well into the streetscape without standing out too much. In fact, I don't think anyone in my family realized what they were until I pointed them out a few months ago. Unlike Vancouver's, they're not as wide and have a variety of designs in the centre instead of the single ubiquitous "bike vancouver" logo that we have. I didn't notice it at the time, but these I photographed are located in Chinatown and the designs in the middle appear to be Chinese characters...? Also, those in other areas of downtown are painted other colours.

We picked up a cycling map of the city for $4.50. From what I've researched on the web, there doesn't seem to be a free map like we have here. Victoria's cycling network isn't as well-connected as Vancouver's, yet-- the city isn't very gridded so using residential streets to create cycling corridors doesn't seem as plausible. I haven't looked much into what is happening with regards to the city's cycling plan or advocacy in Victoria, but curiousity may lead me in that direction one day. At the moment I just want to figure out how to navigate the areas around my parents' and sisters' houses comfortably by bike.

In one parkade, someone immediately spotted a Victoria Car Share Co-Op vehicle.

Dad goes for a test ride in the alley behind Mac's!

Epilogue: later this week, they all made their decisions and purchased bicycles. (My sister fell in love with a white Norco City Glide and I couldn't be happier for her!) With my vintage Harriet for running errands and another donated hybrid for when I'm joining them on adventures this summer, our stable seems to be complete. This one is cycling spring and summer that I think we're all very much looking forward to...


  1. Obviously a real biking family.....
    It's great to be able to go cycling as a family- I hope you all have many happy miles spinning those pedals.

  2. Here Here! Can't wait for those nice spring days and visit's from you to make those adventure's happen :)