Wednesday, June 1, 2011

uvic and gordon head

For the first time since my family and I started riding bicycles together (again-- as adults), we didn't ride the Galloping Goose.

Instead, we took a leisurely roll to UVic, where I spent my post-secondary years before graduating in 2005, and then around calm, suburban, flat, impeccably-paved Gordon Head. (Pothole? What's a "pothole"?)

UVic has made some serious bike rack investment since I was there. The "centre" of the University, a fountain/green area in front of the library, is now ringed with racks. And not those out-of-vogue squishy hanging triangle racks that waste space because you can only fit one bike in each "slot" and one misplaced speciman can cut the capacity in half... (deep breath)... but much more spacious models. Some covered. After all, if there's one thing a campus like this has, it's plenty of space.

All in all, it was great to travel by bicycle to places that I normally associated with car, bus, or foot travel. I did ride to UVic my first year there, but after one frustrating flat I just... stopped. Lost interest, I think. (My parents house is also at the top of a serious hill. And I mean serious. That might have had something to do with it.) Riding to a familiar place is like recalibrating the distance-memory in my brain; I begin to perceive that place in bicycle-terms instead of by other modes. I believe we all do this as we expand our "I've ridden there" vocabularies/mental maps, destination by destination, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. UVic, Gordon Head: check!


  1. Hi Mandy, were you riding there this past weekend? If so, so was I! This is where I head on all of my rides in from the ferries as I am heading over past GHead, through the university and then drop into OakBay. This time round I found the UVic connector/Mt Doug bike trail and it softens some of the hills.(why didn't I find it before!!) .... I think I know the hill you are talking about! If we are thinking of the same one, I avoid it like the plague!

  2. PaddyAnne: Yes, we were out and about on Sunday. I think we at least crossed that trail you're referring to at some point during the ride! Victoria sure does have a lot of inconvenient hills, which makes avoiding them like a strategic game. I'm finding it a lot less straighforward than riding in Vancouver's grid.

    Trevor: thanks!