A young rider gets some air time heading over a jump on the Juan de Fuca BMX track in Colwood, during the School Bike League races. Don Descoteau/News Gazette staff

Greater Victoria’s School Bike League attracts enthusiastic riders

Series to wrap up with slalom and freestyle event May 31 at Bear Mountain

Middle schoolers from around Greater Victoria took to the Juan de Fuca BMX track on two wheels this week, as the School Bike League continued its 2017 season.

The event, the sixth on this varied series of cycling races and clinics put on through the spring at the region’s best riding sites, attracted close to 30 riders to the Colwood site.

Sabrina MacLeod, whose daughter participated in the bike league some years ago but has since graduated high school, is its registration co-ordinator. She said the riding days have seen an average of between 30 and 50 riders come out to test their skill.

“We had a ton of riders at the mountain bike day,” she said of the session at Mount Work/Hartland in Saanich. “We’ve also seen an increase in the number of girls coming out, which is great.”

With an emphasis on fun and learning, the weekly rides begin with an instructional session led by a local expert from that particular cycling community. While there are a number of returnees each year, many riders haven’t had experience riding the gnarly hills of a BMX track, or tried their hand on a track bike at the velodrome, which the schedule had planned for May 23 next door at Juan de Fuca.

Sebastien Latrille, a student at Arbutus middle school, said he enjoyed the technical aspects of the BMX course, with its jumps and steep starting point.

Elodie Bailey, in Grade 7 at Ecole Brodeur School and a second-year participant in the bike league, focused on the skills refresher this time around.

“The clinic was really great to refresh my memory from last year,” she said. She looked forward to riding at the velodrome again, where the specialized bikes have no brakes or gears and the track includes steep, sweeping curves.

The School Bike League is scheduled to wrap up May 31 with the Free Ride Three Ride slalom and freestyle jumping event at Bear Mountain.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Riders traverse the jumps on the Juan de Fuca BMX track in Colwood, during the School Bike League races. The multi-discipline league, aimed at middle schoolers, encourages riders to try out types of riding they might not have otherwise experienced. The next session is May 23 at the Juan de Fuca Velodrome. Don Descoteau/News Gazette staff

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