Doug Pedan was a well-known athlete in British Columbia and a lake in the Sooke hills is named for the Pedan family.

Cycling and the Pedens

Local historian Elida Peers takes a look at Sooke's strong cycling history.

Cycling has always been important in Sooke

Doug Peden was often called “The greatest British Columbia athlete of all time.”  He began his impressive list of more than 60 major trophies by winning the BC Cycling Championship in 1934.

Watching the opening of the new Bike Park at SEAPARC last weekend, I was reminded of how renowned he and his brother “Torchy” were at cycling in the 1930s.  I don’t know whether cyclists of that era had exciting bike jumps to test their prowess, but the Peden brothers excelled at professional “Six day bicycle races” that were the rage then, including events at Madison Square Garden.

Doug Peden was an all-round athlete, excelling in a variety of sports besides cycling.  In 1936 he was on the Canadian basketball team at the Olympic Games in Munich, bringing home a silver medal. In baseball he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1940s.  Among his honours was his induction into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.

In spite of the years of international acclaim, he never forgot his roots.  A loyal son of Victoria, he remembered the happy times spent hiking in the Sooke hills, he and his buddies camping out at the lakes that bear his family’s name. The Peden family started in business in Victoria early in the 20th century; they operated a feed store, Scott & Peden Ltd, at the foot of Pandora, just about where Swans Hotel is today.

In the early years, roaming through the Sooke hills from Victoria as far as Sooke Lake was a frequent pastime of young fellows, and the Pedens often camped at these small lakes, where Bill Peden, the dad, built a cabin in the 1920s. It wasn’t long before the name stuck. Sooke’s own Doug MacFarlane was a frequent hunting partner of Doug Peden.

Peden Lakes form the headwaters for Mary Vine Creek. My own memory of the Peden Lakes goes back 70 years, when I’d tag along behind my brothers camping in the Sooke hills. We’d tend to camp on top of Mt. Empress, skirt Sheilds Lake and camp at Peden Lake before heading for home, our packs lighter with the food all gone.  We did not know about the cabin, and tents were unheard of for us, we’d camp under a spreading fir or pine tree, and cut boughs for a mattress. We’d see tracks of bear, wolf and cougar, so I’d stick pretty close behind my brothers, but we didn’t meet any.

Sooke as a community is traditionally very big on sports and the outdoor life, so the next time you are out hiking in the hills on the east side of the Sooke River, maybe give a thought to the Pedens and the long history of sports that have gone before.

Elida Peers,

Historian

Sooke Region Museum

 

Just Posted

Sooke’s First Nations have Iroquois links

References to the proud Iroquois race tend to make one think of… Continue reading

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read