Tag Archive: Victoria BC

Bicycle instead of driving

BYCICLING or Cycling – one of the most rewarding activities and exercises. Once the bitter cold slowly gives way to (rather late spring), we see more bicycles on the road. Today was my first cycling trip for this year 2022 since last Fall. Until then, my bike only sits still in my office.

We had one of the coldest winters last winter on record. It still is cold. But with layers of warm clothing, it works. Meanwhile our City had built and installed many cycling lanes, roads still shared with cars, but priority for bikers.

Since last year I have been getting stiffer with arthritis problems also in both hands. I was afraid that my 21-speed would give me problems for operating the gears with my fingers. It damn well hurt. However, as usual, cycling makes you always feel good. Especially after you come home. Here in Victoria, Vancouver Island, we have lots of steep uphill climbs, because this entire island is of volcanic rock. That was tough. The first hill did not get up all the way, thought I get a heart attack.

But I know, it always gets better with regular practice. And it really makes you feel good.


UPDATE 19 August 22: BIG SHOUT-OUT for the nice ladies who helped me two days ago when I fell, with my bike. After stopping and trying to get my left leg over the frame – it’s a step thru, but not low enough, causing me again to loose my balance and fall hard onto my back and injure my lower spine and right knee. What a bummer ! One of the ladies (Lexi) walked with me through the Park, the other lady told me she is a nurse. So nice – muchos gracias to you. After slowly walking my bikem at the other end of our big Park, met another lady, asked her for cold water – it was very hot. She also turned out to be a nurse at the Jubilee Hospital, Victoria. Her name Doris. She gave me a knee brace and helped me put it on.

Again MANY, MANY THANKS TO ALL THOSE NICE LADIES. After hours, slowly walking home, I made it. What a day !


Beacon Hill Park Victoria BC

has one of the most beautiful Parks – Beacon Hill Park – just across from the Ocean – Juan de Fuca Strait, the southern end of Vancouver Island, looking across to Washington State, USA. We have many special birds and foul in the park – particularly colorful peacocks. Today was another sunny day, I walked through the Park taking some video’s of our birds and the Ocean.

Bicycling – little tips

BYCICLING or Cycling – one of the most rewarding activities and exercises. Once the bitter cold slowly gives way to (rather late spring), we see more bicycles on the road. Not like in some European countries, though, which have more bicycles on the road than automobiles. Here, just a few. But we are blessed with a rather long out-of-city (Victoria, Vancouver Island) trail system, shared by bicycles and walkers. Because there are not so many bicycles sharing the rather busy vehicles road system, nor are there sufficient inner-city dedicated bicycle lanes, cycling becomes more dangerous. Road safety tips:
Always wear brightly coloured clothing – preferably bright red or yellow. Bicycle helmets are mandatory (unlike in Europe). Regularly look over your shoulder, even if you have a little rear-view mirror somewhere. Know your right ‘to share the road’ – meaning if you are on a bicycle on a major city road with three vehicle lanes, stay in the outer right lane, but not too far over; a car will always take your rightful space and push you even more over to the right. When turning right or left, use the proper hand signals.
One trick I learned that can save a life. When coming up to an intersection with traffic lights: If the light ahead is still green and, while you approach, the pedestrian light is already flashing red, I slow down already for the yellow. Meaning, never cross that intersection on yellow. In other words, not only do I look at the large overhead light, but also at the pedestrian light.
As far as theft goes; the rule is: whatever is easiest to steal, will be stolen first. Easy items are = the bicycle seat, the front wheel, anything detachable. I invented the use of two bike locks, one to lock the seat together with the rear wheel (more difficult to take in any case) and hang up my helmet with that lock. The second lock chain goes thru the front wheel, the frame and one stable object concreted in (or whatever is there to park you bike).
I also always take with me: a small bike pump and a set of Allan keys (for repairs), or even better, yet, a spare tire tube, and small change for the bus (in case my bicycle becomes incapacitated). Our regular buses all have a front rack system to mount two bikes. Which is wonderful, with those distances here. I put my bike up on the bus rack, take the bus, go somewhere, and cycle back. Going out of town into the more secluded areas (where we do have the occasional cougar), it is also wise – while cycling on the trail system – to look up once a while, not only ahead (in case a big cat looks down on you from the rocks). Not kidding, really !
In May we have the “Bike to Work Week”. I’ll be sitting that out, of course. Might be too dangerous. I cycle alone, it’s safer.  HAPPY CYCLING !



[© R.Schamle, created with Firefox 19] Images of Vancouver Island and Victoria, the Capital of British Columbia, where I moved to in Fall of 2002. And never went back to Alberta, where I had lived and worked for 27 years. As the capital of British Columbia, it is also home to the Mansion and attached Gardens of the Lieutenant Governor of BC. Victoria is Named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and, at the time, British North America, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843. The city has retained a large number of its historic buildings, in particular its two most famous landmarks, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings (finished in 1897 and home of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia) and the Empress hotel (opened in 1908). The city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s. The region’s Coast Salish First Nations peoples established communities in the area long before non-native settlement, possibly several thousand years earlier, which had large populations at the time of European exploration. Victoria, like many Vancouver Island communities, continues to have a sizable First Nations presence, composed of peoples from all over Vancouver Island and beyond. [Wikipedia].

Victoria is also known as the ‘city of gardens’. In fact when I arrived in 2002, roses were still blooming in December. There are a number of spectacular gardens and parks. I put together a series of video slide shows of the Island, Victoria, Vancouver, and the town of Sidney at the northern tip of the Saanich peninsula where ferries take off for the mainland (about 5km north of Sidney). Lots of wildlife, best known for the resident pod of killer whales (orcas), large number of bald eagles & many more species. Vancouver Island is the largest Pacific Island east of New Zealand, near to 500km long at its longest point and 80km wide. Surrounded by over hundred islands and islets – the Gulf Islands. Across from Vancouver Island (by ferry) is Vancouver, Canada’s third largest city. Vancouver Island is basically a volcanic rock island. It is also situated along the Cascadia subduction zone, an earth quake zone from north of Vancouver Island to southern California. Canada’s most volatile fault line lies here deep under the ocean. More than 1000 seizeable earth quakes are recorded per year, due to active faults or breaks in the earth crust. The west coast of Canada is one of the few areas in the world where all three of of the most common plate movements take place, resulting in significant earthquake activity. My images embedded into my post also show some of the large ferries. I would say BC Ferries is the largest ferry operation on this planet with a fleet of around over 40 vessels. And these monsters operate exclusively between Vancouver Island and the West Coast main land [http://www.bcferries.com/onboard-experiences/fleet/]. Video’s :– (1) Victoria with Inner Harbour, Governor’s Mansion & Gardens. (2) Beacon Hill Park. (3) Sidney & Salt Spring Island. http://www.beautifulbc.net/index.asp?id=8