Jennifer Douglas rides her bike in all types of weather, and is passionate about cycling in general. She is joining others to form Cycle Chilliwack. (Submitted)

Jennifer Douglas rides her bike in all types of weather, and is passionate about cycling in general. She is joining others to form Cycle Chilliwack. (Submitted)

Cycle Chilliwack rolling out with inaugural meeting Feb. 5

Advocacy group for cyclists wants to represent people of all ages and abilities

Jennifer Douglas, Janice Balakshin, and David Swankey are extremely passionate about cycling in Chilliwack.

They are channelling that energy and spirit into Cycle Chilliwack, a new cycling advocacy group with a meeting set for Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Sardis Library.

From protected bike lanes, to increased bike security and cyclist safety, there are a range of issues to consider.

“I have been wanting to form a cycling advocacy group in Chilliwack for years,” said Janice Balakshin. “So I am extremely happy it is finally happening and that there is an enthusiastic membership.”

The group organizers met at some open house events held last year to discuss the Transportation Plan, as city officials were sharing details of the Cycle Vision Plan.

READ MORE: Cycle Vision

City of Chilliwack has added about 180 kilometres of lanes, shoulder bikeways, pathways and trails, and the Cycle Vision plan calls for filling in even more of the gaps, and making the cycling routes safer.

After filling out opinion surveys, many residents said they wanted more protected lanes across Chilliwack. Some improvements and quick wins may be coming in the short term, with the idea of creating a continuous network of bicycle routes in the longer term, with the Sardis Rail Trail as the spine of those interconnected routes.

So far they have about 70 people who’ve expressed interest in joining Cycle Chilliwack. They’ve also sat down with city engineers to see if there’s a collaborative role for the group members to play in advocating for cyclists.

“We want to advocate for all cyclists, from those who bike to work, to elite cyclists, to those who love to ride, and those who’ve never been on a bike,” said Balakshin.

The plan is to work collaboratively and in partnership with City of Chilliwack on quick wins and long-term ideas, as well as the Chilliwack School District and the Downtown Chilliwack BIA.

“It’s a very committed group of cyclists so far, and it’s growing,” said Balakshin.

Chilliwack is not only beautiful, with its abundance of natural wonders and vistas, but large sections are flat, with dikes everywhere, which makes it ideal for exploring on a bike.

Jennifer Douglas, one of the three founders of the new group, said she appreciates the fact that Chilliwack already has an excellent network of cycling roads.

“I don’t know if people really know that,” she said.

Creating the group Cycle Chilliwack will give them power in numbers on the way to making Chilliwack a cycling destination for people of all ages and abilities.

“I see the group as a way to bring the entire cycling community together, and to have open discussions about where the gaps are,” she said.

Improving conditions for commuting cyclists is one of the goals of the group, since some have shared their frustrations with being heard.

City reps have put an emphasis on improving the conditions for Chilliwack cyclists in recent years, with the effort to develop Cycle Vision, so it only makes sense going forward to seek out ways to partner with them and build a relationship, Douglas said.

“I am so impressed with the city right now, said Douglas. “I get the sense they understand what we are looking for.”

For more information about Cycle Chilliwack, email to jbalakshin@gmail.com


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The 2021 city-wide literacy event this year is a reading challenge for Chilliwack. (Chilliwack Literacy Society)
City-wide reading challenge goal for Chilliwack is to create a reading habit

The 2021 city-wide literacy challenge runs March 1 to 21 all for the love of reading

Dr. Vera Nyirenda of Chilliwack is being awarded with a National Congress of Black Women Foundation 2021 Legacy Award on Saturday. (ncbwf.org)
Chilliwack doctor recognized during Black History Month for contributions to health care

Dr. Vera Nyirenda awarded with National Congress of Black Women Foundation 2021 Legacy Award

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before crashing the smoking truck was seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Laurie James’ new book ‘Leah’s Husband Is Dead – Again!’ is the author’s first novel. (Submitted)
Chilliwack comedian, actor writes first humorous novel

Laurie James’ new book ‘Leah’s Husband Is Dead – Again!’ was recently released

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read