Another family that reminds us about how great our city is – and the people who make it great!  They are a multi-cultural family, making their home in the Vic West/Esquimalt area. Mami provides after-school care (Hallelujah! Thank you!) and James works for the public service downtown. In the past, he has also worked at UVIC and the Legislature (about as #yyj as it gets).

Oh yeah, and they cycle. A lot.

James rides with his two sons Biko and Hoji, going out to the BMX track by the Juan De Fuca rec centre and in the Vic West Skate Park.  They race together and bike together.  James says Biko has been at it since before age two. Biko was pointing at bikes before he could talk, using little kid babble to talk his way into trying a running bike he could hardly sit on. In just one summer, he wore the leather off the wood and was on a pedal bike a few short months later. Without training wheels of course.

Biking is recreation and transportation, it’s for commuting and community building, and it’s for exercise and family time.

And James wants more of it.

James has helped an active and engaged group pull together a proposal for an asphalt pump track as part of the renewal of Topaz Park. You can put pump tracks into the big basket of things I didn’t know anything about before this run for City Council.  But now I know! Unlike high-needs gravel or dirt pump tracks, asphalt tracks last 6-7 years before they need a touch up. They are good for new riders, including mini riders too young for a pedal bike. Yet they’re still fun for parents on road bikes and BMX riders. Put a pro out on the same asphalt track, James says, and you’ll get a show.

In short – bike parks and family-friendly biking are good for everyone, they build community and provide free space for families to get fresh air, exercise and learn new skills. Topaz Park offers a real opportunity to make more space for families in this city, to support recreation, encourage biking, and make sure healthy living is accessible in our community. Let’s do it!