Tim Yzerman and son James on a bike in Newton, at the corner of 72nd Avenue and 146th Street, where the city has installed a protected bike lane and crosswalk designed for cyclists to ride on. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Tim Yzerman and son James on a bike in Newton, at the corner of 72nd Avenue and 146th Street, where the city has installed a protected bike lane and crosswalk designed for cyclists to ride on. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Surrey cyclist says city’s route improvements have ‘gone under the radar’

HUB Cycling’s Tim Yzerman backs Go By Bike Week as a great time to pedal around

Tim Yzerman usually commutes by bike from his Newton home to Burnaby office, but the pandemic has put a wrench in that daily routine. These days, he typically cycles around Surrey after a day of work at his home office.

“I’ve been mostly going north and east, into the Fleetwood area and through Bear Creek Park and Green Timbers,” said Yzerman, an engineer and cycling advocate.

“One of my favourite loops is to ride to Surrey Lake Park, then up through Fleetwood and connect up with the Green Timbers greenway along the powerlines by 96th (Avenue), down through Bear Creek Park and back again. That’s about an hour, 22 kilometres or so.”

As volunteer co-chair of HUB Cycling’s Surrey/White Rock committee (with Colin O’Byrne), Yzerman’s work involves spreading word about Go By Bike Week (btww.ca), the organization’s springtime campaign to get more people pedaling bikes around the region.

For a week starting Monday (May 31), HUB encourages locals to log trips online for a chance to win prizes, track kilometres and “see how many greenhouse gas emissions you’ve saved.” It’s a “fully digital” campaign this year, due to gathering restrictions, with yoga, bike maintenance lessons, Q&A sessions and some other online events planned.

Yzerman says Surrey has made significant progress when it comes to cycling infrastructure, including protected lanes like the kind in Guildford on 154th Street at 102nd Avenue, and also in Newton at 146th Street and 72nd Avenue.

“There have been a lot of changes in Surrey, and a lot of it has gone under the radar for people who may not realize Surrey is building facilities,” said Yzerman, who routinely meets with city hall staff to help plan such projects. “This city can get a lot better as a cycling city, and it is getting better. It’s easier to ride than it was 10 years ago. There are some new facilities being built that make a difference, especially in the City Centre area.”

An upbeat promo video about Surrey-area cycling initiatives is posted to HUB’s Facebook page (facebook.com/wearehub).

“It’s important to get more people out of their vehicles, and it’s a lot healthier because there are some huge health benefits with cycling,” Yzerman emphasized. “And it’s obviously a lot cheaper as well. If you ride a bike instead of drive, you can save $9,000 or $10,000 a year, probably, by not owning a car. With my family, we’ve gone down to one vehicle and it’s been great for us.”

The City of Surrey’s website (surrey.ca) uses COSMOS to showcase a map of the city’s cycling network, or riders can download the MySurrey App. A bike map also shows Surrey’s entire cycling network of bike lanes, multi-use pathways (greenways) and neighbourhood cycling routes.

Yzerman, who would normally cycle-commute almost 10,000 kilometres a year, says he’s seen a shift in bike traffic patterns over the past pandemic year.

“The numbers ebb and flow during the wintertime, of course, but right now I’ve noticed a lot more people biking – maybe not as many commuters, because a lot of people are still working from home, but there are a lot recreational cyclists,” he said.

Getting bike repairs done is a bit of a problem at the moment.

“I mostly try to fix my own bike but it’s hard to get parts,” Yzerman noted. “The bike stores are busy and are going non-stop. There are supply-chain issues with the parts, and I’ve been pretty lucky to get some things in but have had to wait for some, a couple months.”

On the day the Now-Leader caught up with Yzerman, he brought his young son James along for the ride.

“James is actually really good at cycling,” replied the proud dad when asked. “He’s three-and-a-half, and he can ride a pedal bike, and now he can get air on his bike. I have a photo of him getting air at a skate park, both wheels off the ground, and he loves it. People are amazed by what he can do – you know, ‘Look at that kid! Did you see that?’ We hear it all the time while passing by other people.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

bike lanesbike to work weekCycling

Just Posted

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor aims to present motion to council tonight (Monday, June 14) asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

The City of White Rock wants input from residents and businesses on parking practices and regulations in the city. (File photo)
Input sought for White Rock parking survey

City to develop new strategy based on data and best practices

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider ‘public engagement’ strategies tonight

Council asked to endorse ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider $7.3 million contract for street paving projects tonight

A city staff report recommends Lafarge Canada Inc. be awarded $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

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

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read