New trail opens up Sooke to cyclists

Sooke is already a cycling destination for advanced mountain bikers, but a new connector trail is aimed at making cycling more accessible to the masses.

The municipality plans to build a separated bike path and shared roadway between the Galloping Goose Trail at Kirby Road and Sooke River Road at Sooke Road, after getting the green light for matching funds, through a BikeBC grant from the Ministry of Transportation.

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The project will cost $150,705.

“We’re already set up for more experienced cyclists and for those who are comfortable being in traffic, or mountain bikers who are comfortable on more intermediate or advanced trials,” said Mayor Maja Tait, an avid mountain biker. “But we’re not well set up for the novice or beginner cyclists or families who want to get out and be active.”

Oak Bay also received a BikeBC grant totalling $52,828 for bike lanes and bike loop detectors — embedded in the road for bicycles to trigger traffic lights — at Foul Bay and Lansdowne roads, while North Saanich received $225,983 for bike lanes on West Saanich Road between Ardmore Drive and the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

Other efforts to improve the cycling system in Sooke in recent years have included expansions of the trail network, upgrades to the Galloping Goose by the Capital Regional District and the SEAPARC Leisure Complex’s new bike park, with dirt jumps and multi-use connector trails.

“That’s great for us for both our residents to be able to move around the community safely, but also to attract visitors who may want to visit us for cycling adventures,” Tait said.

asmart@timescolonist.com

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