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

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

White Rock beach was buzzing with activity on Father’s Day. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: White Rock beach buzzing with activity on Father’s Day

High of 27C drew hundreds of people to the beach

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Coun. David Chesney listen to welcoming remarks from Chief Harley Chappell (Xwopokton). (FIle photo)
White Rock, SFN grieve together on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Residents encouraged to wear orange on Canada Day

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

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

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Most Read