COVID-19 drives unprecedented demand for biking in CRD

Any regular mountain biker can attest that (socially distanced!) cycling has been on the rise since March. With regular vacation travel severely curtailed, people have been looking closer to home for their recreation, and all forms of cycling -- famously one of Vancouver Island's biggest attractions -- has been on the rise in the CRD.

A recent CTV segment highlights how a surge in demand has seen bike shops overwhelmed with new customers. Both new and used shops are running out of inventory, as new cyclists are hitting the road, and existing members of the community are looking to upgrade. But the surge in demand doesn't stop at bike shops, of course.

We're always delighted to see new and existing trail users taking advantage of the network

"We're always delighted to see new and existing trail users taking advantage of the network, but it's evident that the rise in usage does bring some challenges," said Alon Soraya, Vice President of SIMBS. The parking lot at Hartland, Victoria's most prominent trail network, has been inundated with rides, with parking spilling over onto the street even on weekday evenings.

"This surge in demand goes to show how important the CRD's recent initiative to create a Mountain Bike Policy is", said Soraya. "The mountain biking infrastructure in the CRD has been historically lacking, but the recent surge in demand shows how our local trail network isn't set up to cope with an increase in riders."