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.”


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

bike lanesbike to work weekCycling

Just Posted

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

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

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

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Most Read