Bike Host Ride Along: A budding friendship on the Stanley Park seawall
- by Louise Campbell
On one of the last beautiful days of summer, I joined Patrick and Petro for their weekly ride in Stanley park. As I arrived, Patrick announced excitedly that we would be cycling every inch of the Stanley Park seawall - a first for the duo this summer.
Riding a bicycle he borrowed from his grandson, Petro followed his friend from our meeting point at Coal Harbour to the entrance of the park. As we meandered through the throngs of people enjoying the sunshine, it was clear that riding with Patrick had made Petro a confident cyclist.
Patrick confessed, “On our first meeting I took Petro to second beach and we practiced stopping all afternoon. By the time we met for our next ride Petro could control the bike really well; he’d been practising each day in the parking lot of his building! I knew then I had been paired with someone committed to learning.”
Petro lives downtown and is an avid walker. For him, cycling is a new way of sightseeing and staying active. “I may never walk around Stanley park again” he quips. This might be true, since then Petro has cycled around the seawall on his own nine times.
The Bike Host program came to a close at the end of September but Patrick and Petro aim to continue their rides through the park. “The next challenge will be to ride in the rain” says Patrick. As October rolls in, I am sure they will have plenty of opportunities.
About the Newcomer Bike Host Program
The Newcomer Bike Host Program is a collaboration between HUB Cycling and the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) in its second year. The program matches recent immigrants and refugees with local “host” volunteers for companionship and cultural orientation to Vancouver’s active transportation lifestyle. Learn more about the program at https://bikehub.ca/bike-education/newcomer-programs.