Wheely good times downtown this weekend

Inner Harbour hopping with beers and bikes this weekend as Victoria International Cycling Festival wraps up

Rider Mitch Chubey wows the 2011 crowd during the inaugural JumpShip competition. JumpShip has become a premier spectator event of the Victoria International Cycling Festival

From beers to bikes the Inner Harbour is a hopping party as the Victoria International Cycling Festival wraps up.

At the middle of it all is the 210-foot JumpShip barge on the water in front of the Empress Hotel. Free ride competitors pull off extreme tricks on the floating loop of big-air jumps.

“Most everything about the festival will be bigger and better, including JumpShip,” said the course designer and pro cyclist Jordie Lunn.

This year’s JumpShip, which starts  at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, has  been expanded to include the causeway and Wharf Street.

Lunn, a former Victoria resident, was in the earth-moving machine himself this week to build the dirt-packed features on the JumpShip barge, which was built a little ways up the Gorge Waterway. The barge was floated into place on Wednesday night.

“Riders will gain enough speed along Wharf Street to climb a four-foot ramp, then drop 18 feet onto the causeway,” spokesperson Graham Powell said. “The causeway route will lend enough speed for riders to scale the height of two shipping containers and connect with the barge.”

JumpShip is one of several draws that will make the Inner Harbour a high-traffic area beginning this afternoon, with two beer gardens and the RollerJam Dual Trial on Belleville Street, which is also where the 270-kilometre GranFondo ends on Saturday, and Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria ends on Sunday.

The Hotel Grand Pacific Harbour Sprints (head-to-head road bike sprints), go tonight. The 750-metre Design District Criterium starts at Herald and Store streets on Saturday.

Three-time Ironman world champion Peter Reid will ride among the pack of celebrity athletes expected to pace Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria on Sunday. Olympians Andreas Hestler and Simon Whitfield, and X-Terra (extreme triathlon) world champion Melanie McQuaid are also joining the mass participation 140-km ride.

But anyone can take the lead, should they wish to do so, said organizer Seamus McGrath.

“It’s designed to be an open event for cyclists of all calibres. If someone wants to take off on a breakaway, so be it.”

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read