Gordon and Shirley McIlroy

Coffee with… Gordon and Shirley McIlroy

Cycling a way of life for Comox couple

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

 

For 25 years when he worked at Courtenay Physiotherapy, Comox resident Gordon McIlroy cycled to work each day — which meant a daily climb up the hill on Dyke Road.

Gord recently relocated to Bodyworx Physiotherapy in Comox, but his wife Shirley continues to enjoy the ride on her pedal to work in Courtenay.

“It’s a beautiful, scenic ride,” McIlroy said, noting the challenges presented by south eastern winds. “They blow you in like a sail.

“A lot of deer on that hill. That’s a point I would always say to people: Watch that corner coming around going downhill. That’s a major corridor. I’ve had deer surprise me there. They’re within a couple of feet, and they stand like a statue. That adds a component of watchfulness.”

While noting some improvements to cycling infrastructure in the Comox Valley, McIlroy feels we need more of a commitment to the safety of the bike lane.

“I think putting the bike lanes and the lines on the road is a step. It’s better than not having it …. I’d say I’m a fairly experienced rider, and I’m not as comfortable as riding that road as I used to be, just because of the volume of traffic.”

Overall, however, he feels Dyke Road is good because the margin is fairly wide and there are not an abundance of vehicles coming at the rider from right angles.

“That’s the most dangerous thing in many ways for a cyclist, any time they have someone intersecting them from the side.”

Dyke Road could be improved with an even wider margin.

“If you could give it a bit more space and safety for the average rider, I think we could encourage more people (to ride).”

But he recognizes the jurisdictional complications associated with the road. Take cycling downhill, for instance. Comox does a good job of cleaning grit and gravel, but when riders hit the halfway mark, they hit the boundary in Area B, and it becomes a “gravel pit.”

“Certainly the widening would be an excellent thing, and the cleaning of that road a little more often, that would encourage people. Because you’ve got to be kind of hardcore to be doing it all winter long.

“It makes sense from an economical, as well as a fitness point of view too,” McIlroy added. “It kept us down to one vehicle.”

 

Just Posted

Comox Archives and Museum makes presentation to d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre

At its June board meeting, Comox Archives and Museum board presented an… Continue reading

Annual Denman Island pancake breakfast coming up

Local fundraiser supports many initiatives

VIDEO: Miners Memorial graveside ceremony

For 34 years, the Cumberland Museum and Archives has presented Miners Memorial,… Continue reading

Having a day in the park

A temporary transmitting station is set up in Filberg Park in Comox… Continue reading

Filling the gap rescuing relocated cats

Grassroots organization CATS seeking volunteers to assist

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Green Party candidate talks upcoming federal election during visit to the North Island

Mark de Bruijn sat down with the North Island Gazette for an interview on Sunday in Port Hardy.

Canadian communities responding to climate change

New research highlights state of local adaptation planning in Canada

Victoria woman in L.A. hospital after she was run over twice

Lynn Phillips has suffered from multiple broken bones and internal bleeding

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

Most Read