It started out with Jordan Tse just wanting his children to get some exercise, but four years later, this family’s annual bike from Kitimat to Terrace has become somewhat of a summer tradition.
“I just had an idea of making an adventure of it,” Tse said.
“It started off when our parents wanted us to do something new, like a big exercise,” 9-year-old Avery Tse said, “So, we decided on this.”
The first time they did the ride, Tse was just hoping they’d make it to the Kitimat snowflake welcome sign on Hwy 37, to get himself and his family out and about. They ended up biking all the way to Terrace, but it was not without some compromise.
“We ended up bribing [the kids] with a toy and ice cream in Terrace, and yeah, that powered them all the way through,” Tse said, laughing.
But the Tse’s all had a fun time and have done the ride every summer since. This year, they were joined by Tse’s sister and nephew, Shannon and Judah Ditonne, and 12-year-old Jericho’s friend, Taya Pacheco.
This year, it took the riders just over 10 hours total to get to Terrace, but five-and-a-half hours of actual riding time. The rest, Tse said, was spent swimming in Onion Lake, cooling off on the side of the highway, and enjoying the little stops along the way.
“We try not to make Terrace as our end goal, because that’s so far away,” Tse said. “We just try to break it up into little short distances.”
They’re all decked out in reflective gear, both bikes and people, in case they’re still on the road when it’s dark, mom Laura Tse said.
“The second year was 14 hours because we went all the way there and all the way back,” Laura said. “We rolled into the driveway just after midnight.”
They don’t see a ton of wildlife, but saw a baby deer this trip and heard about a bear sighting.
“A man told us about a bear, but we didn’t see it,” 11-year-old Eden Tse said. Tse also mentioned that one of the years, he and Eden heard something rustling close to them in the woods as they were biking back from Terrace.
“We heard something in the bushes, but we didn’t see what it was,” Eden said.
“It didn’t sound massive, but it sounder bigger than something small,” Jordan said, laughing. “So we thought, let’s get out of here.”
The Tse’s said the trip was mentally difficult, but not as difficult physically as they first thought it would be. They also all agreed that the uphills were the hardest part, and the downhills were the favourite.
“It’s not as hard as people think,” Laura said. “Like, Avery did it when he was six, all the way to Terrace.”
Going forward, 12-year-old Jericho said she isn’t sure if she’ll want to do the ride again next year, but Eden and Avery definitely do. Tse said he spreads the word around to the community each time they do it, and he would love to have even more people participate in the coming years.
“It would be cool to have other people join,” Tse said. “Just make sure that you, and your children especially, have a decent bike!”