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Cyclists test bike routes to stadium ahead of Bombers opener

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were set to face off against the Toronto Argonauts in their home-opener Thursday night, and thousands of fans were expected to pack the stands.

CBC gets three cyclists to tests bike routes to Investors Group Field, with mixed results

Cyclist Kim Mitchell biked from Whyte Ridge to Investors Group Field and said due to construction, she had to take a longer, less safe route. (Katie Nicholson/CBC)

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were set to face off against the Toronto Argonauts in their home-opener Thursday night, and thousands of fans were expected to pack the stands.

After being plagued by traffic woes before and after games, the team and city have encouraged people to take alternate transportation — including buses and bikes.

But not all cyclists are sold on the safety of biking to the stadium.

“You would have to be a good cyclist to deal with the traffic,” said Bob Kelly, an avid cyclist.

Earlier this month, a man was hit and killed while biking to a pre-season game at the stadium, prompting the Bombers organization to call for a safety review of the city’s active transportation routes in the area.

Since then, the city has put up signs designating bike routes to the stadium.

CBC decided to put those routes to the test by asking three avid cyclists to try them out.

Kelly began at Confusion Corner, Kim Mitchell cycled from Whyte Ridge and Mark Cohoe started his trip in St. Vital.

Their reviews weren’t overwhelmingly positive.

Confusion corner route

Kelly said the route lacked signs in certain places.

“There was one sign, or two signs actually that said ‘stadium’ that pointed forward, so you go through a small gate that used to be a golf course, but once you go in there, there are no signs!” said Kelly. “There’s several paths, and I actually went too far east.”

Not to mention, Kelly said, “It’s pretty muddy in places — very muddy, and in a few other places, very rough. I lost my water bottle.”

Whyte Ridge route

When Mitchell planned her route, she had to factor in ongoing construction.

“The best, best route would have been to take [a] path that goes right along Kenaston, but it is closed right now because of the overpass construction at Bishop Grandon and Kenaston,” she said.

Instead, Mitchell had to take a longer route down Scurfield Boulevard to Waverley Street and then to the Bishop Grandin Boulevard overpass.

But when she got to Pembina — more construction.

“The worst part was coming around and getting to the construction at Pembina Highway at University Crescent,” she said. “The light is out.”

She said novice cyclists should be especially careful on Waverley.

“Waverley is not nice to ride. That would probably be my one place to be super cautious,” she said.

St. Vital route

As for Cohoe’s trip from St. Vital, CBC cameras caught him being narrowly missed by a car near Fermor Avenue and the Dakota Trail.

“Someone cut me off coming out of a parking lot,” said Cohoe. “A side path, it tends to have problems, so you have to be a little extra careful.”

Cohoe said cyclists need to be extra cautions, especially going through intersections, and it’s important to have a flashing tail light to alert cars, he said.

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