Hello all. The month of June will find me exploring British Columbia
and advice as to sights and routes is appreciated. I've sectioned the
journey into two tours.
a) Vancouver and Vancouver Island (lasting approximately a week)
b) Vancouver to Calgary (which I've yet to map out)
After poring over maps (MapArt's British Columbia Road Atlas with
Back Roads), here's my general plan for the first week or so of my stay
in B.C. The journey will trace a route from Vancouver, through the
Sunshine Coast, Courtenay, and end in Victoria - I think ;-). Please
encourage, criticize and contribute.
- Monday May 30/Tuesday 31: Deplane in Vancouver. Build up
the bike and spend a couple of days in Vancouver sightseeing. Then
- Day 1: Up Rte 101 to Powell River. Ferry across the Strait of
Georgia to Comox/Courtenay. Overnight in Courtenay (Shantz Haus
Hostel?) Given the ferry hops and my ignorance of the local roads, is
the intent to cover this distance in a single day overly optimistic?
- Day 2: Two Options. A) Head inland along Comox Lake Main
Rd/Toma Valley Hwy. to Port Alberni or B) Ride southward along the
coastal highway Rte. 19A to Nanaimo. Overnight in either Nanaimo or
Port Alberni. If in Port Alberni, an extra day is required to ride along
Rte. 4 to Parksville, then southward to Nanaimo. Does a ride to Port
Alberni justify an extra day? Is Rte. 4 bicycle friendly?
- Day 3: Wind my way down the coast from Nanaimo to Victoria
and overnight there. Or, perhaps, skip Victoria and take the ferry from
Sidney to San Jan Island overnight on the island. Any input?
- Day 4: Depending where I am, local sightseeing is the order of
the day. I'm curious as to what a local would consider the most
enjoyable: riding around the vicinity of Victoria ((Galloping Goose
Trail), visiting Port Angeles/Olympic National Park, poking about the
San Juan Islands or
- Day 5, 6 or 7 (Depending on the length of stay in Victoria area
and if I opt for the Port Alberni route), ferry back to Vancouver in
preparation for the ride to Calgary.
Well, the preceding sums up the first week of the trip - sort of
Vancouver and Vancouver Island Lite - the second, which I'll also solicit
advice for, involves riding to Calgary.
If you'd be so kind to help out with the following:
- A good (bike friendly) hostel in Vancouver. Shipping the bike
ahead of my plane flight is a consideration and I'll have to re-assemble
the bike there and will require a secure area to lock it up overnights.
- Recommended routes or attractions in the general vicinity of the
journey. Please feel free to criticize proposed routes or destinations -
especially if nearby alternatives offer more.
- Bear in mind, I want to spend no more than a week on this loop
- I know I'll only be skimming the surface of what the Sunshine Coast
and Vancouver Island has to offer, but time is limited.
Since it will impact your recommendations you should know my
travelling setup. It's meant to be light and quick: I'll be riding a
cyclocross bike equipped with 700x32c tires, a Carradice saddle bag
with a few changes of clothes and essentials and I'll be wearing a small
backpack; I'll be restricted to asphalt, dirt roads and non-technical
trails - North Shore free rides are definitely out! My travelling
philosophy: Enjoying people and places. I aim to avoid heavily motored
routes - I suffer enough of that in Toronto - and excessively touristy
areas (an odd request from a tourist ;-). There will be neither cooking
nor camping; hostels will afford most of the accommodation and from
what I've gleaned on the internet there seems to be no shortage in the
Well that's it for now. Any help is appreciated.
This message was edited by Luca on 4-12-05 @ 2:26 PM