Author Topic: Is Vancouver Island this bad?  (Read 8053 times)

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Offline PeteJack

Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« on: December 12, 2010, 10:28:49 pm »
I was hoping to ride from Sidney up to Port Hardy then ferry across to Prince Rupert, perhaps train to Jasper, then down to Montana etc. But this write up makes it sound like rumble strip hell. Is it as bad as this guy makes out?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2010, 05:06:14 am by PeteJack »

Offline popeyespal

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2010, 10:59:49 pm »
Although the guy is obviously angry and quite rude, (his comments about immigrants were horrid), he seems to have a very valid point. I haven't ridden in that area yet but from the photos I wouldn't be planning a trip on those roads anytime soon. Especially with those weird barriers on the shoulder. In an emergency a cyclist would have nowhere to go.

I am surprised that some injured cyclist hasn't sued and put an end to this.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 11:02:58 pm by popeyespal »

Offline valygrl

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 11:06:30 am »
Wow, I read a little of that journal, and that is one grumpy, angry dude.  If you just look at his pictures, and don't read anything, his tour looks really nice, but he is so bitter!

I HAVE ridden a few times in BC, and while there are a few roads with irritating rumble strips, there are also plenty without, and there are also plenty with rumble strips that are not a problem - you can ride to the right of them.

Your original plan sounds fantastic and I wouldn't let that one grumpy dude put you off.  If you start and find yourself too frustrated or scared with the roads you are on, it's pretty easy to hitch a ride from a friendly Canadian in a pickup truck.


  • Guest
Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 11:29:23 am »
+1.  Two of my friends live car-free in downtown Vancouver. They journey into the countryside by bicycle, probably using just a few of the roads you would as a through rider. They have never mentioned rumble strips to me, much less complained about them.


Offline PeteJack

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 11:49:15 am »
Thanks for the reassurance guys. I've ridden with rumble strips in Montana and Wyoming and while a nuisance I didn't find them the deathtrap that this gent makes out. I have to say that some of his pictures are very good. Even the ones showing rumble strip horrors! If they really do save lives I guess we'll have to live with the things. Not even bike paths are 100% safe. A friend of mine, Steve, said "On your left!" to pass a jogger, the jogger jumped left, Steve braked so hard he went over the bars and landed on his head. No serious injury fortunately

Offline geegee

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 04:58:21 pm »
I've ridden through the entire length of Vancouver Island and I don't remember rumble strips being a big deal. The highways in the island have decent shoulders up to about Campbell River, and although the roadway narrows towards Port Hardy, traffic is relatively light.

On BC's mainland, I found the majority of provincial highways are excellent for touring, better than some road conditions on some ACA routes. That blog author sounds like he spends most of his time riding with his head down.

Offline windrath

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 09:11:13 pm »
In 2005, I rode the entire Yellowhead Highway as well as the section from Cache Creek to Lilloett and onto Vancouver.  I did not find the road to be a problem back then.  The logging truck traffic on the Yellow Head is intense.  if you are a little anxious about traffic, you might want to find another route.  The Cache Creek to Lilloet is an awesome ride and I would do it again in spite of the 15% grades.

Also, if you have time, ride the entire length of the Cassiar Highway - very impressive although the riding is challenging because of the unpaved sections and gnats drive you crazy.

Still, the rumble strips are the least of the problems - traffic is your biggest worry.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2010, 01:04:41 am »
I thought it was a great trip report.  I think he was trying to be humorous, and he does make some good points about road conditions, RVers, etc.  Admittedly I kind of skimmed it and did not read all the entries (never saw the immigrant part), but I loved the pics and kind of lived the adventure for an hour.   
May the wind be at your back!

Offline TwoWheels

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 04:19:23 pm »
Whew ! Just read that journal. Man, am I depressed. I'm suddenly tempted to become one of the poor souls he describes jumping off the Lion's Gate Bridge. Really kind of makes me wonder why he set out on this journey. Still, I really appreciate the different, pragmatic, tongue-in-cheek tone of this journal. I admire his bold accomplishment, and after all he is just voicing the same frustrations shared (I think) by most cyclists: The inconsiderate drivers, the greedy irrational RV's, the drive-thru lineups at Tim Horton's (even the horses now apparently !), the ignorance and short-sightedness of transportation/road developers. Why must it be so difficult to take a pleasant bike ride through some of the best nature in the world ? Why did he encounter so few cyclists in this most gorgeous part of my country ? There's something wrong. It's bigger than cycling. It makes me want to cry.
No ceiling bearing down on me, save the starry sky above.

Offline cathyb

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2011, 03:37:35 pm »
I have ridden this entire route and did not experience any of the problems mentioned.  Mosquitoes and gnats were the worst issue.  Prepare for some challenging terrain at the north end of the island, and for some long stretches without services.

Offline janetanorth

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 07:14:20 pm »
vancouver island a great ride and north of nanaimo you have the place to yourself. have a great trip!

Offline jamawani

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2011, 07:24:03 pm »
Vancouver Island is fine for riding, although the southern half can be pretty busy in places.
Once you get north of Campbell River, it gets pretty remote - in fact.
South of Campbell River, they now have a new 4-lane highway which makes the old road much nicer.

I would suggest
a) Island hopping from Sidney to Saltspring to Crofton
or b) Combining two ferries from Sidney to Tsawwassen to Nanaimo
rather than c) Riding up from Mill Bay.

And don't exclude riding part of or all of the Yellowhead from Prince Rupert to Jasper.
The stretch from Prince Rupert to Hazelton is spectacular, although it can be rainy.
Between Hazelton and Prince George is plateau and lake country.
East of Prince George is quite remote and a lot of climbing.
East of McBride is lovely - with the stunning Mount Robson to look forward to.

Here is a journal in the reverse direction.

Offline commuter

Re: Is Vancouver Island this bad?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2011, 08:58:07 pm »
I haven't read this travelers blog but I have read some of the responses. In the late 90's I rode from Victoria to Nanaimo. I thought it was a fantastic ride. I met a lot of very nice locals along the wayand the scenery was great. My one regret is that I had to take the ferry back to the mainland and start my return leg to Minnesota. One of the blogs soid that the ride north of Nanaimo was the nicest part. With that in mind I will have to return and do a proper ride.