Western Canada - Riding in Victoria?
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My wife and I are going to be in Victoria for the week of the 15th of October for a Search and Rescue conference, and plan to do some biking around the area while we are there. Any rides we should try to do (no epics on this trip), or places we should avoid on the bikes? We are not bringing a car with us at all. The conference is at the Empress and we have a room nearby, so that is our base.
Also, are there maps available that show the bike paths or bike routs in the city?
Finally, we are from Oregon, are there any bike laws in Canada, or Victoria specifically, that we should know about?
10-02-07, 12:26 PM
I haven't cycled in Victoria, but these links might help:
I have visited Victoria a few times (honeymooned there, come to think of it) and I'm sure you will enjoy the city and surrounding area, it is really quite nice and well set up for visitors. Be sure and try some of the local beers at Spinakkers and Swan's and Phillips beer in the bottle or on tap (if you are so inclined). Victoria is BC's beer capital.
We have a helmet-law for cyclists. Otherwise, can't think of anthing.
Have a great stay. Hopefully some Victoria locals can give you some secrets.
10-05-07, 07:11 AM
Since you will be staying at a very central location, there are several possibilities to try. For a scenic ride, follow the waterfront around Dallas Rd and through Beacon Hill Park. There are a few small hills but nothing too bad.
If you are up for something a bit longer (and flatter) you could try either the Galloping Goose or Lochside trails. Both are quite flat (formerly railroad tracks) and long (around 20 to 30kms one way). They travel through several parks and are made up of paved, packed gravel, and boardwalk sections.
If you are planning on cycling in Victoria in the middle of October, I would invest in some wet weather gear. It has been know to rain a bit around here.
10-13-07, 06:54 AM
Hi Thom! My wife and I, we just got married on Sept.22nd, went to Victoria for a cycling holiday last year at this time. We put our bikes together at the airport and rode in along the Lochside Trail to Beacon Hill Park where I asked my now wife to marry me. It was a magical day with the bike ride being one of the best ever. At least until I went for a few other rides later in the week. I would recomend that you get a map of the Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails at an LBS. The ride along Dallas Road is awsome and if you feel energetic a ride up Mt. Douglas will kick you in the butt and give you a nice view when you get to the top.
The Galloping Goose is one of the best maintained trails that I have ever been on. Not because of the trail but because of the geography that you ride through. We rode to Sooke and back and then hit the noodle box for an awesome supper. The Mocha House on Cook St. is a great place to ride your bike to for a coffee and if you have a chance go to Big Bad John's in the Strathcona Hotel for a drink. I lived in Victoria in the late 70's and Big Bad John's hadn't hardly changed at all. The rest of Victoria is much different from then; however, the geography of Vancouver Island remains.
When we were there last year at this time we only had one day of rainy weather, wich is rare for this time of year, so be prepared for some wet riding. But, hey, at least you will be on your bikes.
Enjoy one of the jewels of Canada...Victoria is a place like no other.
10-15-07, 06:57 AM
If you are up for a good hill climb, a slightly easier one than Mt. Doug (very tough BTW) is Mt. Tolmie. Both offer spectacular views of the city from the summit.
Thanks for the replies. Victoria is an awesome place to ride! the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails are great, but what really impressed me was the car-bike relationship. I do most of my riding in Portland, OR, which is supposed to be a great bike town, but i was much more comfortable riding in the traffic in Victoria. The only car incident was with a driver from the U.S. Weather treated us pretty decent most of the time too.
Now I want to go back and ride more of the island.
I haven't cycled Victoria that much but did take the ferrry to Nanaimo and rode to Victoria and then took the ferry at Swartz Bay back to Vancouver. Took the Island highway and had a awsome ride. Absolutely beautiful country side. Had a bt of a rest in Victoria and and cycled to Swartz Bay. I can't remember the distances but the ride I think was about 160 km total.
Thinking of doing it again this summer.
A friend of mine lives in Victoria and just loves the cycling there. He thinks it's the most cycle friendly place in North America. He ride to work and pretty much does nothing else but cycle. He's single..............
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