Western Canada - Nanimo to Sooke via Saltspring Island
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07-30-10, 09:41 PM
Just got back from our mini tour to Vancouver Island, left Sunday from Tsawassen to Duke point. We rode through to Chemainus for lunch and got to the Crofton ferry just in time to see it pulling out. The ride over to Vesuvius was beautiful, the weather could'nt have been better. We camped at the Ganges Campground on nice sites with the use of a free outdoor showers. That morning we had breakfast in Ganges then had to ride up the Ganges hill on the way to Fulford Harbour and the ferry to Swartz Bay.We picked up the Lochside trail and rode to the crossroads, then the run out the Galloping Goose Trail to Thetis lake campground. The next day we left all our stuff at the camp and rode light into the Sooke PotHoles about 80K return. Friday morning we rode to Swartz Bay ferry and returned to Tsawwassen and our ride home. It was an excellent ride with great company and the weather was amazing, the Lochside and the Galloping Goose are some of the best trail systems around. Next ride could be up to Comox from Nainmo then Powel River to HorseShoe Bay, I'd love to do the SunShine Coast again.
08-06-10, 10:44 PM
I just did most of that ride this week ending up in Tswassen last night from long Harbour. Nice trip, I have done the Sunshine Coast / Powell River / Van Isl trip and I would recommend starting in Horseshoe Bay and head up the coast from there, that way you get to climb the cut up from Saltry Bay to Powell River which was the best part of the trip for me. It's probably a little more climbing but worth it.
08-20-10, 11:15 AM
A nice day ride from Victoria is to do the Shawnigan Lake-Crofton-Saltspring loop. It's about 160 km, a real century ride. You take the Goose to View Royal, get on the Trans Canada and follow it thru Langford and up the Malahat (gentle grade, climbs to about 1000 feet). Shortly before the summit, you take the left turn to Shawnigan Lake and come down the hill (gentle turns but bumpy). I took the quiet West Shawnigan Lake Road, which takes you a little out of your way, but you circle around the north end of Shawnigan Lake and get back on Shawnigan Lake Road heading north thru Cobble Hill, across the Trans Canada where the road becomes Cowichan Bay Road. You basically follow this road past Cowichan Bay, follow the sign at the roundabout to Maple Bay, turn left before Maple Bay and follow the signs to Crofton, where you get on the ferry to Vesuvius. If you want some hills, take the left turn up Sunset to the north end of the island. The road comes back past St. Mary Lake and to Ganges. From here, you go up a long hill towards Fulford. I recommend staying on this road; it's actually less climbing (once you get to the top) than the lower road (left turn at Beddis). If you decide to take the quieter lower road, be advised that there are no signs to Fulford, and there are three critical turns you have to make, so take a good map! The Fulford ferry is free - you've paid the round trip fare in Crofton. When you land in Swartz Bay, you can take the Lochside back to Victoria.
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