Touring - Cycling Vancouver Island?
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03-10-05, 01:29 PM
We're heading to Parksville on Vancouver Island and want to do a couple of days cycling there. We're hoping to ride up to 85 or 90 km a day starting and ending in Parksville. Any ideas on routes? Ideally we want to do two different loops.
I did a few days on Vancouver island last spring and it was great. I was in the Gulf Islands, which are fantastic and I used Van as a connector. The Lochside trails and the Galloping Goose trails are excellent and quite long. If you want hills the Gulf Islands are recommended. I put a selection of Vancouver Islands links on my online journal here (http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journal/page/?o=as&page_id=11492&v=1u). Oh and bring raingear if you are doing this prior to July.
hey Ice, I live close to Vic, see my post and VI replies in intro, there a few from the Isle. There is lotsa stuff on web - some commercial tours, lotsa private info, pics etc. If you want to avoid/include the city, Gardens you may want to consider avoiding the Malahat, nice views but lotsa accidents/deaths don't recall if any cylclists, crazy drivers *aren't they all, 'cept me*- however, lotsa roadie, swim/bike/run types like it for training. Just not conducive to touring, it's a narrow, hilly climb with narrow shoulders and yet with metal gard rails, starts at Goldstream, out of Victoria heading to Duncan. beyond that, it's ok
May want to suggest checking out the little ferry, seriously that's what they call it, you know, like the little train, etc - here is link. http://www.bcferries.com/News/mill_bay.html
also cycling bc has tons stuff.
Edited in, Machka has some cool stuff, at http://www.machka.net/ will take you to the lower link to some routes on Vancouver Island. http://www.randonneurs.bc.ca/routarc/rout_arc.html
And finally the SCHEDULE MENU on the upper right hand side, which includes some of the elevations for a particular route.
03-11-05, 06:31 PM
I'm in Nanaimo which you will have to pass through to get to Parksville so here goes.Two trips come to mind,the first one is to ride to Courtney of the old highway (19a) which goes along the shore with some hills and the return by the new highway(19) which is inland from the old.The old highway is just used by the locals now but is narrow without alot of shoulders but is scenic,the new has great shoulders but has a lot more traffic. The second trip would be to take Highway 4A from Parksville until it joins with Highway 4 at Coombs(tourist trap with lots of funky places) and then go to at least Cathedral Grove Park and return but stay on Hwy 4 to Qualicum Beach and then return to Parksville. If you don't mind climbing a hill go past the Grove to Port Alberni.Places to see and stop at on the first trip are Qualicum Beach beach,the main part of town is up the hill at the gas station,the Fanny Bay Inn for food and such,Buckley Bay gas station to watch the ferry come in from Denman Island and a couple of Oyster farm/factories on the wayside.The second trip has an obligatory stop at Coombs Market to look at the goats on the roof and check out the stores,a stop at the Whiskey Creek store for an ice cream cone(fourty flavours)(A word to the wise buy one size smaller than your normal),then a visit at the big trees in Cathedral Grove Park for a mental health break.If you decide to extend this trip to Port Alberni have a hamburger at the J+L Drive-in on Gertrude street one light before the water on hwy 4 in Port Alberni,old fashioned burger with an old fashioned taste,leave the burger in the bag to eat it(fuel for the return trip).You could also consider a jaunt over to Denman and Hornby islands for a daytrip.
03-14-05, 02:19 PM
Wow!! Thanks for the suggestions and the insight! We thought we'd head the Coombs way on one day, but were unsure as to where we'd head on the second day. Any idea how long either of those rides are, over?
hey girl did you see my reply to "Good Routes through British Columbia?" try out the search... :D
03-20-05, 08:35 PM
I toured Vancouver Island a few years ago and I found a helpful book, I believe by John Payne, with a title that had something to do with pubs and cycling.
This is the book you are talking about:
Island Cycling (http://www.heritagehouse.ca/orca/islandcycling.html)
Heritage House Publishing Company, 1996
This is a great book, with as you mention a welcome emphasize on Pubs :) It is pretty out of date, but a lot of the basic information is still relevant. One of those books that is pretty entertaining reading as well.
For my tour I followed more or less the route in the following book, which was a bit more up to date and really helpful with it's elevation profiles and such.
Touring the Islands, Bicycling in the San Juan, Gulf and Vancouver Islands
Peter Powers and Renee Travis,
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