1. If you were to cycle between Victoria and Nanaimo, would you go straight up Hwy 1? (I see that's where the infamous Malahat is ... and I believe some recommend using a ferry from Brentwood Bay.)
Or would you try to meander along on some of the side roads? I attempted a Hell Week on Vancouver Island in 2007, and I recall a lot of quite steep hills on the side roads.
2. We're only planning to be there a few days, and will likely stick to the east coast. I want to see a bit of Victoria because I didn't see Victoria last time I was there, I want to see Chemainus again, and of course Nanaimo. (We might even make it up as far as Qualicum Bay, depending on how much time we have). But is there anything else along the way that is a "must see"?