Best (or favorite) route from Bellingham to Blaine/Vancouver?
Just looking for suggestions on a nice, scenic, route from Bellingham (downtown or the airport) to East Vancouver that I could comfortably ride in an afternoon...
I put up a much more detailed post in the Pacific Northwest forum. Here's the link:
Apologies if this seems like cross-posting...I thought I'd bend some ears on both sides of the border for best results!
The most direct route with the quietest roads: well, not completely direct, but try this -
From Bellingham Airport, take the exit and turn right on Airport Way. This T's into Marine Drive, where you turn right.
Follow Marine Drive. You can turn right at Bancroft, but it merges back with Marine Drive anyway. If you stay on Marine Drive, make a left when you get to the 4-way intersection in order to stay on Marine Dr. (look on google maps, you'll see what I mean!).
Turn right at Ferndale Road and follow it into Ferndale. The road turns left at Pioneer Park. There are washrooms here.
Turn right (north) on either 2nd or 3rd. 2nd will turn left into Vista; 3rd requires a left turn to get onto Vista Drive. Follow Vista around the roundabout, then up the hill. Vista runs diagonally, so this is where you'll get the most direct line to the border. Stay on Vista down the hill, past the cemetery, and as it bears left, you'll be looking down at farmland and the tiny village of Custer. Turn right at Bruce Rd. After the church, Bruce veers left and becomes Arnie Rd. I call this part "Action Heros Junction."
Yeah, I like to think the roads are named after Bruce Willis and Arnie Schwarzenegger.
Follow Arnie. It will pass some farms and then turn right and become Ham Rd. (I'm not making these names up!) Ham crosses a RR track and then comes out at Birch Bay-Linden Rd. Turn left here. This road can be busy, but it's got ample shoulders.
Turn right at Kickerville (I call it ****kickerville) and enjoy the descent. It T's at Loomis Road. Turn left at Loomis and follow it as it comes out at Blaine Rd.
Just follow the road straight when you come out onto Blaine Road. This is also a busy road, but it has no shoulder, but it's the only way to get to Blaine at this point. After the RR track, turn left onto Peace Portal Drive (4-way stop). This will take you into Blaine. From here you can figure out how to get to either of the two border crossings.
The quickest route to Vancouver is to take the Peace Arch crossing. If traffic is light, you can pretend you're a car and just check in at the booth. Most guys take the "truck crossing" (Pacific). I just ride to the Canadian building on the right and go in. At any rate, from here you get on 8th St west to the roundabout at King George Hwy, and just follow King George into Surrey (it becomes 134th St or something). Follow it thru town, traffic gets really heavy. You can take the Whalley Ring road to avoid some of the traffic if you can find it on the map. Eventually, you'll get to the Patullo Bridge. You want the sidewalk on the west side; to get there:
At the bottom of the hill on King George, you'll get to a stop light. You'll see lots of signs for the Patullo Bridge, but the light is at 128th St. Turn left here. The road passes west of the Scott Road Skytrain station, crosses Scott Road at the light, then continues around a bend to the Patullo Bridge sidewalk onramp.
Go over the Patullo Bridge. Where the sidewalk ends, turn right, cross the car onramp, past the bollards to the parallel side street on the other side. You now go up this steep hill (there are a couple of other alternate streets, see if they look any less steep!). You eventually get to 1st St, where it crosses Royal Ave at the light. Follow 1st up the hill. You'll ride past Queen's Park on your right. Cross busy 6th Ave., then turn left at 7th Ave; this is a signed bike route. At 8th St., 7th Ave ends but continues thru the park on a path, then continues as 7th. Just keep following 7th Ave. It ends at 20th St. Take the sidewalk to the adjacent stop light (or turn right one block before and left at the lane; this takes you right to the stoplight). Cross 20th and continue on 7th to the Skytrain station. You will see some bollards which will get you onto the bike path. If you follow this path, which pretty much follows the Skytrain guideway (but does make some tricky turns so you have to be very observant), you will eventually end up at Kingsway and Boundary, the entrance to Vancouver East. I would suggest referring to the Vancouver area bike maps once you've crossed the Patullo Bridge. Depending on where you're going in Vancouver, you may be able to find some more convenient routes.
Thanks, Luis! Good timing, as I'll be out riding this Saturday, and the detailed instructions will certainly come in handy.
I used a good portion of that route - more or less turn-for-turn from Ferndale to the border. Great alternative to shadowing the I-5!
Great! There are some much nicer quiet routes to get from the border to East Van, but they get quite involved. The main idea is to avoid riding thru Surrey/Whalley on the King George. There's a Surrey bike map you can get that shows a lot of their paths & roads with bike lanes. Some of them actually go somewhere!