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Old 02-18-13, 01:00 AM   #1
Norsman
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Horsehoe Bay to Mission

I plan to do a circle route of the Pacific Northwest in late summer and would like some information on the section from the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay to Mission. First, what is the best route. Second, are there any decent campgrounds or hostels once I get past Maple Ridge.
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Old 02-19-13, 10:08 AM   #2
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You may want to look at the Translink web site to see what the bike routes look like now. It's obviously quite busy from Vancouver through Burnaby but it's slightly easier through Port Moody and out to Mission. From Port Coquitlam eastward you can pretty much stay on the Lougheed highway.
I can't comment on the campgrounds as I have never stopped that close to town.
There are campgrounds out towards Harrison Mills. Be prepared for plenty of train traffic as the railway is quite close to the highway and the campgrounds.
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Old 02-19-13, 05:21 PM   #3
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From the ferry terminal, you can take one of two routes: the Upper Levels (Trans Canada Hwy - basically a freeway with a shoulder you can ride on until you get to the Taylor Way exit), and the Lower Levels (longer, but more interesting on residential roads thru West Vancouver). Most local racers make a loop out of it - out on Lower Levels, return on Upper Levels. Because there's a river that basically splits West Van and North Van, you pretty well have to be at sea level (Marine Drive) to cross into North Van. You will have to cross either the Lion's Gate or Second Narrows Bridge if you want to go east. Lion's Gate is much wider and generally more pleasant, and it takes you thru Stanley Park. You can follow the road out of the park around English Bay, and connect with either the Adanac bike route or the Central Valley Greenway to get thru Burnaby.

If you're headed to Mission, you will likely want to get to the Pitt River Bridge and follow Hwy 7 (the Lougheed). The Translink bike map, as mentioned, is highly recommended. There are many ways to get to Mission; I've just hit on some of the highlights.

Luis
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Old 02-20-13, 11:24 AM   #4
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Speaking of bridges.....

I think it's worth mentioning that the Mission bridge is not very bicycle friendly. If you are planning to travel south of the river, you may want to cross the Golden Ears bridge which is more accommodating. There are numerous quiet back roads heading from that Port Kells/Fort Langley area.
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Old 02-21-13, 12:40 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. After some research I think that I will probably use Marine Drive away from the ferry terminal and then a variety of roads and paths to get me to the Ironworkers Bridge. From my research it seems if I go to the east sidewalk I can connect better to routes going east. I have not been able to determine exactly how to get over the new Pitt River bridge. Once across the bridge I will use some side roads but eventually will mostly use the Lougheed Highway all the way to Hope.

I do not plan to take any bridges across the Fraser. I have cycled on the south side several times so this time I plan to stay totally on the north side. Unfortunately I cannot find many good campgrounds.
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Old 02-21-13, 09:19 AM   #6
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There are two ways to get across the Pitt River bridge when coming from the Lougheed.
You can actually stay on the paved shoulder and go straight over. Unfortunately you have to cross an off ramp (to the Maryhill Bypass) and an on ramp (from the Maryhill Bypass) to get onto the bridge. The road is fairly quiet on a weekend morning before 9:00. Patience is required here as cars have no reason to let you cross.

The other way is to cross at Sherling Ave. before you actually get to the bridge. On the north side of the highway is a cycle path that allows you to connect with the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge. From there you can go straight to the lights on the Pitt Meadows side.
It's a bit of a dog's breakfast but it's the best they could come up with. Considering they had a billion dollars to work with and the best minds in the business, it's kinda sad.
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Old 02-21-13, 03:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. After some research I think that I will probably use Marine Drive away from the ferry terminal and then a variety of roads and paths to get me to the Ironworkers Bridge. From my research it seems if I go to the east sidewalk I can connect better to routes going east. I have not been able to determine exactly how to get over the new Pitt River bridge. Once across the bridge I will use some side roads but eventually will mostly use the Lougheed Highway all the way to Hope.

I do not plan to take any bridges across the Fraser. I have cycled on the south side several times so this time I plan to stay totally on the north side. Unfortunately I cannot find many good campgrounds.
Be careful taking the east sidewalk over the 2nd Narrows (Ironworkers) Bridge. The sidewalk is really narrow, & cyclists are divided on whether it should be one-way or two-way. I believe it is now signed to be one way (the signs are for riders proceeding in the "wrong" direction.) I heard of one rider who was cautiously going in the "wrong" direction (opposite adjacent car traffic), and a cyclist going in the "correct" direction stopped and punched him! Even if you take the "correct" west sidewalk southbound, it's no problem getting onto the residential streets north of Hastings. It's just a bit more climbing.

Here's a better route: take the west sidewalk. When the bridge ends, you go down a "stepped" path that ends in a switchback. At the bottom of this path, where it becomes sidewalk, continue thru the tunnel on the sidewalk. After exiting the tunnel, you'll climb another 50 meters to a cutaway with ped crossing. Cross here when safe, and then when the path ends in a T, turn left onto the path. (Were you to turn right here, it would become the east sidewalk on the bridge.) The path will empty you out onto a street where you turn right. When this street ends, you turn left, go up a short hill, then right at the next intersection, which gets you to the stoplights at Hastings. Go straight, and you'll end up on the Adanac bike route. Follow this thru Burnaby (when it crosses Boundary Rd, it becomes the Frances-Union bike route), all the way to Duthie, where you turn left. At the north end of Duthie, there is a switchback path that puts you onto the Barnet Hwy, just before the Velodrome. From here, you can get on Hwy 7, and that will take you to the Pitt River Bridge. As an alternate to taking Hwy 7 (Lougheed), have a look at Dewdney Trunk Rd. and Kingsway thru Port Coquitlam (PoCo). If you get on the Mary Hill Bypass from Kingsway, there's a path that takes you under the bridge to the bicycle onramp on the north side. A much safer way to cross during rush hour! (Rush hour in the Lower Mainland lasts most of the day...)

Luis
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Old 02-21-13, 05:21 PM   #8
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A much safer way to cross during rush hour! (Rush hour in the Lower Mainland lasts most of the day...)

Luis
This is the absolute truth!
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Old 02-21-13, 06:25 PM   #9
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At the north end of Duthie, there is a switchback path that puts you onto the Barnet Hwy, just before the Velodrome. From here, you can get on Hwy 7, and that will take you to the Pitt River Bridge. As an alternate to taking Hwy 7 (Lougheed), have a look at Dewdney Trunk Rd. and Kingsway thru Port Coquitlam (PoCo). If you get on the Mary Hill Bypass from Kingsway, there's a path that takes you under the bridge to the bicycle onramp on the north side. A much safer way to cross during rush hour! (Rush hour in the Lower Mainland lasts most of the day...)

Luis
Thank you for the info on the Ironworkers Bridge. I had heard there may be issues so your suggestions make sense. East of there I was planning on going the same route as you suggest until I reached near Duthie. Then, instead of going north towards the Barnet Highway, I was planning on going southeast onto a pathway and eventually using Foster to get me through Coquitlam and Kingsway to get me to Mary Hill bypass and the Pitt River Bridge. I was not sure, with all the construction going on, that the bike path under the Pitt River Bridge was open. Do I have to get on the May Hill Bypass to access the path? When you mention Dewdney Trunk Road are referring to the section in Maple Ridge? If so, I have considered using it. Is it preferable to that section of the Lougheed?
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Old 02-21-13, 11:14 PM   #10
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There are many ways to arrive at the PR bridge.
It really depends on how much time you want to spend on the road.
You can get to the Pitt River Bridge bike path from Kingsway without actually driving down the MH Bypass. I live quite close by and I use it regularly.
It's a bit complicated to explain but it can be done.
Dewdney Trunk east of the river lets you avoid the numerous traffic lights and bottle necks. Paved shoulders and connects to the bike routes in Maple Ridge.
You can then connect with the Lougheed at the Haney Bypass.
At that point you are free and clear.....sorta.

Have you ridden up Foster in Coquitlam ? That's a lot of climbing if you don't really have to be there. Guildford seems to be a better choice as it is flatter.... but that's just me (I'm lazy)
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Old 03-04-13, 07:35 PM   #11
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At the north end of Duthie, there is a switchback path that puts you onto the Barnet Hwy, just before the Velodrome. From here, you can get on Hwy 7, and that will take you to the Pitt River Bridge. As an alternate to taking Hwy 7 (Lougheed), have a look at Dewdney Trunk Rd. and Kingsway thru Port Coquitlam (PoCo). If you get on the Mary Hill Bypass from Kingsway, there's a path that takes you under the bridge to the bicycle onramp on the north side. A much safer way to cross during rush hour! (Rush hour in the Lower Mainland lasts most of the day...)

Luis
After looking a bit further I have now found Dewdney Trunk Road in Coquitlam and it certainly seems like an easier way to Kingsway than using Foster. But I now have another question. Is the Barnet Highway cyclist friendly, including the section of St. John's Street in Port Moody?
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Old 03-05-13, 10:16 AM   #12
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After looking a bit further I have now found Dewdney Trunk Road in Coquitlam and it certainly seems like an easier way to Kingsway than using Foster. But I now have another question. Is the Barnet Highway cyclist friendly, including the section of St. John's Street in Port Moody?
Once you get away from the residential portions of Burnaby the Barnet has a decent shoulder.
Port Moody is a bit congested and you can divert through the centre of town to avoid most of the mess.
It might be best to stay north of St John's road if you want a quiet route. It's fairly flat as well.
As you approach the eastern edge of Coquitlam there are a few options depending on how much time you have.
Is there a specific reason why you want to take Kingsway in Poco? It's not the fastest route to the Pitt River bridge.
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Old 03-05-13, 07:58 PM   #13
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Is there a specific reason why you want to take Kingsway in Poco? It's not the fastest route to the Pitt River bridge.
My thought is that the Lougheed Highway, my other option, will be really busy, especially later in the afternoon, when I will be trying to cross the Pitt River Bridge. I assumed Kingsway would be less crowded and the second most direct route, especially if I take Dewdney Trunk Road through Coquitlam. If there is a better option I am open to suggestions.
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Old 03-06-13, 12:52 AM   #14
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My thought is that the Lougheed Highway, my other option, will be really busy, especially later in the afternoon, when I will be trying to cross the Pitt River Bridge. I assumed Kingsway would be less crowded and the second most direct route, especially if I take Dewdney Trunk Road through Coquitlam. If there is a better option I am open to suggestions.
Well, the route through Poco to Kingsway is not the easiest to follow and Kingsway is a major commuter/truck route. There are pinch points and you are dodging around parked vehicles.
There are lots of heavy trucks in that area as there are warehouses and container yards directly adjacent.
I might suggest that you stay on Guildford from Port Moody as there is a good bike lane. If you stay north of the Lougheed you can use city streets with slower speed limits and less traffic.
You can cross over to Poco and travel straight down Prairie to Burns road which then joins the Freemont Connector.
That connector leads directly onto the bike path/sidewalk over the Pitt River bridge and that delivers you safely into Pitt Meadows at Old Dewdney trunk.
It sounds convoluted but it's fairly easy when you are riding it.
I hope I'm not making things more confusing
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Old 03-06-13, 02:51 AM   #15
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It sounds convoluted but it's fairly easy when you are riding it.
I hope I'm not making things more confusing
It certainly is a bit more confusing but I went on the Translink maps and found the routes you suggested. It looks way better than what I was thinking of doing. I had a feeling that there might be issues with the Kingsway route when I saw there were railroad tracks next to it. I will write myself a turn-by-turn cheat sheet to get me through the area using your suggestions.
Thank you for all the the help.
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Old 03-06-13, 10:58 AM   #16
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It certainly is a bit more confusing but I went on the Translink maps and found the routes you suggested. It looks way better than what I was thinking of doing. I had a feeling that there might be issues with the Kingsway route when I saw there were railroad tracks next to it. I will write myself a turn-by-turn cheat sheet to get me through the area using your suggestions.
Thank you for all the the help.
Once you are actually riding in the area it will come clear.
You could always drop me a line and I could meet you to guide you through the maze.
Glad I could help.
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