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Old 01-13-14, 01:39 PM   #1
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Galloping Goose

Can anybody tell me if this trail is paved or compact gravel. any idea overall condition of the trail? Wondering if it is doable on road tires (23's) or better to ride it with a cross bike and bigger tires. Thanks.
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Old 01-18-14, 01:14 AM   #2
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Approximately the first 13km are paved. So about a quarter or the whole trail. I was on it last summer with a touring bike and I can't remember any section up to where I left it at Sooke that would be problematic for someone with smaller tires. As I remember the trail surface it was quite nicely compacted. Even if an issue happens there are multiple exit points so you are nor likely to get stuck way up the trail. Of course winter conditions may be a little poorer.
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Old 01-24-14, 02:26 PM   #3
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Technically, the Goose starts in downtown Victoria and goes west, out towards Sooke and then along gravel roads past the Western Communities. I've only gone as far as about Royal Roads, just past Colwood, as I prefer riding on paved roads around Metchosin. From Victoria to Colwood, the Goose is mostly paved. There is a gravel section just west of the Hospital, but most riders avoid this by going out the Hospital parking lot and then rejoining the path at the next intersection to the west. If you do take this gravel section, just be aware that westbound, there is a fast downhill turn that you want to be careful around...

From the Swartz Bay ferry to Victoria, the path is call the Lochside Trail. It reminds me of Paris-Roubaix, as there are lots of gravel sections (not 22, but more than several, including some bumpy wooden bridges that are as slick as cobbles when wet), one of which actually runs right thru a farmer's field! Complete with tractor marks! You can count yourself an expert on riding in Saanich if you can navigate along the Lochside and adjoining roads and avoid all the gravel parts. Actually, I (and I would imagine a lot of other riders) would avoid a narrow, blind (very poor sight distances) gravel section along the Indian Reservation by going thru the reservation, but the First Nations folks evidently didn't like this. However, they have paved this stretch of the Lochside, so it's now the preferred way to go (rather than the reservation detour).

I got to know the Goose/Lochside back in 2010 when I worked in Victoria for six months. I find it highly overrated. It has a few awkward intersection crossings, and it is not lit at night. I once almost ran down a couple walking along one of the wooden trestles, in pitch dark, both wearing black leather coats! They were hard to see in the 2W headlight beam until I was just about on top of them. The reason the Goose is not lit, as I understand it, is because they don't want any additional light pollution near the Dominion Observatory nearby.

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Old 01-27-14, 08:47 AM   #4
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Thanks luis for all the info. Heading from washington to Victoria this august for about a week to get in some riding. Just now looking at things to do. Is there enough riding for 5-6 days without repeating the same thing. Open to any ideas if you have them. We are going to stay somewhere in victoria and head out daily. Also, any ideas for maybe a longer ride one day then stay the night someplace then head back to Victoria the following. Any suggestions on anything would be great. Thanks Brad
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Old 01-30-14, 05:43 PM   #5
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i took the fam on the lochside/goose all the way to sooke. Since you are planning for the invariably sunny days in august, you are going to be fine. Lochside isn't a trail for blasting down at high speeds (especially near victoria) due to the many intersections/crossings.

The Goose gets better and better the closer you get to sooke.

Trail surface is great. (NO motorized traffic ripping it up.)
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Old 02-03-14, 11:34 AM   #6
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There is a book you can get of cycling routes in and around Victoria with complete directions plus coffee shop info. It's called Bike Victoria by John Crouch. It has 55 routes described in it. I believe it has information about the complete Galloping Goose trail. Enjoy your trip.

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Old 04-12-14, 05:26 PM   #7
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All the roads around Victoria are quite bike friendly and quite scenic, especially in Saanich. You can't go wrong. Take the ferry from Brentwood to Mill Bay and open up even more beautiful riding and nice little towns for lunch. The Galloping Goose is ok to do once, but it is actually kind of a grind - the same 'scenery' for 50 kilometers, i.e. heavily shaded by trees and not much to look at. Definitely an A to B trail to get you out to Sooke but not really that interesting. I'd use the bus rack back to Victoria!
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