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Bicycling/Touring on Vancouver Island

Old 06-09-05, 06:46 PM
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AlanK
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Bicycling/Touring on Vancouver Island

Sometime in the fall, I was thinking about spending 2-3 weeks bicycling Vancouver Island, probably light touring - I'll bring a tent and sleeping bag to save money on lodging, but no cooking equipment.

So I just want to get some input/suggestions/etc. for the trip from anyone who might have done it, and/or others living on the island. I've been to Victoria, but haven't seen much else of the island. What are the best places to visit? Also, I'm a vegan; will this be a problem? As always, thanx in advance
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Old 06-09-05, 11:53 PM
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jeff williams
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Read up on the Gulf Islands located to the inside straight 'tween Van Isl and the mainland. Small ferry and you can 'hop' isl to isl.
The island is very close to the famed 'northshore'. Very cyclist friendly -lots of mechs, shops.
Tofino -surfing, Carmana valley is stunning old-growth forest.
China and mystic beach on the west coast trail a must.

No problem with you being vegan, lots of hippy food, like Cal. Avacados A-plenty.
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Old 06-10-05, 01:46 PM
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Kodama
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I did the Gulf Islands and portions of Vancouver Island last spring. Can't recommend them enough and I fully intend to return to do more of Van and the northern Gulf Islands. Fall would probably be better then spring weather wise, but still prepare for Rain. There is a comprehensive cycling map of the Islands that you can get. I bought it at a cycling shop as I arrived but you can also get it from the Cycle Vancouver Website (which you will find useful in general). Also there is an older book about touring the island called Island Cycling that has lots of good info (full publishing info below). Also I have several pages on my online journal with links and such that should get you the info you need on camping and hotels/B&Bs et al. Be sure to ride on the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails - they cover pretty much all of the southern Vancouver Island and are a great way to get around.

Island Cycling
David Payne
Heritage House Publishing Company, 1996
ISBN: 1-55143-082-7
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Old 06-10-05, 07:18 PM
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Most of the Island is great to tour. In particular any area south of Campbell River. North of there is still beautiful but communities are a bit further apart. The Gulf Islands are beautiful and very able to take care of your food needs. A good site to check is http://www.adamk.ca/ He lives in the Victoria area and has toured extensively.
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Old 06-10-05, 07:30 PM
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There was an article in Sunset magazine that made me really really want to visit Tofino. But I haven't been there yet, heck I haven't even been to Victoria.
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Old 06-11-05, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanK
Sometime in the fall, I was thinking about spending 2-3 weeks bicycling Vancouver Island, probably light touring - I'll bring a tent and sleeping bag to save money on lodging, but no cooking equipment.

So I just want to get some input/suggestions/etc. for the trip from anyone who might have done it, and/or others living on the island. I've been to Victoria, but haven't seen much else of the island. What are the best places to visit? Also, I'm a vegan; will this be a problem? As always, thanx in advance
Riding on the Island is great. Lots of things to see and places to eat/sleep up to about Cambell River. Beyond that is Port Hardy, at the northern tip, which is nice but isolated. The ride from CR to PH would be long and lonley. I was thinking of riding last year but that isolation put me off.

From Victoria to Nanaimo the ride could be some side roads with some main hwy travel. Beyond Nanaimo you could stay on the old highway which follows the shoreline (more or less) and is much quieter than the main route. A decent loop would be up the island to Courtney/Comox, ferry to Powell River and south to Gibsons, then ferry back over to Vancouver at Horseshoe Bay. The road from Powell River south is narrow and windy though and when you cross back to Horseshoe Bay you gotta make your way through Vanc to Wa.


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