Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Western Canada
Reload this Page >

Cycling in Vancouver, Stanley Park

Notices
Western Canada Alberta | British Columbia | Manitoba | Northwest Territories | Nunavut | Saskatchewan | Yukon Territory

Cycling in Vancouver, Stanley Park

Old 03-18-17, 12:12 PM
  #1  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Cycling in Vancouver, Stanley Park

I'll be in Vancouver in July and I expect to have a couple of days to play. Since visiting last year, I've had this idea rattling around in my head, to do some riding around Stanley Park.

I was thinking if I went early enough, the Seawall trail might be more or less empty, so I wouldn't have to dodge too many pedestrians. Thing is, sunrise in July is just after 5:00 a.m., so the question I have is how early would be early enough?

I have a friend who lives in North Vancouver, so I'm on the fence between crashing at his place and crashing at a hotel closer to Stanley Park. I'm not sure it would be very feasible to haul a rental bike around in a rental car, so I thought maybe it would be easier to rent the bike, stash it in my hotel room, and ride from the hotel.

I'm not wedded to the idea of riding in Stanley Park, though; for all I know there might be some good riding in North Vancouver, but I don't know what I don't know. So if any Vancouver residents could help me to figure out what would be optimal, I would be most grateful. Thanks in advance.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 01:08 PM
  #2  
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,033
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 125 Times in 84 Posts
The seawall? Ha ha. Done it a few times. It is about the most frightening riding experience I've had since being chased by a pack of grow-op guard dogs a few years back.

The main denizens of the seawall are:
  • Moms pushing stollers
  • Roller-bladers
  • Inexperienced cyclists with rental bikes with the saddles a foot too low, and the rental helmet dangling off of the handlebar threatening to land in the spokes at any instant.
  • Groups of oblivious peds completely blocking the path gesticulating wildly at each other and yelling with whatever foreign language requires that you shout - all of the time
  • Pretty girls on cruiser bikes wearing flip flops and talking on their phones
  • Pretty girls with toy dogs on long leashes. Or apparently ownerless unleased dogs running randomly around the trail.
  • Peter Sagan wanabees, weaving between these obstacle at warp speeds.

Of course, everyone is looking at their phones, and wearing headphones. Everyone.

You'd be safer riding the mountain bike trails on the North Shore. Be aware that the 'Shore is real mountain biking. Your basic trail is a minefield of wet greasy roots and head-sized rocks on a 30 degree slope littered with 6 foot drops and flimsy ladders 10 feet off of the ground. You'd better have a $5,000 (real) mountain bike with 8" of front and rear suspension, a dropper seatpost, a full-face helmet and body armor. And years of experience riding expert-level trails. I started mountain biking in the 80s, and what are labelled as 'Intermediate' mountain bike trails on the 'Shore are far beyond my skills, or my willingness to die.
Dave Mayer is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 01:26 PM
  #3  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
The seawall? Ha ha. Done it a few times. It is about the most frightening riding experience I've had since being chased by a pack of grow-op guard dogs a few years back.

The main denizens of the seawall are:[...]
Of course, everyone is looking at their phones, and wearing headphones. Everyone.

You'd be safer riding the mountain bike trails on the North Shore.
Appreciate the reply; As a frequent rider of a local MUP with many homeless campers, I understand completely regarding the Seawall, but is it really like that at 5:20 a.m. on a weekday in July?

ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 01:50 PM
  #4  
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,033
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 125 Times in 84 Posts
Weekday early mornings: you'll be fine. The homeless inhabitants of Stanley Park will just be tucking in, and the tourists will have not yet arrived.

Seymour Demonstration Forest: that is the ride you want to go on. Note that the busses all around the metro area are bike-friendly with racks. As is the Seabus. So you should be able to get the head of the Seymour ride by bus.

Note: Ground zero for drugs and homelessness: the intersection of Hastings and Main Street in Vancouver. For a cyclist, be aware that pedestrians within a few blocks of this intersection can be 'unpredictable'.
Dave Mayer is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 02:15 PM
  #5  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Weekday early mornings: you'll be fine. The homeless inhabitants of Stanley Park will just be tucking in, and the tourists will have not yet arrived.

Seymour Demonstration Forest: that is the ride you want to go on.[...]
Many thanks, footage I see on Youtube for Seymour Demonstration Forest looks spectacular.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 08:48 PM
  #6  
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,033
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 125 Times in 84 Posts
No problem.

Here is my Lower Mainland 'bucket list' of destinations:

4920'56.4"N 12236'55.5"W
4917'22.5"N 12241'21.4"W
4917'54.2"N 12242'09.0"W
4920'25.6"N 12251'22.1"W
4921'54.6"N 12251'22.8"W
4918'47.3"N 12255'40.0"W
4918'07.9"N 12257'31.4"W
4912'30.2"N 12243'34.0"W
4910'14.8"N 12234'38.5"W
4911'17.5"N 12235'18.3"W
4917'22.1"N 12229'21.7"W
4926'25.6"N 12258'10.3"W
4906'41.1"N 12305'00.8"W
4912'03.7"N 12240'52.0"W
4911'51.0"N 12234'58.5"W
4912'32.6"N 12226'59.9"W
4919'37.3"N 12256'54.6"W


Every one of these is accessible with a road bike fitted out with 'cross weight tires - and perhaps a little walking. All are publicly accessible - despite what a certain blueberry farmers sign might indicate.

#4 on the list provides one of the most awe inspiring first impressions on the planet.

Go to it.
Dave Mayer is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 09:27 PM
  #7  
curbtender
Senior Member
 
curbtender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SF Bay Area, East bay
Posts: 6,882

Bikes: Marinoni, Kestral 200 2002 Trek 5200, KHS Flite, Koga Miyata, Schwinn Spitfire 5, Schwinn Speedster, Mondia Special, Univega Alpina, Miyata team Ti, MB3

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 999 Post(s)
Liked 591 Times in 403 Posts
Did a Stanley Park ride a few years back. It's a one way circuit so you really don't run into too many issues. A guy who decided to be a salmon got a ticket pretty quick. Enjoy the ride...
curbtender is offline  
Old 03-18-17, 10:24 PM
  #8  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
No problem.

Here is my Lower Mainland 'bucket list' of destinations:

4920'56.4"N 12236'55.5"W
4917'22.5"N 12241'21.4"W
4917'54.2"N 12242'09.0"W
4920'25.6"N 12251'22.1"W
4921'54.6"N 12251'22.8"W
4918'47.3"N 12255'40.0"W
4918'07.9"N 12257'31.4"W
4912'30.2"N 12243'34.0"W
4910'14.8"N 12234'38.5"W
4911'17.5"N 12235'18.3"W
4917'22.1"N 12229'21.7"W
4926'25.6"N 12258'10.3"W
4906'41.1"N 12305'00.8"W
4912'03.7"N 12240'52.0"W
4911'51.0"N 12234'58.5"W
4912'32.6"N 12226'59.9"W
4919'37.3"N 12256'54.6"W


Every one of these is accessible with a road bike fitted out with 'cross weight tires - and perhaps a little walking. All are publicly accessible - despite what a certain blueberry farmers sign might indicate.

#4 on the list provides one of the most awe inspiring first impressions on the planet.

Go to it.
Doesn't the usual BF "pictures or it never happened" apply here?

I'm sure it is a brilliant list-- I did check each of the coordinates on Google Maps-- but prolly a bit ambitious considering the time I have. However it is a great illustration of how a few minutes and seconds can make an incredible difference.

I will say, I asked my friend in re: Seymour Forest and he drew a blank, in spite of > 20 years of living somewhat west of Capilano. So that is a absolutely a bright and shining suggestion, in my view, and I will definitely do what I can to enjoy that ride.

Pursuant to nothing, some years ago I fished at 4944'23.8"N, 12354'00.8"W and really enjoyed it. You had to wait for the slack tide, but when it came you could get Lingcod the size of my leg with an unbaited jig. This time I'll be doing some fishing elsewhere but I'm coming in a couple days early, now hoping to get a twofer. Thanks so much for the excellent suggestions.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 06-01-17, 03:05 PM
  #9  
grn.eyed.bandit
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also depends on what riding you will be doing.

The seawall is flat, more relaxed, and yes, full of tourists and joggers/walkers.
If you ride the main road around SP, its rough and there is one decent climb around 1km long at im guessing 6%?

But riding around any time before 7 should be ok on either track. Generally pretty quiet until then.
grn.eyed.bandit is offline  
Old 07-06-17, 11:53 AM
  #10  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
I'm looking at the map and wondering if anyone can recommend a wise route from around Mathers and 21st Street in North Vancouver to Seymour Demonstration Forest. Google Maps is suggesting a few routes, but I have no idea whether they are wise or unwise. Thanks in advance.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 07-29-17, 10:38 PM
  #11  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
An update for anyone who might stumble upon this thread via a search or whatever.

I rode Stanley Park-- the seawall and the park road-- early, and found that there were more cyclists than cars around before 7:00-ish in the morning. Very, very pleasant, considering my usual scenery when riding. The photo below shows Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park just before sunrise; it may be ordinary scenery to many in the PNW, but pretty d@mn nice when you consider what I'm comparing it to.



I also rode Seymour Demonstration Forest, pretty much the whole trail, and it was really nice. Kudos to Dave Mayer for suggesting it. I would say it is perhaps the most pleasant and beautiful cycling trail I have ever been on. I went up there pretty early and had the whole trail almost to myself on the northbound portion, seeing just a few other riders. "Gorgeousness and gorgeousity," to borrow a turn of phrase. The photos below capture a bit of it; many thanks for the replies in the thread.





ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 07-30-17, 01:17 PM
  #12  
Dave Mayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,033
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 773 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 125 Times in 84 Posts
Zippy: congratulations on your rides, and thanks for the pics.

Yeah, I guess we're pretty lucky out here in terms of riding. And weather: it would have been a hot day yesterday, at about 85 degrees. Due to the moderating influence of the ocean, I don't think it's ever hit 100. Plus lots of trees mean lots of shade.

Out on the coast here there are dozens of rides as good as this.

But we don't want anybody more moving here: a 800 square foot tear-down shack in Vancouver will cost you north of a million $. There is a saying here: that if you need to work for a living, then you can't afford to live here.

Cougars: no problems. Bears with cubs are a problem; a bear family jumped my backyard fence last week, and we had to cut our BBQ short.

The really dangerous Cougars hang out at the Cactus Club downtown (inside joke).
Dave Mayer is offline  
Old 07-30-17, 10:16 PM
  #13  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Dave Mayer View Post
Zippy: congratulations on your rides, and thanks for the pics.

Yeah, I guess we're pretty lucky out here in terms of riding. And weather: it would have been a hot day yesterday, at about 85 degrees. Due to the moderating influence of the ocean, I don't think it's ever hit 100. Plus lots of trees mean lots of shade.
The weather was far better than I deserved the whole time I was there. I know you're going to be tasting some of the same west coast heatwave next week that we'll be "enjoying," but for me the weather was awesome, even though I was caught in a full-on downpour in North Van while riding Lynn Valley back from Seymour Forest. Escaping from the heat down here to the cool up there was great.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 07-30-17, 10:30 PM
  #14  
DPV
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Damn; wish I had seen this thread earlier. I live in North Van and would've been happy to share some of my favourite routes around the shore. Demo is spectacular and a real gem, and there's lots more of great options that can be looped in on a ride. Glad you enjoyed it though!
DPV is offline  
Old 07-30-17, 11:04 PM
  #15  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,963

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 410 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 46 Times in 35 Posts
Stanley Park: with the urban setting and crowds, is this a MUP that is mostly a leisure ride?
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 07-30-17, 11:07 PM
  #16  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,168
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1158 Post(s)
Liked 267 Times in 162 Posts
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Stanley Park: with the urban setting and crowds, is this a MUP that is mostly a leisure ride?
The seawall is a crowded MUP but the ring road is a popular loop for cyclists. Vehicular traffic is sometimes heavy but it's slow so doesn't present a problem.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 07-31-17, 12:48 PM
  #17  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Stanley Park: with the urban setting and crowds, is this a MUP that is mostly a leisure ride?
In my limited experience, it depends on when you go and where you go. There is a road which goes around the park and a seawall trail. You can get the flava from YouTube; basically if you go early enough, you can ride at a decent speed on either road or seawall trail. There are some spots on the seawall where you must slow, but on the road you can hammer, and I was passed by more than a few riders who were obviously more fit.

As the park fills up and gets busy, you will find more people on the seawall trail and more cars on the park road.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 08-09-17, 09:36 AM
  #18  
Dan Burkhart 
Senior member
 
Dan Burkhart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Oakville Ontario
Posts: 7,715
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 750 Post(s)
Liked 287 Times in 178 Posts
Been many years since I rode in Stanley Park. back in the 90's I had a regular run that included a stop in Duncan on Vancouver Island. Because I was hauling hazardous material, I could not use the regular ferry service, so I had to use the CP (now Seaspan) barge which docked in Coal Harbour adjacent to the park.
When I was able to get to the dock a couple hours early for boarding, I would take the bike out of the truck and go for a spin in the park.
Dan Burkhart is offline  
Old 08-09-17, 04:48 PM
  #19  
timvan_78
Senior Member
 
timvan_78's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 498

Bikes: Trek Fuel EX8, Caad10, Marin BearValley, WTP BMX, Norco Tandem

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
SP seawall is a leisure ride.
SP ring road is a road rip.

"Seymour Demo Forest" is also called LSCR (Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve) so that might have led to your friend not having heard of it. The forest at the north end of it is particularly nice, with some old growth on the non-paved trails.
timvan_78 is offline  
Old 08-15-17, 11:39 PM
  #20  
ZippyThePinhead
Slacker
Thread Starter
 
ZippyThePinhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Orange County, in Southern California
Posts: 1,291

Bikes: 1986 Peugeot Orient Express, 1987 Trek 560 Pro, 1983 SR Semi Pro, 2010 Motobecane Le Champion Titanium, 2011 Trek Fuel EX8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by timvan_78 View Post
SP seawall is a leisure ride.
SP ring road is a road rip.

"Seymour Demo Forest" is also called LSCR (Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve) so that might have led to your friend not having heard of it. The forest at the north end of it is particularly nice, with some old growth on the non-paved trails.
His son knew the place well. Whatever you call it, you folks up there have it pretty good with the cycling. I was tremendously thankful for having been able to enjoy it for a few days, even though I rode through a decent (by SoCal standards) downpour riding back through Lynn Valley. Can't wait to get back and ride it again. Next time I'll drive, and bring my own bike. Lovely, beautiful, greatly enjoyed it.
ZippyThePinhead is offline  
Old 12-17-17, 08:51 PM
  #21  
CuriousSquirrel
Junior Member
 
CuriousSquirrel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ride Stanley Park on the road instead. lots of road cyclists do this. It is a two lane single direction road. Cars are aware that cyclists are on the road.
CuriousSquirrel is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
snugent
Northeast
6
10-16-18 01:07 PM
Watchdog
Mountain Biking
2
09-18-18 08:08 AM
JC 911
Mountain - Plains
11
08-16-12 09:14 AM
Pamestique
Southern California
15
09-07-11 03:08 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.