“It’s a bicycle highway,” exclaims a pedestrian, waiting to cross the steady stream of cyclists cruising Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach on a sunny Sunday. At some point in the last forty-seven years, Vancouver became a world-class cycling city. We admit it: we have failed to pay attention to Vancouver’s evolution since we moved away from the city in 1972. We redress our error by dedicating one week to the exploration of Vancouver’s cycling trails.Continue reading
A tafone is a geological formation of sculpted rock, a tapovan is a forest of spiritual practice, and an angry cormorant growls like an oinking pig. So much to learn on Galiano Island! Long and skinny, Galiano is rather hilly, and destinations are spread out — perfect for exploring by e-bike.Continue reading
With its hilly terrain, Salt Spring Island is a popular one-day, 55-km figure-eight ride for cyclists in training. Us, we go because it’s apple season. By stopping at every farm stand, viewpoint, and shoreline access, it takes us four days to accomplish our Island cycling tour.
“A chance to visit Apple Heaven while still on earth!” The announcement for the Salt Spring Apple Festival captures our attention. More than 450 varieties of apples are grown organically on Salt Spring, and Doug wants to sample crisp apples, raw or baked into apple pie. Continue reading
We never imagined we could accomplish a road trip like this: cycle up Vancouver Island to Comox, ferry over to Lund, then cycle down the Sunshine Coast on Highway 101. Confident road-cyclists will fall in love with this classic coastal loop, while those accustomed to Victoria’s gentle rail-trails and protected bike lanes will find some sections frightening. The cars and trucks are in a hurry, but we are not; we cycle 600 km in a leisurely sixteen days, with detours to Savary Island, Texada Island, Princess Louisa Inlet, and the Gibsons shoreline.
The feral goats have names (Stripe-and-Spot is an example), and they outnumber the resident humans (about 300). Want to test the battery and brakes on your electric-assist bike? The Missing Link, a stretch of road with a sustained grade of up to 20 per cent, will do nicely. And don’t forget to wave; it’s a rule of Island Etiquette on Saturna, the most easterly of British Columbia’s southern Gulf Islands. Continue reading
Winter weather lingers, but we can’t wait. We test our new bikes on a four-day trip to Mayne, the little Gulf Island that lies midway between Victoria and Vancouver. For its small size, Mayne Island has a lot of attractions: panoramic viewpoints, sea lions, a classic lighthouse, an immaculate Japanese garden, a bakery, and lightly-travelled lumpy country roads. It’s a right neighbourly place, too. Continue reading