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By Maya Goldstein In September Gili, Neil and I did a bike trip starting in Vancouver to Vancouver Island, to Denman and Hornby and the Sunshine Coast. It was lots of fun and the roads were generally quiet. We’ve only been on a major highway for 5 km or so on Vancouver Island. I think the fact that it was already September really helped as well since there wasn’t much traffic on the Sunshine Coast other than the last section from Sechelt to the ferry terminal.  We think it’s a great trip for families that can be started from Vancouver with lots of camping options, swimming, ice cream, ferries and blackberries and everything that makes a cycle tour fun. A 5-minute clip:  https://vimeo.com/246647472

The post From Vancouver to Vancouver Island, 2 Coastal Islands, Sunshine Coast appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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It is easy to forget the opportunities that lie within the region around where one lives for day tripping on one’s bicycle or for weekend wandering excursions.  A trip on Sunday reminded me of such an opportunity along a very scenic highway so close to home.  Maybe it is time to revisit the region close to home for other opportunities, not just looking for distance destinations.   It was the annual eagle counting day in Brackendale, a suburb of Squamish on Howe Sound, at the end of a fiord on the Pacific Ocean.  After thoughts of cycling there were replaced by a forecast of sub-freezing temperature, we took alternate transportation.  As we rounded the tip of the North Shore at Horseshoe Bay, Burrard Inlet was left behind.  Howe Sound appeared.  A signpost by the road gave the distance to Squamish. The beauty of the Howe Sound scenery grabbed us immediately.  With a curving road hugging the edge of a mountain range, the pavement rose and then dropped to near sea level.  The scenery continuously changed …

The post Day of Eagle Counting-Realization of Potential of Day Tripping Locally appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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Pacific Rim, National Park Reserve, Tofino, Clayoqout Sound, Ucluelet, and Port Alberni Tofino and the Clayoqout Sound On the shores, lava rock protruded vertically in sheets from the sand, weathered by time, wind, sand, and water. Some formed large rocks and small islands. A bed of wet sand created a hard floor as the tide took out the water. The strong wind blew loose sand across this surface forming shifting dunes, a small concept of shifting sands of the African Sahara Desert. Water rushing into shore colliding with underwater plateaus and sand banks forming crushing waves hurling towards the shoreline and rocks in their way.       On the shores, lava rock protruded vertically in sheets from the sand, weathered by time, wind, sand, and water. Some formed large rocks and small islands. A bed of wet sand created a hard floor as the tide took out the water. The strong wind blew loose sand across this surface forming shifting dunes, a small concept of shifting sands of the African Sahara Desert. Water rushing …

The post The Spirit of the West Coast – appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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Part 5 -Excerpts for my notes from the 2004 trip:   Well, not carrying all the touring gear certainly makes cycling a bit easier and more comfortable. Actually, one could say a lot easier. The reward of having a side wagon. Distances were a bit short to my likening but to rush through the Island would not have been worthwhile, so some trade-off there. People into their seventies still undertaking such a camping and cycling trip is encouraging and leaves one optimistic that there is still plenty of countryside to be seen.   While on the Island, it was nice to leave civilization behind at Campbell River and get into the wilderness. The lower part of the Island along the west side is better for utilitarian cycling than for touring. However when one gets away from people, the landscape, the trees, the rocks are interesting to experience. It is just not as dramatic as higher mountains in the interior of BC or the Rockies.

The post the Inner Passage Trip; Final Thoughts appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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Part 4; Port Hardy to Prince Rupert What was I expecting on this trip up the Inner Passageway? I anticipated a lot of rain with low clouds and fog to obstruct the view. What was it really like? One could not ask for anything more than what we got. It was a stunning trip. . The weather was perfect for producing commercials for taking a cruise ship up this passage. The sun was beaming down. The wake behind the ship fanned out on a smooth water surface. The wind blew just enough to make it bearable to be in the sun. The mountains were majestic. I had not anticipated that this passage was so attractive. There were some dolphins and whales in the area. I managed to watch one from my seat inside the ship as it dived into the water. No time for taking a photo. Every now and then the ship deck announced landmarks being passed or sightings of fish. There was a school of porpoises jumping in the water but unfortunately, on the …

The post the Inner Passage by Ferry – Port Hardy to Prince Rupert appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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Experiences along the way: Telegraph Cove, a place for whale watchers, kayakers, and painters. Just the scenic encounters one wants to happen along the way. A former fishing harbour with cannery operation along the harbour shore is the village history. Now, these buildings house stores and motel rooms. Tourists amble along a boardwalk taking in shops enticing them to enter. Tasty fish is offered at an eatery. On a lucky day, whales may be sighted passing the harbour cove on their migration. Rocky shores offer opportunities for scenic kayaking. Port McNeal, a small town perched on the shore of the straight, a former logging place, and the gateway to the Broughton Archipelago. A quiet place with wide streets and little commercial activity. A colourful café with a colourful theme highlights the town core. Port Hardy, a place that appeals to fishers. A public park extends along the shoreline. People are out wading in the sea. Salmon are being beckoned by people fishing from the wharf. The entrance to a First Nations village is guarded by …

The post To the Inner Passage; Telegraph Cove; from Woss to Port Hardy appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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A black lump lumbered across the highway and into the bush as I was ascending a hill.  Just over the hill’s crest a cyclist was approaching me, climbing in the opposite direction.  Four women were jogging towards me on my side of the road.  Thought I should warn them.  “Bear ahead”, I called out.  One smiled and asked, “Bear”.  I confirmed it and they just kept jogging on.  Guess for them it is a frequent occurrence.  No need to be affected by nature.  Just keep on doing one’s thing.  I was concerned that the mother of this young bear might still be a distance behind the cub and might just surprise them….. To the Inner Passage Trip Excerpts for my Notes from the 2004 trip: Part 2;  from Parksville to Woos      

The post to the Inner Passage; Parksville to Woos appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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from Downtown Penticton up the Naramata Benches to Little Tunnel The Kettle Valley Railway, an abandoned rail-trail winds its way some 600 km along the southern part of British Columbia. From Penticton, a pleasant and interesting day ride awaits. An abandoned rail line twists its way up the three benches of Naramata along the edge of the semi-arid mountains on its way to Chute Lake and Myra Canyon. As the KVR emerges from residential homes of the city, vineyards are cycled through. The difficulty of this trip in hot weather with the sun beating down is not the climb from lake level to 600 metres plus on railway grades of 1% to 2.5% on limestone surface. Maybe a continuous climb can take its toll and enthusiasm. Then, there is the prospect of the downward glide. The real challenge for the 20 km cycle to the first tunnel, the Little Tunnel, is to bypass all the wineries calling one to stop and test some wine. On the way up, the Okanagan Lake is always in view …

The post The Kettle Valley Railway appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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A ribbon of a road twists and curves its way up and down sides of mountains occasionally touching rivers with torrents of water crashing over rocks creating mini waterfalls. The consequences of being springtime, as mountainous snow cover recedes with the oncoming of warmer temperature. The snows of winter are being slowly replaced by the freshness of green, the carpet of spring.  Alongside, the trans-Canada rail line winds westward. Remnants of forest fires are passed; charred trees stand. Towering trees fence in the highway. Rock outcrops form shear walls vertically up from the shoulder of the road. Well light tunnels appear with sun penetrating inside though slated outside walls, while snow and rock avalanches pass harmlessly over the highway. Water drizzles down the stonewalls, shinning in the sun. The vigour of fresh, clean mountain air is ever present.   Drizzle is replaced by showers, then rain, the clouds, and then sun. So the cycle goes on. As the Town of Revelstoke is approached, the sun streams down between cracks in the clouds. The Town of Golden …

The post Rogers Pass, from Golden to Revelstoke; springtime in the Rockies, the last days of May. appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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The British Columbia Coastal Circle Route takes in the best of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. Coastal Circle Route scenic drive – even better on 2 wheels! Cyclists can power through the route in a couple of challenging, knee pumping days….or spend days, even weeks exploring seaside towns, beaches and campsites.  Really, your available time and of course budget will shape your trip. Getting ready to depart from Horseshoe Bay We had a little three day getaway and chose to shorten the route and travel from Horseshoe Bay by ferry to Nanaimo and begin the circle back to Horseshoe Bay via Powell River and the Sunshine Coast.  Beginning the circle on the Island and heading north for the start of the ride means that the ocean is always on your right hand side, allowing for maximum ocean viewing and easy access to beaches and ice cream shops!  (32 flavours of Island Farms Ice Cream) Ocean views inspire riders along the route When asked for advice, we always suggest that cyclists get off the ferry and …

The post Cycling the BC Coast Circle Route appeared first on CycloTouringBC.

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