Cycle Touring Vancouver Island
About this website
Read on to learn about cycle touring and bikepacking Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast - one of the world's great riding destinations.
And even if you don't travel on 2 wheels, there's lots here if you'd just like to explore the charms and far flung corners of this spectacularly beautiful corner of SW British Columbia.
It's been a long while since I added a new blog post, but I found news about the North Island 1000 Loop exciting enough that I thought hard core backroads site visitors should know. Check out my latest blog entry and click through to the post to read more.
FINAL YEAR for WEBSITE:
In January 2021, I renewed the hosting of this website for one more year. I expect this will be the final year I'll keep the site active. Although the site is still getting lots of visitors, I have not been updating content regularly, and have not kept up with some changes to the platform (though most all of the content is still as relevant ever). I'll continue to respond to correspondence, which I enjoy. Thanks to all who visit, and those who share info, comments or questions.
A trestle bridge along the Cowichan Valley Trail. Check out the Fav ride along this fabulous, well groomed section of the Trans Canada Trail - a ride for cycle tourists of all experience levels.
This site is for you, if you are seeking ideas and information about cycle touring or bikepacking Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
At the heart of the site you'll find Favourite Rides, along with Favourite Campgrounds. Then there's countless maps, FAQs, gear discussions, and much more. Check out the blog for ideas, or head further afield by scrolling through the World Tour slideshows.
This is a very visual site: lots of great photos to give you a first hand look at what's out there for you to visit.
The main menu for this site is across the top: click on a section heading, or hover over it and you'll see a drop down menu for more choices. At the bottom of this page is a box of thumbnail links to the other pages in this 'About' section: More about site, Intro Slideshow, Photo Gallery, FAQs and About me.
1. For several years now, I've been off tackling new projects, and no longer really update the site. Most of the information on rides & camping is still just as valid as ever, although some of the remote backroads information may be getting out of date. I've debated retiring the site, but it still gets good traffic, and I enjoy engaging with emails from visitors.
2. Almost all of the Fav rides for all you'll find in this website involve riding on public roads, including some highways. Although most all of the feedback I receive is real positive, some site visitors find that sharing routes with traffic, including occasional trucks, can be unnerving and unpleasant. So - be prepared to encounter traffic. If you're uncertain if this will work for you, maybe try out a ride like the Cowichan Valley Trail.
3. LIMITING BACKROADS ACCESS - COURT DECISION: In March 2021, a BC Appeals Court ruled that Canada's largest working cattle ranch could bar access to 2 public lakes. This has broader relevance to backroads access, particularly on the southern Island where where much of the working forest is privately owned, dating from the controversial Esquimalt and Nanaimo railway land grant in the 19th century (though parcels of land have since been sold or resold many times). It may be a reason we are seeing more locked gates and private property signs posted by logging companies.
4. Late 2020 ALERT: SMUGGLER COVE, a small (former) Fav campsite along the Sunshine Coast, is now a day use only park, with CAMPING NO LONGER ALLOWED. Note also that Strathcona Dam Rec Campsite (an Honourable Mention favourite) has permanently closed (for dam servicing) & shifted location to nearby NE Campbell Lake.
Many rides follow the stunning coastlines. Get off the main road to check out local beaches or communities, and you'll often find a scenic little bay and marina, a park with trail or ocean walkway, and local shops. This photo shows tiny Egmont along the Sunshine Coast.
Most cycle tourists will want to check out the 'Fav rides for all' favourite tours. These rides cover the most popular cycle touring routes on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast - on (mostly) paved roads, near communities, services and fine camping options.
For bikepackers or backroads cycle touring enthusiasts who want to get out into the wilderness, there's also a section of 'Fav Backroad Rides'. These rides head off into the remote backroads, far from towns or services, where things can get rough and unpredictable, and a campsite might be a little clearing near a stream.
To help organize all the content, the site breaks out Vancouver Island & the Sunshine Coast into 8 Riding Areas or Hubs. These can help viewers get an idea of where they might want to visit, and what they might want to see. Each riding area include maps with links to all the Fav rides or campgrounds.
It's not uncommon to have unexpected company on the backroads of Vancouver Island & the Sunshine Coast. Met this bold fellow west of Coal Harbour at the north of Vancouver Island.
I am based out of Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
Along the top menu bar you'll see a Contact page, which opens an email contact form. I like hearing from site visitors who have done some interesting riding, have some feedback, or just like to chat. Viewers have visited the site from all across Canada, and almost 100 other countries around the world.
If you are considering any of the more remote backroad rides, you can email me to ask for a *.GPX track file you can load on Garmin compatible GPS device (which can be real useful to keep from getting lost).
'Namgis burial ground at Alert Bay on Comorant Island off Port McNeill, NE Vancouver Island. Poles that decay and fall are left in place, a reminder of longer cycles of life and death.
There is no business angle to this site, nor is one planned. It does not offer guided or supported cycling tours. The site objective is to promote and support cycle touring in my corner of British Columbia.
If you like the site, you can help - please save it to your links , and share it with friends to help improve the search profile. You can also like pages or blog posts to help me get a better idea of what visitors find most interesting.
The following thumbnails link to other pages in this 'About' section.
Check out the other pages in this section
Below is a guide to a couple more pages in this 'About' section. Click on the pics to jump to the pages, or use the menu bar along the top.
Caution - Safety First:
Countless outdoor enthusiasts safely enjoy BC's backroads year round. That said, you may be far from assistance, so safety is essential. You may encounter logging, or constraints to road access. Always be alert for working trucks & pull over to let them pass. If riding to remote areas, ensure you have the right knowledge & gear, & share your plans before you head out. Read the FAQs section for more info.