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. 
Cycle touring Cowichan Valley Trail | trestle bridges | cycle touring Vancouver Island

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, FAQsgear 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.  

Several Cautions: 

1.  With the exception of the Cowichan Valley Trail ride, all of the Fav rides for all you'll find in this website involve riding on public roads, including some highways. Although the overwhelming majority of the feedback I receive on recommended rides is very positive, some site visitors find that sharing routes with traffic, including occasional trucks, can be unnerving and unpleasant. 

So - please be prepared to encounter traffic. If you are uncertain how this will work for you, consider trying out rides that spend less time on shared roadways - perhaps the Cowichan Valley Trail, or some of the shorter island rides. 

2.  For those keen to head out into the backroads, be aware that conditions on some routes change over time, and some of the Fav backroads rides I recommend were last visited some years past. Backroads tracks may no longer be maintained, and can become overgrown, or logging companies change routes, or perhaps decommission bridges, etc.  The major backroads routes are generally pretty consistent, and for some backroaders a rougher route means more adventure .... but one should always be prepared for the unexpected when off the beaten path.

Egmont marina, near Earl's Cove, cycle touring the Sunshine Coast

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.

Roadside bear, near Coal Harbour, backroad bikepacking, north Vancouver Island

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). Read more about GPS devices and file sharing here.

Alert Bay on Comorant Island off NE Vancouver Island, Favourite cycle tour

'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.  

A short, visual intro to this site. Just 15 slides, each with only a few words. Alas, not recommended for mobile viewers.

You can click yourself to advance the slides, or just sit back and let the automated viewer take you through the show. To pause on a photo, hover your mouse over the picture.

More info on what this website is about, why it is special, and who might be interested. Answers to a few general questions such as 'Why Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast?', or 'What is bikepacking?'

A visual sidetrip, if you'd like to see first hand about cycle touring and bikepacking Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. Click a photo to enlarge and open a slideshow view.

If you have some questions, or just want to learn more, scroll through the FAQs here, and check out those that interest you. Some of these have pretty straight forward answers, while others may be based more on opinions or preferences. In such cases, take my answers with a grain of salt, seek some other views, and work out what works best for you.

A little background information about me, website builder & operator

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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.

Caution - Safety First:

This website does not encourage anyone to undertake activities in the backwoods without considering fully issues of safety, access and readiness. There are no guarantees with any information provided in this website.  Please read  the FAQs, research further as appropriate, and use your judgement at all times