About me

Cycle Touring Vancouver Island

I moved to Courtenay, Vancouver Island, in late 2015, but have been bike touring for long years. Since I moved to the Island, I've mostly been exploring new backroad routes closer to home, many of them for this website.  

 

In my younger years, I worked a long stretch of years in international development, in Africa, Asia & the Pacific Islands.  When I returned to Canada, I found a new job and career in Vancouver. Soon enough, my feet started to itch, and I started taking off for weekend bike tours, mostly over on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

 

I loved cycling (I can fly!). Soon enough I was heading off all over for annual cycle touring holidays. I’ve done a bunch of long rides inside & outside Canada, including the far, far north of North America, various countries in Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and SE Asia. Check out the World Tour photo galleries.  

But Vancouver Island remains a special place for me, and I just love the camping.  

 

My email contact address is ahoy@backroadsbiketouring.com.

No, this is not me. But I simply could not resist sneaking a cow photo into this site somewhere. Actually, it's a zebu, from NE Madagascar

Zebu, NE Madagascar, international cycle touring

I enjoy hearing from other cycle tourists, and maybe swapping a few tales. Feel free to contact me if you need some more info or want to share some thoughts. I can also share GPS track files for most of the more remote backroads rides on this site (*.gpx format, which work on Garmin compatible devices). 

My goal with this website is promote and support cycle touring in my corner of BC, and to keep myself connected with the cycle touring community. I do not offer guided tours (a number of readers have asked me).

Haricut in Kathmandu, international cycle tour, NW Nepal

Several years past in Kathmandu - getting a haircut and (not to be missed, I was told.....), a head massage, after a fabulous ride into fabled Upper Mustang. I'm getting longer in the tooth now, so no longer go for totally insane rides. 

I have a handful of bikes. In early 2017, I finally bought myself a new bikepacker bike, a Surly ECR 29+". I've had a chance to get it out for lots of rough, tough rides now. Wow - it really is a lot of fun, so much so that I find myself wanting to take it out for every ride. For more, check out my bikes pages.

This has been my first go at building a website. Sometimes I feel my braincells have turned into sludge.  But it's been a good learn, other than my ongoing frustrations with mobile (cell phone) optimization. 

 September 2016, in Ladakh, north India. My second trip riding over Khardung La, where the air gets real thin, and you're advised to not stay more than 20 minutes at the top

Khardung la Pass, Ladakh, international cycle tour, north India Himalayas

As I've been getting on in years, I've developed an appreciation for poking around places I visit, and kicking back a little more, rather then pushing hard to make time passing through. I'm still tackling extreme rides, and my last vacation in the Himalayas was multi-month serious high altitude climbing - but my approach is mellowing. 

With parents, Protection Island, Nanaimo Harbour. About me

Something a little more current: with my parents on Protection Island in Nanaimo Harbour. One catches a small ferry from the harbour front directly over to a pub - brilliant!

I'll finish with one more shot from Nepal, 2016. In front of a chorten approaching Tsarang, the traditional summer home of the Upper Mustang royal family. One encountered chortens before every community, showing local support for religion and helping to keep the demons away.

Upper Mustang, NW Nepal, outside chorten in Tsarang, international cycle touring

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