Fav bike tours
Cycle Touring Vancouver Island
Here's some bike touring rides to get excited about. I see this section as the 'heart' of the website. You'll see 3 lists of rides in the thumbnails following:
Fav rides for all - main road, popular cycle touring routes for all riders
Fav backroads rides - rougher, more remote backroads routes
Honourable Mentions - I just had too many fav rides, so added this overflow page
Many riders will want to check all the lists. I often like to mix popular and backroads routes together on one longer ride.
The core of these rides are the routes and tracks that have been trialed and proven by hard experience. Particularly in the maze of the backroads, this is a big thing. If you would like GPX track files, you can email from the Contacts page. If you'd like more info on GPS devices and file sharing, check out this page.
I've tried to be as careful as possible with routes and directions, but there are NO guarantees with this info. The backroads are always changing - and routes can become overgrown or a logging company can tear out a bridge, or .... If you're out in the backroads ALWAYS make sure you could retrace your steps should if necessary.
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.
The site content is getting on in years, and I no longer update it (on to new projects). Most material is still relevant, but, particularly out in the backroads, things are always changing, so bear that in mind, and always ride safe.
Increasingly, logging companies are putting up gates, and seeking to restrict outsider access. Obviously, this can impact plans. Talking with locals about backroads access is always a good idea.
Linked from various ride pages are a few 'local content pages' that give added info. These include 'Town of Cowichan Lake & nearby Camping', 'South Island ferry Connections', 'Getting off the NE Highway' and 'Courtenay south on the backroads'.
On the Fav rides for all page, there's a real useful thumbnail link to the Local Maps & Off-Hwy Options page. It includes useful community cycling maps (and links) along with some suggested off-highway paved alternate routes for cycle tourists to consider (not including backroads options). This local route info is presented within linked local area pages.
If you want to read shorter posts about rides, with great photos, check out the Blog section. Most posts are based on recent rides, or you can easily search for earlier posts.
JUNE 2018 CAUTION: a friend had his bike stolen from up near Tsable Lake. If you leave your bike to hike in to a camp, make sure it is locked & hidden. What a sad and maddening thing.
Check out the other pages in this section
Below is a guide to a couple more pages in this 'Rides & Camping' section. Click on the pics to jump to the pages.