This is a quest post by Nevin Thompson
Last weekend marked the end of the Victoria International Cycling Festival, which culminated in the magnificent Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria that in many ways really showcased Greater Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula in particular as Canada’s top bicycle destination.
If you feel inspired to hop on your bike and tour the seaside cycling trails and pastoral backroads of our fantastic peninsula, here’s a brief guide of some key places to visit:
Take the Lochside Trail
The Lochside Trail is a 29-kilometre multi-use trail linking downtown Victoria and Sidney, British Columbia. The trail is mostly flat (it follows the old railbed of a former tramline) and safe for cyclists, and connects the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay with downtown Victoria. However, be sure to…
Visit Russ Hay’s Sidney Cycles
Russ Hay’s Sidney bike shop plays an important role in the cycling community of the Saanich Peninsula. For cyclists, it’s perfectly located for emergency repairs or buying hard-to-find parts, close to the Lochside Trail on the way into Victoria or out to the ferries. If you’re thinking about cycling out to Sidney from Victoria, it’s reassuring to know there is a bike shop waiting for you in Sidney to help out with anything you need.
Get a coffee
As bike owner will tell you, cycling is fueled by caffeine, and Beacon Avenue is lined with busy coffee shops, from the Stonestreet to Starbucks. However, good coffee shops can be found all over the Peninsula. The Deep Cove Market is a great place to stop for java while exploring Deep Cove and the northwest tip of the Peninsula, while the Roost is a perfect place to plan your route back to Victoria, via East Saanich of West Saanich Road.
Grab some fresh produce
Summer is awesome on the Peninsula because every week local farms produce something new to eat, and many of these farms sell “gate to plate” at roadside markets that are a perfect stop for cyclists. Dan’s Farm & Country Market is a great place to stop while cycling Oldfield Road, while Symphony Vineyards even offers winetasting with locally sourced picnic foods including chutneys and jams.
Stay the night
While it takes a little over an hour to bike into Victoria from Sidney via the most direct route, sometimes cyclists arrive at Swartz Bay on a later ferry – it’s good to find a nice place to spend the night and get off the road. Luckily there are plenty of campgrounds on the Peninsula – the Beachcomber RV Park and the Oceanside campground are both close to Lochside Trail, and are right on the water.
Have any more cycling suggestions for the Saanich Peninsula? Let us know!
Nevin Thompson regularly blogs on behalf of local online marketing company JumpStart Web and new Chamber member Diversified Health Clinic, which is really excited about helping make our region the most bicycle-friendly community in North America.