Choose a bike route from the most challenging, family friendly or scenic cruise in Greater Vancouver.
With the explosion of bike purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic, the search is now on for interesting routes. Whether you want a workout, a family ride, a midday cruise with friends, or log some serious mileage, we’ve got you covered.
Here are five terrific routes to check off this fall.
1. The latte loop: North Vancouver Spirit Trail
This trail is not for racing, but it’s perfect for a scenic tour of the waterfront with stops along the way for coffee, lunch or a tour through the Lonsdale Quay. In fact, you can get here on the Seabus and, if you don’t have a bike, you can walk from the Seabus and reserve one at Reckless Shipyards. If the caffeine doesn’t kick in, you can rent electric bikes. There are also city and kids bikes available for rent.
2. Challenge: UBC loop
You can bring your bike and park at UBC, then head into Pacific Spirit Regional Park and follow the unpaved trails, or gain access via thoroughfares such as NW Marine Drive at Jericho or Spanish Banks beaches. The route along Marine Drive is gorgeous, and you’ll face hills as you wend your way toward the university. Conversely, you can start at SW Marine Drive near Camosun and work your way toward the park, or even start in Kitsilano, head south toward SW Marine drive, then loop around UBC and finish where you start. If you choose this route, you’re looking at upwards of 40 kilometres as you basically circumnavigate the entire west side. Check before you go as some trails in the park may be closed for maintenance.
3. Family: Chilliwack Community Forest
You’ll want to stick to blue or green trails depending on your kids’ riding ability. This is a beautiful area to ride as the routes travel through old-growth forests. And you don’t have to log a lot of miles — some trails are only a few kilometres in length. There are numerous places to stop and rest, interpretive centres to explore — and you won’t find the crowds of Tour de France riders here.
4. Hard core: Lions Gate to Second Narrows/downtown loop
Start either in Vancouver or on the North Shore and ride both bridges, snake your way through downtown and then along the North Shore waterfront. This is a beautiful ride that never gets tiresome. There are a few increases in elevation, but the sheer number of kilometres you cycle makes you feel as though you can take on a Gran Fondo. You’ll log about 25 km — not including a detour through Stanley Park for a selfie.
5. Leisurely: Tynehead Regional Park
A beautiful trail for an easy ride with the kids, or for an afternoon to earn your daily quota for fresh air. Ride through forests and across the Serpentine River on the Perimeter Trail. This is a gentle ride that you can even do when it’s raining lightly. Finish off the ride with a doughnut as your reward.
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