Island Cycles - Riding into a New Year
 
1. Winter Riding on the Island
2. New Map Discoveries
3. What the Mountain Bikers are Doing
4. Who's That Coming
5. Ferry News
6. Destinations
7. Win Chocolate
 
Winter Riding on Vancouver Island:
Snow has been seen, from a distance, dusting the hills of Saltspring Island and the high country from the Malahat to Mount Washington.  At sea level the bike lanes are still clean and the locals ride on.
 
New Map Find:
The "Guide to Forest Land of Southern Vancouver Island" is published by the Lake Cowichan Combined Fire Organization and "paid for by timber dollars".  The map shows every logging road from Qualicum Beach to Sooke and includes campsites, picnic sites and freshwater fishing spots.  Not for skinny tires, it's a great resource for losing yourself in the rainforest (or getting back out again).  Don't quite know how to get more of them, but if you want one, I'll find out how.  Find more maps at:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca  Don't forget to order your free map and guide for Vancouver Island.  Email to johnluton@shaw.ca
 
What the Mountain Bikers are Doing:
Work is pushing ahead on a dirt jump park in North Saanich, near the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal linking the Island to the BC mainland.  It's going to be a great destination for kids, young and old.  Find alll the dirt at:  www.simbs.com
 
Who's That Coming:
Riders planning an Island tour are getting their map requests in, asking for tour planning tips and making bookings.  So far you can expect visitors from England, Germany, California, Arizona, New Mexico and, of course, somewhere else in BC.  And the new year's just begun!!
 
Ferries at work:
Work continues on plans to equip BC Ferries with new bike racks.  Design competition winners were announced last September at the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference that brought more than 600 delegates to Victoria.  BC Ferries is thinking proto-types.  Thanks to Norco Performance Bikes (www.norco.com/)  and www.bceh.com for co-sponsoring the competition.  Ferries is also planning terminal upgrades at Tsawwassen on the mainland and Swartz Bay north of Victoria.  Planners have been asking for advice on keeping them bike friendly.  More on ferries at:  www.bcferries.com
 
Member Update:
Did you know that Cycle Tourism Alliance members at the Strathcona Hotel will deliver beer, wine and spirits to your room by bicycle!  If you are visiting Victoria and need to quench some thirst, give them a call. Info at:  http://strathconahotel.com/  You can also get quenched with Lighthouse Breweries new product line.  No longer just a draft producer, Lighthouse fine beers are now available in cans, wherever the best is sold.  And if you stay at the Chateau Victoria, your bike gets its own room!  Well, almost.  A secure storage room for bicycle parking was outfitted last summer and will be at your service for  years to come.  Check them out at:  www.chateauvictoria.com/
 
Destinations:
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel continues to run dinner theatre featuring "Forever Plaid" through March.  Bike parking is always available out front.  Find out more at:  www.oakbaybeachhotel.com/  Guests at Parksville's Park Sands Beach Resort get free access to "the Fitness Connection", the city's premier fitness club (if you want to stay warm while you are training for the spring cycling season).  No sweat info at:  www.parksands.com/  The Butchart Gardens is open all year and the flowers still grow in winter.  Always a favourite cycling destination.  Smell the flowers at:  www.butchartgardens.com/
 

Win Chocolate:

Victoria’s Roger’s Chocolates is fronting the best.  Send in your pics of cycling on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands.  You’ll see your photo in Island Cycles and we’ll award a pound of Roger’s Victoria Creams to the best.   Winners so far:  Dave Hobson and George Allen.  You can almost taste them at:  www.rogerschocolates.com/

 

Send your photos to: johnluton@shaw.ca

 

Got an event or tourism tip? Favourite Ride? Share it with VICTA: johnluton@shaw.ca

 

Island Cycles is published by:

John Luton, 22 Philippa Place; Victoria, BC; V8S 1S6; 250-592-4753/250-886-4166 (cell) johnluton@shaw.ca

Coordinator, Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance.  Visit us at:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca