Island Cycles: Spring is on the loose
  1. This months chocolate winner:  Anita Rafidi
  2. Hotels asking for info - here's some tips
  3. Who's coming to town?
  4. Reliable Sources:  Rey Carr
  5. Gulf Island Observations - Get maps
  6. Events:  Mind Over Mountain
  7. VICTA at Seattle Bike Expo
Chocolate Winner:  Something else to salivate over
 
This month's delicious pic is compliments of Anita Rafidi of Iguana Ranch in the Cowichan Valley.  Anita and partner Paul run classes for mountain bikers of all ages. Along the way they've found some of the region's best scenery.  Here's the view from up the trails of Mt. Prevost, a favourite destination for local mountain bikers.  Visit Iguana Ranch at:  http://www.iguanaranch.com/
 
Chocolates, of course, compliments of Rogers at:  http://www.rogerschocolates.com/  Enter by sending your best photo of cycling on Vancouver Island to johnluton@shaw.ca  See more of the Island at our Gallery page at: www.cyclevancouverisland.ca
 
Hotel tips:  Get Ready for a busy cycling season
 
Lots of cyclists making Inquiries about travelling to the Island.  If you are in the hotel business, here's some tips for getting your establishment ready for the rush.  For you visiting cyclists, tell us what else you like to find at your destination.  Victoria's Chateau Victoria (http://www.chateauvictoria.com/) sets the standard for security.  They've got a room in the parking garage dedicated to bike storage - makes your bike safe and weather protected.  Visitors to last year's Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference were pleasantly surprised by hotels in the city asking them if they needed to check in their bikes too!  Some also have air pumps and wrench sets for quick repairs.  It does rain on the Island so laundry facilities or a place to air out the gore-tex are always welcome.  (Tip:  Hotels in Nanaimo catering to scuba divers have got this one covered).
 
Who's That Coming?
 
Always interesting to find out who is planning their vacations around cycling on Vancouver Island.  Latest include inquiries from Austria, Boston, Oregon, Ontario and the usual suspects from the lower mainland, Washington State and Alberta.  Best has to be from the Napa Valley in California (that's wine country), coming to cycle in our wine region.  You can check it out too at:  http://www.islandwineries.ca/
 
Reliable Sources:  Rey Carr
 
Rey didn't win the chocolates this month, but he's got a great site on cycling here on the Island and other places across the planet that he has wheeled to.  Find him at:  http://www.peer.ca/cycling.html  Rey lives and rides in Victoria.
 
Gulf Island Observations:  One of last year's cycling visitors sent some quick notes on cycling through our Gulf Islands:
Hello John:

We would like to thank you for all of your assistance!  We spent all of last week in the Gulf Islands and had a great time!

I would make the following overall observations:

Galliano:  lots to do, many areas, hills much more difficult than book depicts.  The elevation is gained and lost over and over.

Mayne:  Very friendly, outgoing people!  Biking was a little easier than Galliano.  Less options for eating.  Nice "town" atmosphere at Miners Bay.

Saturna:  Beautiful!  Fantastic bike ride down the East side.  East point was our favorite place during the entire trip.  Saturna lodge was fantastic with a very good chef!

Regards:  Brian and Nola

I've got a fresh supply of free maps of the Gulf Islands (including Pender), which are yours for the asking.  Send your requests to:  johnluton@shaw.ca  Check out all of our free and commercial maps to help you plan your Island cycling trip:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca

 

Coming events:

 

The Mind over Mountain Adventure Race series includes kayaking, mountain biking, trail running and navigation.  Island destinations are featured in the program with Duncan and Maple Bay hosting in March, Ucluelet in May, the Sunshine Coast in July and Cumberland in October.  Find out more at: http://www.mindovermountain.com/  Sponsors include VICTA members - Reckless Bike Stores and other Island businesses.

 

Seattle International Bike Expo:  (February 19-20):  Find the Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance at booth 450.  We'll have maps and other promotions.  You can win prizes from:  Chateau Victoria, Cycle BC, Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Swallow Hill Farm B&B, Warm Rapids Inn, Spinnakers Brew Pub, South Bay Pub and Restaurant, Cottage Pirouette B&B and the Butchart Gardens.  Enter the draw by filling out our cycle tourism survey at the booth.  Expo info at:  http://www.cascade.org/EandR/expo/index.cfm

 

 

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