Island Cycles:  Eternal Spring
  1. Weather Report - Pink Snow
  2. New Trail Opens
  3. Mapping New Routes
  4. Looking for a Ride?
  5. Who Won in Seattle?
  6. Events Round-up
Weather Reports from the Island:
The approach of spring on the calendar signals pink snowfalls in Victoria and other communities on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  Drifts of cherry blossoms can be found along the many streets adorned with the Japanese flowering cherry trees that were donatedto the city in 1937 by the local Japanese community.  Find out why Victoria is the city of Gardens at:  www.butchartgardens.com/  The world famous Butchart Gardens just north of the city is always in bloom.  Ride your bike to the city's Abkhazi Gardens and get $1 off admission.  www.conservancy.bc.ca/abkhazi
 
For complete information on the Island's weather:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca/weather.html
 
New Trail Opens in Saanich:
The new Interurban Rail Trail in suburban Saanich links some of the area's bike laned routes to destinations along the Saanich Peninsula.  Mountain bikers riding to the popular mountain bike parking at Hartland are now able to get most of the way from downtown Victoria on dedicated trails.  The new route will also provide a quieter ride for cyclists head to the Butchart Gardens or Mill Bay Ferry.  For more on the Saanich Centennial trails project visit:  www.gov.saanich.bc.ca/resident/centennial/trails/trails.html  For more on mountain biking check:  www.simbs.com
 
Mapping New Routes:
Requests for route information, cycling maps and other guides are keeping the Cycle Tourism Alliance busy.  Requests from cyclists socked in by prairie winters or drowning in California rains are coming in at a brisk pace.  Free copies of the Vancouver Island Cycle Map and Guide are still available (but supplies are dwindling fast).  Send your request to:  johnluton@shaw.ca  For a more comprehensive list of commercial maps visit:  www.cyclevancouverisland.ca/maps.html
 
Looking for a Ride Partner?
Dave Schwartz is a cyclist in Kenora, Ontario.  Winter will probably be still hanging on when he flies to the coast on April 10th, so he's planning a ride long enough for the snow to melt before he heads home again.  If you want to hook up with him for a tour of Vancouver Island's east coast, a handful of Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast on the mainland, send him a note.  And prepare for a ride with a fit 60 year old.  Find him at:  dpschwartz@norcomcable.ca
 
Seattle Bike Expo Winners:
The Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance hosted a booth at the Seattle Bike Expo in February.  More than 10,000 attended and hundreds paid a visit to our booth.  A prize draw was held for folks filling out our cycle tourism survey.  Winners include:  C. Vanderlinden of Sammamish (WA), Dave Bratzel of Richland (WA), Nathan Schimke of Seattle, Thomas Howard of Burnaby (BC), Allan Seeger of Seattle, Cindy Bearn of Port Orchard (WA), Dale Franklin of Bothell (WA), Vicki Martinez of Seattle, and Jerry Morin of Seattle. 
 
Many thanks to our sponsors who helped support the booth and rounded up prizes for booth visitors.  Sponsors included:  Oak Bay Beach Hotel (www.oakbaybeachhotel.com/); South Bay Pub and Restaurant (www.emenus.ca/southbay); Spinnakers Brewpub and Guesthouse (www.spinnakers.com/); the Strathcona Hotel (http://strathconahotel.com/); the Chateau Victoria Hotel (www.chateauvictoria.com/); Warm Rapids Inn in Lake Cowichan, (www.warmrapidsinn.com/wri_index.php); Cottage Pirouette Bed and Breakfast (www.cottagepirouette.com/); A B&B at Swallow Hill Farm (www.swallowhillfarm.com/); Cycle BC Rentals (www.cyclebc.ca); the Butchart Gardens (www.butchartgardens.com/) and the Iguana Ranch (www.iguanaranch.com/).
 
Events Round-Up:
Cycling calendars are filling up with races, rides and other events on Vancouver Island.  The Island hosts the BC Senior's Games (Cowichan Valley - August 24-27 and the BC Disability Games (Nanaimo - July 13 - 17).  No schedules are up but past games have featured bike racing.  Keep an eye on:  www.bcgames.org/index.html
 
For those that can't get enough, there's the 3rd Annual Sooke Spring Sprint Triathlon on Sunday May 15th.  It will be a fast 20 km squeezed in between a swim and run course.  Find out more about Triathlons at:  www.tribc.org/main.htm
 
For more sedate rides, check out the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition's Fairfield Artist Tour spring ride (April 23) at:  www.gvcc.bc.ca/ or join hundreds of other riders (and raise funds for heart health) at the "Bike for Your Life" ride in Parksville, Saturday August 6, 2005.  You can choose routes from 15 - 120 km.  More at:  www.island.net/~bikelife/
 

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

 

Win Chocolate:  Send in your photos of cycling on Vancouver Island and win a box of Roger's Chocolates (190 calories or about 8 km of riding per Victoria Cream)  www.rogerschocolates.com/

 

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