Kicks Up the Dirt
News from the Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism Alliance
- Mountain Biking
- Road and Track
- Riding Tips
- John's Blog
- Where to Eat
Come out to save mountain biking: The South Island Mountain Bike
Society is a leader in protecting the interests of off-road riders
across Vancouver Island. Insurance issues will be the focus of their
special meeting on Wednesday, August 10th at the Archie Browning Sports
Centre in Esquimalt, in the Victoria area. With 80,000 visits recorded
annually at the region's Hartland Mountain Bike Park, off-road cycling
is a major activity for area riders and many visitors. Building trails
and protecting access to the park has been a major focus of SIMBS and
they'll be sharing concerns and strategies at this important meeting.
For details visit: www.simbs.com
August 14: All work and no-fun makes for a
sad organization. SIMBS is also planning a "Poker Run" mountain bike
event at the park Sunday, August 14th. It's a ride for all ages and
skill levels. Find out more at:
Mt Washington Events:
Summer at Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a full menu of mountain bike
race clinics, women's rides and kids classes at the Island's premier
destination facility. Gondola mountain biking and 35 kilometres of
off-road trails are drawing riders from all over. Big days will be
August 26th - 28th when the SISU BC Cup Finals hit the mountain for
X-Country and Downhill events. Last year's racing saw more than 300
riders hit the slopes for a mudfest. Get all the dirt at:
Find Mount Washington at:
Showing their age? Not likely. The BC Seniors Games are coming to the
Cowichan Valley August 25th - 28th with the BC Masters Cycling
Association organizing the road race events at Shawnigan Lake. My old
friend Bert, on the occasion of his 82nd birthday a few years back said
the race was all over if it came to a sprint finish. No one could beat
him to the line! Find out more about the fast guys at:
American Velodrome Challenge and BC Track Championships are on the
schedule at the Juan de Fuca Velodrome in suburban Colwood August
19-21st. A legacy of the 1994 Commonwealth Games, this bike racing
track brings out the best all summer long. If you haven't seen track
racing, here's a chance to catch the excitement. Follow the wheels at:
Bikes in the news: 19
million bikes were sold in the United States last year. They have to
ride them somwhere! The majority of sales, according to a U.S.
wireservice (Reuters) story, are for leisure riding. The report
appeared in the Victoria News Daily August 3rd and said that high gas
prices and concern about personal health are driving near record sales.
Must be some coming here: Tourism Victoria's
last exit survey says more than 6% of air travellers coming to the are
are spending time on a bike. It matches figures reported last year and
suggests people bike here more than they do at home. Only in Victoria
is cycling's share of traffic that high.
Thanks to Rick Boyd of Edmonton who sent in his trip logs - 920 km of
riding criss-crossing Vancouver Island. He explored many of the routes
illustrated on our map and guide and sent in grade tables and road
condition reports on the "Climber's Tour" to the west island. His table
covers the hub city of Nanaimo over "the Hump" to Port Alberni, halfway
across the Island, and another section on the rolling ride to Tofino on
the open Pacific. Rick and his partner Debbie had a "hard but
fulfilling" tour with some delectable sidetrips to the Cowichan Valley,
Salt Spring Island and says the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails in
the Victoria area were highlights.
For a copy of Rick's route description of the ride profiles from Nanaimo
to Tofino, send an email to
We'll get them on our web site soon too. Got
pictures of that ride? Send your best to
and win a box
of Roger's Chocolates.
Bike tourism survey:
A special box of Rogers went
to Victoria's Laurie O'Dowd who compiled information on our bike tourism
survey, conducted at the Seattle International Bike Expo. 143 visitors
to our booth answered questions about what kind of bikes they ride,
where they like to ride them, where they stay when they travel and what
they think about Vancouver Island. If you are in the tourism business,
you'll want to know what our market says. Email
for a copy of
the PDF report. It too is destined for the website.
The Road Less
John's Blog: My Malahat friends. He's from Terrace, she's from Sidney.
Been biking and camping for 8 days. Sure liked the hot bath in the B&B
they splurged for the night before. Just happened to run into them at
the Malahat Summit (352 metres above Saanich Inlet on the Trans Canada
Highway). Make a note to talk to Highways about construction projects -
could use a primer on bollard spacing and I sure hope you are planning
to finish paving those shoulders.
Mill Bay Ferry - Vancouver Island's most beautiful shortcut.
It was running behind schedule so it allowed me a sprint to Mill Bay to
make a delivery and grab a cookie for the ride home. Last time out a
sea lion was lounging on the dock. Guess he couldn't make the fare for
the boat ride.
Maps: Salt Spring
Island Heritage Map
BC's Gulf Islands, sprinkled through Georgia Strait that separates
Vancouver Island from the mainland, are a quieter and welcoming place to
ride. Salt Spring is the biggest of the Islands, and Saturday's farm
and craft market in the village of Ganges is a big draw. But there's
lots more to see on the Island - bike routes to explore, galleries to
visit, wineries open for tastings, mountain hikes and beach walks.
Island Pathways has mapped the highlights. They are also lobbying for
more bike lanes and better shoulders.
The Salt Spring map is available from VICTA. Find a price list for our
commercial maps at:
We've got freebies
too, including our "Cycle Vancouver Island - It's Worth the Ride" Map
and Guide. Order yours from:
Most of the 60,000 copies are gone but a few
hundred remain. If you aren't on the map, why not? Get in the next
edition. Email for details.
Where to Eat: Victoria's Executive
All that riding makes me hungry. But where to go? Try Victoria's
Executive House Hotel. With 4 restaurants there are great menus to
choose from if you need to replenish your calorie deficit or load up for
your next turn of the pedals. Check them all out at:
Got a tip, story or feature photo? Send yours to
photo is by Claire Townsend of Victoria. Claire wins a box of Roger's.
Husband Andrew, featured in the photo, will expect to claim some
modelling fees (Truffles? Victoria Creams?)
is published by:
John Luton, 22 Philippa Place; Victoria, BC; V8S
1S6; 250-592-4753/250-886-4166 (cell)
Coordinator, Vancouver Island Cycle Tourism
Alliance. Visit us at: