Vancouver Island?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Vancouver Island?

    I'm taking my daughter to check out the University of Victoria around the last week of March, and am debating bringing a road or MTB along with me. We'll take the ferry from Port Angeles, and if there's biking right at Victoria, we may not even bring our car across. I have no idea if there's any trail riding there, or if it's likely to be dry enough this time of year. Renting bike(s) for a day or two is another possibility. Also looking for reasonable accomodations, probably Wed-Fri nights (3/24-26), and any other must-see or do ideas. Any tips appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    There are some great trails in the area...but all take a bit of a drive to get too. No place in town rents decent mountain bikes...lots of commuter bikes for rent though. So if you want to ride I would bring your car. You can ride at heartland, or go out to Sooke and hit up HV or Broom Hill. I was riding in shorts and Tshirt on Monday...it's been a good winter for riding.

    What type of riding do you do?

    Lots of touristy stuff to do, I would personally stay away from most of it...and just hang out downtown...enjoy the city..go for a few rides...its a GREAT city in the spring.

  3. #3
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    If you've got the opportunity to leave the car at home, leave the car at home. If you are in town for only a couple of days, bring the road bike. The water front loop out of town is great! The galloping goose is a partly paved rail grade that runs 55km into Sooke, no problem on a road bike at all, it's unpaved sections are so well paked in you could skateboard it. Saturday morning there is a great road ride running from Oak Bay Bikes... 250-598-4111).varying abilities and a great route. Victoria is a great city on a bike. The riding at the dump is fantastic....BUT...it's too far out of town to take in on a whim. There is fantastic riding off the Goose, but (ahem) technically it's illegal and it's a poach. But it's really good..so worth the illegalness.I'd give the guys at Oak Bay a call about rentals, ask for the short guy, his name is Scott.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudpuppy
    There are some great trails in the area...but all take a bit of a drive to get too. No place in town rents decent mountain bikes...lots of commuter bikes for rent though. So if you want to ride I would bring your car. You can ride at heartland, or go out to Sooke and hit up HV or Broom Hill. I was riding in shorts and Tshirt on Monday...it's been a good winter for riding.

    What type of riding do you do?

    Lots of touristy stuff to do, I would personally stay away from most of it...and just hang out downtown...enjoy the city..go for a few rides...its a GREAT city in the spring.
    I live in N. OR and ride a 29er AM/Trail bike, most of my local rides are 1.5-2 hour loops with 2,000 ft or so of climbing, and mix of fast and rocky, technical descents. Anything with a good workout and some fun is great.

    I'm not sure if I'm really going to be able to get away to drive and then ride for a few hours on this trip, but I should be able to get a couple of shorter rides in and get some good beta for future trips.
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  5. #5
    slaving away in paradise
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    I'd disagree that the dump is that far out of town. When I lived in town it only took me 20 minutes
    to get the the hill, maybe a bit more if I went during rush hour. I would rather ride on the mountain
    myself than ride in a city with a lot of bad drivers...but that's just me?

    I'd say bring whatever you have the most fun doing and do it, Hartland is not far away at all IMO.

  6. #6
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    I started riding in Oregon...around the Eugene/Springfield area with the DoD...and coming to BC was a HUGE step in riding for me...but this was back in the early ninety's so I was coming up on a fully rigid...lol.

    The drivers here are horrible, I hate riding on the road...but thats just a general overal feeling...trails are way more fun IMO. If you are staying up by UVIC the dump is really not that far away 15-20 minutes. It can be a bit confusing the first time you are in there...lots of trails, like a labyrinth...but a SIMBS map from a bike shop...or go to the local website (www.vimb.com) and check in with us to see if anyone can show you around....make the most of your time.

    The island lacks great XC trails, big loops or out and backs...we are more techy, slow riding...I love it but I REALLLLY miss the fast smooth XC of Oregon. Went and rode the Kootenays last summer and it has a ton of that type of riding, but on the coast the its steep, rooty, wet and techy...

    Lots of 29ers up here lately....Oak Bay Bikes seems to be leading the 29er movement...so hit them up for info as they would be able to tell ya the goods...pretty good shop too.

  7. #7
    ups and downs
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    That is something to keep in mind, there a lot of elderly drivers in Victoria that may or may not be past the age where they should be operating a motor vehicle.

    Oh and watch out for the gangs of wild feral rabbits around the UVic campus.
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  8. #8
    ffwd
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    Get in touch with these guys for rentals if needed. They usually have some all mountain/trail bikes for rent. Talk to Al for details or even a guided run of Hartland MTB park. Great riding year round.

    www.cyclebc.ca

  9. #9
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    Oh yeah...forgot about Al...he is a great guy too..

  10. #10
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    You should definitely bring your mountain bike. Roads are the same everywhere, but the trail riding here is always great. Usually the end of March is the the best riding of the year. The rocks dry up, the soil is still damp and tacky and the temperatures are perfect. We have unique glaciated rock features with awesome, although technical, riding.

    BTW, UVic is a great school.

  11. #11
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    I disagree -- if it is your first time to Victoria, bring your road bikes!

    You can ride from the Uni down the hill (towards the water) and ride through Uplands and Oak Bay all along the ocean all the way to downtown for a bite to eat. This is an incredible ride and should not be missed.

    Trails are everywhere, but the scenery on this road ride is not.

  12. #12
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    I agree that beach drive is a great scenic ride and a must-do, but it is only 18km from UVic to Downtown, easily enjoyable on mountain bike. The view from the top of Mt. Quimper, or Broom Hill is way better, and the ride down is amazing. You can do it all if you bring a mountain bike, but you only get to do one if you bring a road bike.

  13. #13
    @adelorenzo
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    My two cents, having lived there a couple of times: Road bike all the way. There is really nice road riding there. Close to town there are nice farm roads and coastal rides on the Saanich peninsula. Exploring around town is fun too.

    Traffic can be bad to ride in some places but there are lots of great places to road ride or just cruise around, like the Galloping Goose. If you are there to see the town, what better way than to see it by bike.

    Port Angeles ferry drops you off right downtown so why bring the car? Victoria has some nice cycling routes and decent public transit.

  14. #14
    slaving away in paradise
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthony.delorenzo
    My two cents, having lived there a couple of times: Road bike all the way. There is really nice road riding there. Close to town there are nice farm roads and coastal rides on the Saanich peninsula. Exploring around town is fun too.

    Traffic can be bad to ride in some places but there are lots of great places to road ride or just cruise around, like the Galloping Goose. If you are there to see the town, what better way than to see it by bike.

    Port Angeles ferry drops you off right downtown so why bring the car? Victoria has some nice cycling routes and decent public transit.

    As someone else said...if you bring a mtb you can do all you just said...AND...ride the mountains.

    I think it all depends on what you like to do more. When I lived d/t Victoria my wife and I used
    to do the Dallas rd to Oak bay on my mtb no issues. I couldn't see riding the dump or HV
    on a road bike. Hell, with all the gravel on some parts of the Galloping goose, a skinny tire would scare me. I have only ridden th goose out here in Sooke so maybe it's better
    near town.

  15. #15
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    The closest trails are a 20 minute drive from downtown (Hartland). The best stuff is in Sooke, about a 45 minute drive from town.

    Here is a taste of Sooke.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL0PDz20hJE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0yXusi9HjI
    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/24447163

    The local MTB association has directions

    http://www.simbs.com/html/Where2Ride/wer2ride.htm

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