Victoria cycling - enjoy biking tours on the Galloping Goose Trail, the Saanich Peninsula or for mountain biking. Tour around the beautiful scenery of southern Vancouver Island. Then afterwards, relax at your Victoria's Finest bed and breakfast.
The Galloping Goose Trail is a delightful cycling route from Victoria to beyond Sooke. The trail acquired its strange name in 1987, named after gasoline powered train passenger car No. 15813 that ran between Victoria and Sooke twice a day from 1922 for nine years.
The Galloping Goose is 55km / 35 miles long mostly being an easy grade of less than 5%. At the Victoria end it connects to the Lochside Trail and the Interurban Trail for the pastoral scenery of the Saanich Peninsula. It is part of the Trans Canada Trail which will link 11,300 miles of trails from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland! You can tackle it in its entirety or in sections perhaps using BC Transit's bus route #61 which serves parts of the route - helpfully having bike racks on each bus.
Highlights include: the Todd and Charters trestle bridges, views of the Sooke Basin across to the Olympic Mountains, swimming at Sooke Potholes or Matheson Lake, and riding through Metchosin. Wildlife sightings include deer, llamas, goats, horses, harbour seals, salmon, seabirds (including loons) and monarch butterflies.
The Lochside Trail and the Interurban Trail both connect with the Galloping Goose Trail to Sooke.
- The Lochside Trail is 29km (18 miles) connecting Swartz Bay (BC Ferries terminal) at the north of the Saanich Peninsula with the Galloping Goose Trail north of downtown Victoria. It runs on the line of a daily train service established in 1917 and is handily serviced at several points by BC Transit #70 buses with bike racks. A highlight of the Lochside Trail is the Blenkinsop Tresle crossing Blenkinsop Lake.
- The Interurban Bike Trail runs north from the Galloping Goose and goes close to the Butchart Gardens through Saanichton and connects with the Lochside Trail in the north-west of the Peninsula. It too was a railway line - the BC Electric Railway from 1913 to 1924.
If you plan less rigorous and relaxing biking tours you can use the level path around Elk Lake or ride around roads in the farmland of the Saanich Peninsula. Visit wineries, fruit-stands, beaches, lakes and local attractions such as Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens.
Mount Work - Hartland Road Mountain Bike Park is the only designated mountain bike area on Vancouver Island. Its many varied trails are maintained by the South Island Mountain Bike Society, www.simbs.com.
Victoria cycling resources
Trail maps and brochures are available from the Capital Regional District's Parks Department.
The Victoria / Gulf Islands Cycling and Walking Map, published by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition, is available from some of the 25 Victoria biking shops. There's an excellent summary of the Galloping Goose Trail, with maps.
Switch Bridge Tours, www.switchbridgetours.com, 800 Tyee Road, Victoria, BC, V9A 7J2 (1-866-383-1466) - offer cycling tours which include bike and helmet rental.
Cycle BC Rentals, www.cyclebc.ca, 747 Douglas St, Victoria (1-866 380 2453) - rent touring and mountain bikes.
Sports Rent, www.sportsrentbc.com/index.html, 1950 Government St, Victoria (1-250 385-7368) - rent touring and mountain bikes and other sports equipment.