Oct 2011 5

Biking in Vancouver is a Piece of Cake!

Posted by Jay Banks
Autumn Cycle by Mo Riza Autumn Cycle by Mo Riza

Biking in Vancouver is an excellent year-round activity with an award-winning network of more than 400km/249mi of bike routes and a grid of designated bike corridors covering the whole city. Cycling is perfectly suited to both individuals and families and is one of the best ways to explore Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area.

Why is biking good for me?

  • NO carbon footprint from bicycles — contributes to healthier environment
  • Cycling increases mobility for those who don’t have access to motor transport, don’t have resources to buy motor transport, or don’t qualify for driving
  • Cycling can be faster than walking, public transit, or motor vehicles — especially when commuting to work in the morning
  • Cycling is the most energy efficient form of transportation
  • Cycling can easily be your daily portion of exercise
  • Save travel money by biking; if you switch from a car, your savings will include the purchase price, gas, tires, fluids, insurance, maintenance, washing, parking, and so forth
  • Cycling reduces stress
  • The exercise increases your productivity at work

If all these benefits weren’t enough for you, check this page to see how many more there are!

Where to go biking in Vancouver

First things first: you will need a bike. You can either rent one or buy one, but if you plan to take on biking as a long-term activity, it’s probably wiser to buy one straight away. For easier search, here is a map of rental shops in Vancouver and also a list and map of regular shops in the city.

Seaside Bicycle Route

Cycling Shorts by lululemon athletica Cycling Shorts by lululemon athletica

Arguably the world’s most beautiful urban bike path, the 20-km/12-mi Seaside Bicycle Route is a great way to experience the beauty of Vancouver.

Pedal past parks, marinas, and by some of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions, such as Science World and Granville Island. This route is an extension of the Stanley Park Seawall, so it’s possible to lengthen a ride by beginning with the seawall section or connect to a forested trail system in the Pacific Spirit Park from Spanish Bank at the end of the route.

Stanley Park Seawall

Just minutes from downtown, the Stanley Park Seawall separates Stanley Park from the ocean. Cycle counter-clockwise along a paved path past the famous Brockton Point totem poles, under the Lions Gate Bridge, along two of the city’s most popular beaches and finish at English Bay. Approximately 9km/6mi in length, the seawall path boasts spectacular mountain, ocean, forest, and city views.

Richmond

Cyclists looking for uninterrupted flat sections often bike to Richmond. There are numerous scenic rides around the area. One of the most popular is the West Dyke/South Dyke route. This 28-km/17-mi loop begins in Steveston and features great views of the Coast Mountains, Gulf Islands, and Sturgeon Banks marshes.

The Iona Jetty

For a completely different bike ride, head to Iona Beach Regional Park. This flat 4-km/2.5-mi jetty is surrounded by ocean and leads cyclists into the Strait of Georgia. Watch planes take off and land at nearby Vancouver International Airport.

For more information about these bike lanes, check the official Vancouver BC tourism site.

If you’d like more information, check this page about the outside of Vancouver biking possibilities.

New Separated Bike Lanes in Vancouver

Hornby Street by Paul Krueger Hornby Street by Paul Krueger

Separated bike lanes are routes where cyclists are physically separated from traffic by a barrier. The lanes can guarantee you more protection and make cyclists feel much safer. This is particularly beneficial for less experienced riders, and it encourages more people to get out of their cars and onto bikes!

If you want to find out more about these bike lines, visit the City of Vancouver’s site to see the map, view the poll from 2010 showing the interest of Vancouverites in separated bike lanes.

If you want to find more details and share your experience with other bikers, here are some forums where you can do so:

Vancouver Bicycle Club
Velolove
Bikeforums

2 Responses to “Biking in Vancouver is a Piece of Cake!”

  1. Can anyone explain how the seaside bike route is – if it is a good idea to start at one end and return to starting point. Distance and time, etc.

    Thanks so much.

  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for the comment! The Seaside route is beautiful, indeed. The route can take up to 4 hours one way, but it all depends on your speed and stamina. Give it a try, and let me know how long it took.

    Regards,

    Jay

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