There’s nothing better than feeling the breeze on your face as you ride through the streets or trails, enjoying everything nature has to offer in our beautiful area of the world. September 28 – October 4 marks this year’s Bike to Work Week and we’re excited to be a partner. It might not actually be ‘work’ you’re biking to this year, but it’s still a great opportunity to get outside and ride!
We’ve compiled some of our favourite Vancouver-area bike rides to help you enjoy the environment on two wheels. Whether you are an experienced road cyclist or someone who likes a more relaxed, scenic ride, below are some great riding options.
1. Seymour Valley Trailway (Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve), North Vancouver
(Suggested start and end: Seymour Valley Trailhead, Lillooet Road)
This trail is wide and paved and travels through the picturesque Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. The trail is open to cyclists, walkers, joggers and in-line skaters, so you will be sharing the trail with other active BCers. There are some rolling hills, but overall the ride is beautiful and not too strenuous. Once you come to the end of the trail you’ll meet up with the Seymour Watershed Service Road, turn left for another 2km to reach the Seymour Reservoir – a nice halfway-point view, before following the same route back.
Approximate distance: 22 km
Make it longer: You can drive right to the start of the trailhead, at the end of Lillooet Road, but you can also ride it, proving a good climb before you even reach the trailhead!
Photo: Seymour Conservation Reserve trail, photo: Let’s Go Biking
2. Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver
(Suggested start and end: Park Royal)
This is a great scenic ride that will also give your legs a burn. Starting behind Park Royal in West Vancouver head along the bike path, through Ambleside Park towards John Lawson Park. Here, you’ll need to cut up to Bellevue Avenue and follow it to 25th Street, before heading up to Marine Drive, where you’ll ride for the remainder of the route. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to test your hill-climbing skills, head right down into Horseshoe Bay village at the end of Marine Drive, catch a quick view of the water, ferries, and quaint stores, before climbing back up to Marine Drive for the return journey. If your legs are already nagging you there is a roundabout that can serve as a turn-around point, just past Gleneagles School. This ride has views, some good short climbs and downhills, and some nice houses to check out along the way. It’s not for the faint of heart though, as there is no dedicated bike lane, so be prepared to share the road with cars for the majority of the ride.
Approximate distance: 30 km
Photo: View southeast from Marine Drive, photo: Recycle BC
3. Vancouver’s Seawall, Vancouver
(Suggested start and end: Coal Harbour)
The Vancouver seawall lines Vancouver’s waterfront from the Convention Centre on Burrard Inlet (Coal Harbour), around Stanley Park and False Creek, past Granville Island, ending at Kitsilano Beach Park. It’s a 22 km waterfront ride, one-way. Along the way, English Bay, Science World, and Granville Island offer opportunities for well-deserved pit-stops. There are various options to return to the start using a shorter route – like riding north over Burrard Street Bridge or Cambie Bridge – instead of returning back around Science World. It’s important to note that the Stanley Park seawall will be reopened to bikes as of September 26, 2020, and both lanes on the road through Stanley Park will be dedicated to vehicles.
Approximate distance: 30-45 km round trip, depending on return route
Seawall Map, Image: City of Vancouver, Vancouver.ca (link: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx)
4. UBC, Vancouver
(Suggested start and end: Kitsilano)
If water views are your thing, another great ride is along the Point Grey waterfront to UBC and around Marine Drive. Kitsilano is a great place to start. Head west along Point Grey Road, up to 4th Ave, just past Alma, and then down to NW Marine Drive, along the water before encountering a leg-burning hill that elevates you up to the UBC campus. Continue heading west and NW Marine Drive eventually becomes SW Marine Drive. Depending on how long you want your ride to be you can turn left up Camosun just before 41st Ave, then east along the 39th Ave bike route to the Cypress bike route (which actually starts on Angus) and head north. For a slightly longer ride, stay on SW Marine Drive to the Arbutus Greenway, just before East Blvd, and head north. You’ll get it all, fast flats, a couple climbs, ocean views and luxury real estate.
Approximate distance: 25km
View south from SW Marine Drive, near 16th Ave, photo: Recycle BC
5. Hit the Trails
Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Park, the North Shore mountains and Burnaby Mountain each have a network of trails you can enjoy. Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Park offer great recreational trails, while the North Shore and Burnaby Mountain offer something a little more adventurous for the more experienced. Find a ride that gets your heart pumping in the way you choose!
Lynn Valley area, North Vancouver, photo: Recycle BC
For distance, combine any of the above rides, or find your own, unique riding experience. Vancouver has an excellent urban bike route network. However you choose to enjoy it, don a helmet, get on your bike, and hit the road!