Celebration of Rural Cycling and a Bike Ferry to Salt Spring Island

In late June I will be biking (and ferrying) up to Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada for  Velo Village–a rural mobility conference. The actual conference is on Friday June 22nd and the rest of the weekend is going to be a celebration of rural cycling. I’ll be giving a presentation on Friday about the bike touring systems I researched and used while travelling across Europe this summer and fall, including EuroVelo (all of the EU), Sustrans (UK), SchweizMobil (CH), Knooppuntroutes (NL), and other bicycle highway systems. The focus of my presentation will be on how these bike touring systems can increase tourism in rural areas.  You can sign up for the conference here.

The rest of the weekend will literally be a celebration of rural cycling and Salt Spring is apparently going to be transformed to a “bicycle heaven on earth.”  Velo Village will be like a Fringe Festival – everyone will be asked to register for a low cost ($10.00) and they’ll get a button that will give them access to all of the events, workshops, performances…etc. They are expecting about 1,000 cyclists to come to the island for the weekend. Velo Village organizer, John Rowlandson, just e-mailed me with some exciting news:

After 5 months of talking we inked the deal with BC Ferries yesterday for a special bicycle only sailing to Salt Spring on Sat June 23rd! First time in BC coastal history! The 100 meter ferry holds 400+ cyclists/bikes! http://saltspringexchange.com/list/the-bike-ferry/

So, if you come up on Saturday the 10:00 AM crossing from Swartz Bay is going to be a bike-only party followed by a 400-person group ride to Ganges.

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2 thoughts on “Celebration of Rural Cycling and a Bike Ferry to Salt Spring Island

  1. There’s a lot of great biking on Salt Spring Island. If you get the chance, the ride up Mt. Maxwell (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/mt_maxwell/) is beautiful if a bit challenging, and the view from the top is exceptional. Parts of the road are a little uneven, and short portions of the ride up are steep enough that you might have to walk, but you’re surrounded by lush forest, which makes even the walking parts pleasant. I was there the weekend of the Salt Spring Fall Festival, and still there was almost no traffic.

    If you’re leaving from Swartz Bay, does that also mean you’re taking the Lochside Regional Trail from Victoria to Swartz Bay? (http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/documents/lochside_trail_guide.pdf) Catching a 10 am ferry will make that difficult, but I’d encourage you to check it out if at all possible. Large portions are off road, and much of the rest is through quiet residential streets. A stretch of a couple of miles at the northern end is less fun because the trail runs along a highway, but that’s a small portion of an otherwise-delightful ride. Have a good map with you; the last mile or so to the ferry terminal was ill signed when I took it.

    • Thanks Scott! These are really helpful–yes, we are planning to bike from Victoria to Swartz Bay. We just bought our Victoria Clipper tickets yesterday but hadn’t looked into what bikes routes were available. The Lochside trail sounds amazing. Can’t wait for June…

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