A taste of winter in Vancouver and the promise of returning gloomier days have been enough to make me develop FOMO on sunny days the past few months. One of the best ways I’ve found to enjoy the sun to the fullest is to go on longer bike rides in and around Vancouver with my new old vintage road bike.
600+ km later (according to Strava), here are the best bike rides that make great half-day or day trips around Vancouver!
Stanley Park Loop
Let’s start with the obvious one: Stanley Park. Riding around the Stanley Park Seawall has quickly become one of my favorite rides in Vancouver—being the closest nature escape in the city. Pack a picnic, stop at the totem poles, go to Beaver Lake, and explore some of its trails to make it a half-day trip!
If you fancy a change of scenery but still don’t want to wander too far, bike along the seaside route to Spanish Banks. The bike path follows the shoreline and will take you past Kits Beach, Jericho, and Locarno to finally end at Spanish Banks, where you can relax for a while. Ride along the False Creek seawall instead of crossing the Burrard bridge if you’re coming from downtown for breathtaking views of the city center.
If you like planes as much as I do, you’ll love Iona beach. Located near YVR airport, you can watch the planes take off and land one after the other. The bike ride there is a little sketchy, especially when it comes to crossing Grant McConachie Way but there is a bike path—just make sure you find it and stay on it as drivers go fast. Once there, walk or bike along the 4 km Iona Jetty and enjoy the view over mount Baker!
Bordering the Burrard Inlet, Port Moody is the smallest of the Tri-Cities and home to great local breweries such as Yellow Dog Brewing and Moody Ales. The shoreline trail, mountain views, and craft beer make for a perfect weekend day trip! If you want to ride a bit more after lunch before heading home, stop by Sasamat Lake in Belcarra Regional Park.
Heading North, biking to the seaside village of Deep Cove is the perfect half-day adventure. While the route to North Vancouver isn’t the prettiest, you will quickly be rewarded by postcard-like landscapes upon arrival. Treat yourself to a donut from Honey Doughnuts & Goodies and enjoy the view from Panorama Park.
Probably one of my favorite bike trips so far. Steveston is a fishing village with well-preserved historic sites that give you a glimpse into Pacific Canada’s history. Have lunch in Fisherman’s Wharf, follow the West Dyke Trail, and get lost in Storybrooke… That’s right, ABC’s Once Upon a Time was filmed there!
Biking to Whytecliff Park from downtown Vancouver is the most challenging bike ride on this list because of the elevation gain. Ironically, it is also one of the first bike rides I did with my bike. This one is for more seasoned bikers and I would only recommend it if you have a newer road bike, but if you’re up for a challenge, it is doable with a vintage road bike as well. The landscape is definitely worth the effort!
Last but not least, the latest bike ride adventure I did, Lighthouse Park. Also located in West Vancouver, you will bike past it if you go to Whytecliff Park. Brave the hills to get there and you will be rewarded with a network of trails bordering the shores of the Burrard Inlet. I recommend hiking at least to Juniper Point—from where you’ll have a beautiful view over the Grebe islets—, to Lighthouse viewpoint, and to Arbutus Knoll for a spectacular view of Vancouver’s skyline.
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