Biking in Vancouver Bernard Glemas
You never forget how to ride a bike. And that's a good thing because you may want to jump on one and tour around during your visit. Bikes are commonplace in this city and Vancouver has numerous cycle paths and bike routes, ranging from easy, flat terrain around Stanley Park to over-night trips around the Gulf Islands. Cycling is perhaps the best way to explore Vancouver and the superb natural beauty. Vancouver's moderate climate makes it possible to cycle almost year round. If you choose to tour around by bike, please be advised that Vancouver has a mandatory helmet law. No visit to Vancouver would be complete without a ride around the Stanley Park seawall. The flat, paved path is 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) in length and circles the entire park. It offers spectacular views of the North Shore mountains and Lions Gate Bridge. Peddle beneath the giant trees in the park. Ride past the rose garden and the Vancouver Rowing Club. There are many places to stop and enjoy the scenery or to picnic on the beachside. Bikes of all sorts—tandem to mountain—can be rented at the entrance to the park. (Bicycles can't be rented inside the park). The seaside bicycle route is a 15-kilometre (9.4 mile) trek that begins at English Bay and continues around False Creek to the University of British Columbia. Some of this route follows city streets that are well marked with cycle-path signs. Lots to see and do along this route. The sights include: The Plaza of Nations, Science World, Granville Island, the Pacific Space Centre, the Kitsilano Pool and the Jericho Sailing Centre as well as the University of British Columbia which is home to Nitobe Japanese Gardens, Botanical Gardens and the lush Pacific Spirit Park. For a change of scenery try the Coast Range rainforest. Meandering mountain biking trails have been cut on the backside of Grouse Mountain, below the Hi-View Lookout at Cypress Bowl and through the woods of Pacific Spirit Park and the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Farther north, there is exceptional mountain biking behind Alice Lake near Squamish and on abandoned logging roads near Whistler. If you prefer a more leisurely outing, cyclists can join hikers, in-line skaters and casual strollers on paved pathways along the seaside in West Vancouver, Kitsilano, Stanley Park, and False Creek. Guided bike trips and tours are also available.