Day 1Victoria to Brentwood Bay (27k easy with options for 50k moderate)
We look forward to meeting you at the Trek Bicycle Store on Harbour Road at noon, where those renting bikes will get fitted with their steed of choice for the next few days. Those bringing their own bikes can enjoy a beverage and relax on the patio overlooking the Gorge Waterway while we get the rest of the crew organized. Our support vehicle will collect and tag your bags and transport them to our luxurious accommodations in Brentwood Bay. We'll hop on the Galloping Goose and then the Lochside Regional Trail. This picturesque multi-use trail, formerly a railway line, stretches from Swartz Bay to Victoria, past beaches, farmland, and wetlands, down country lanes and beside suburban backyards. Yes, you may have to dodge a few chickens and put up with the odd tractor. After a fairly easy ride we'll head up and over to the other side of peninsula where we'll get you checked in to our hotel for the night. Those wishing more of a challenge are welcome to continue (self-guided) in and around Lands' End Road looping back to picturesque Brentwood Bay.
Day 2 - 55k (total)
MorningBrentwood Bay to Cowichan Bay (20k easy to moderate) After a leisurely breakfast we'll cycle onto the BC Ferries and head across the spectacular Saanich Inlet. We'll arrive on the south east side of Vancouver Island, where we'll experience a pastoral setting of rolling green fertile hills surrounded by rugged mountains and majestic softwood rainforests. The Cowichan's long, Mediterranean like growing season and mild maritime winters make it the most important agricultural area on Vancouver Island, producing a wide range of cultivated crops including hay, fruits, vegetables and more recently wine grapes. This is British Columbia's newest wine-growing region. We'll enjoy a winetasting at one of the local vineyards. (15k)
Afternoon - (17k moderate)Cowichan Bay to Wine Country (moderate with some hills)
Continuing on we'll descend into beautiful Cowichan Bay. The village is a fascinating blend of shops, restaurants, sail and fishing boats, piers, wharves and floating homes, constantly active and full of independent, creative characters living and working on and near the water. We'll have time to stop for a coffee break and wander along the seaside community. Into every cyclist's life a few hills must be climbed. The next section of the route will see us climb out of Cowichan Bay and head towards the magnificent Cowichan Valley. We'll stop for an early afternoon lunch set amongst one of the first wineries on Vancouver Island. (35k) Weather permitting we'll be able to sit out on the patio enjoying fabulous farm to table cuisine enjoying the vistas over the vineyards. After our sumptuous lunch we'll hop onto a section of the Great Trail, heading for our final destination of the day.
Evening (18k)Cabin in the woods - Lake Cowichan
Tonight we will cozy up for a true west coast experience and settle in to our accomodations for the next two nights. We'll spread ourselves between a charming cottage with gas fire place, 2 separate bedrooms and a chalet with a communal living area and four separate bedrooms. At dinner we will experience a home style meal cooked by our guest chef, using locally foraged meats a vegetables. Grab a knife and be part of the action or sit by the fire with a locally crafted beer or glass of wine.