Saturday, July 31, 2010

galloping geese

Fulfilling one of the goals on my Mighty Bike List, today I went for a bike ride with my family while visiting them in Victoria. We rented bikes in the Railyards and rode the Galloping Goose north until it turned until Lochside Trail.

We rode over bridges...

Selkirk Trestle

...through field...

through field

...through forest...

through forest

...and through traffic.

through traffic

Our goal and turnaround point was Mattick's Farm, where our initial intention of a summery snack like ice cream turned into coffee, thanks to fog that had rolled in and chilled the air.

Mattick's Farm

Cons: I wouldn't recommend this rental shop, Selkirk Station. The bikes had no bells, baskets, or even bungee cords for the back rack (which basically rendered them useless unless you brought your own panniers, but who rents bikes if they have their own panniers?). The bikes were all typical hybrids (they didn't have any 'comfort' options, let alone any cruisers) and halfway through the outbound leg we were all feeling uncomfortable in such a hunched-over position.

The trail, although not busy (and not even comparable to the seawall in Vancouver), is not divided into bicycles and pedestrians. This becomes a problem when you hit a congested area, both inbound and outbound lanes are occupied, and you have to slow to walking speed while waiting to pass. Waiting to pass a bicycle is one thing-- waiting to pass a pedestrian (particularly old ones or those with small children) is nearly impossible. I ride every day and it was still hard to ride that slow without losing my balance.

Pros: The Goose/Lochside Trail is beautiful. How else can I describe it? For a trail that cuts across the city from downtown, it runs through an impressive variety of environments: farmland, rural roads, residential neighbourhoods, industrial parks, forest, bog, and across the historic Selkirk Trestle that spans the Inner Harbour. The route was once a rail line, so it's very flat. Road crossings and potentially confusing intersections are well-signed. There may be no "sea" involved, but this ride is justifiably Victoria's most famous recreational cycle route.

the gang's all here

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