Greater Victoria occupies the southern tip of Vancouver Island, and the Saanich Peninsula. Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saanich are east and north of Victoria Harbour and the Gorge. Central Saanich, Sidney and North Saanich are on the Saanich Peninsula. Esquimault (and Victoria West) are west of Victoria Harbour. Esquimalt is bounded on the north and east by the Gorge and Victoria Harbour, and the west by Esquimalt Harbour. There are bridges across the Gorge at Tillicum and Admiral’s Road, permitting an exit to the north east into Saanich. The Island Highway runs northwest in View Royal and Langford, and then turns and heads southwest to Colwood. View Royal, Langford, Mechosin, and Colwood are south and west of Victoria and Esquimault. Sooke is further west and south.
I have traced my routes, tersely, in data tables on this site. I often abbreviate and refer to landmarks and waypoints
The Johnson Street Bridge (the iconic Blue Bridge, replaced by a new bridge in 2018) is at the north end of the Inner Harbour. It is at the west end of Pandora Street and Johnson Street in Victoria, along Wharf. It’s a working draw bridge raised for maritime traffic between the Inner Harbour and the Upper Harbour. It crosses the harbour from Victoria in the east to the Esquimalt peninsula at a narrow point, and connects to Esquimalt Road on the west side of the harbour. The new (2018) bridge has wide cycling lanes marked outside the vehicle lanes, a pedestian span south of the vehicular span, and a multipurpose span for pedestrians and cyclists north of the vehicular span. The multipurpose span has an overpass at the west (Equimalt Road) end that crosses over the vehicular lanes and connects the multipurpose span and the Galloping Goose trail to the end of the E&N Regional trail which is just south and west of the Bridge. With the completion of the bridge replacement, it is possible to:
- cross the Bridge in a bike lane and proceed in the bike lane along Esquimault Road;
- cross the Bridge on the multipurpose span, cross Equimalt Road on the overpass, and follow Kimta Road to Catherine Street and get onto Esquimault Road to reach the north end of the developed part of the E&N trail across Vic West and Esquimalt;
- following Harbour to the end of the paved Galloping Goose trail.
After crossing the Bridge, cyclists can proceed through Victoria West and Esquimalt. There are two main cycling choices after the Bridge. One involves the Esquimault part of the E&N trail or other routes through Vic West and Esquimault to the West Shore area. The other is the Galloping Goose to the Swingbridge, where a ridge can take either the Galloping Goose Regional Trail or the Lochside Regional Trail. The Goose goes west out to the West Shore area. The Lochside Trail leads north, ultimately to the BC Ferry terminal at Swartz Bay and other places at the north end of the Saanich Peninsula..
These are marked routes for cycling, suitable for touring and road bikes. All are closed to motor vehicles except for sections, but shared with roller-bladers, skate-boarders, pedestrians, motorized scooters, wheelchairs, mobility aids, horses and dogs. Three official actual Regional Trails – Galloping Goose, Lochside, E & N – start at the Johnson Street Bridge.
Galloping Goose Trail
This Trail is named for a historical rail line from Victoria to Sooke. There are no tracks, but the trail is on the track bed with a few adjustments. It starts at or on the Bridge, follows Harbour Road on the south shore and becomes a paved trail at Tyee, at the Regional District bike barometer counter. It runs on the Vic West/Esquimalt shore to the Selkirk trestle, crosses into Victoria and Saanich and runs in a cut west of Douglas Street, and behind the commercial properties along Douglas as as far as Mayfair. It crosses over Douglas on the Swingbridge, a repurposed structure. At the northeast end of the Swing Bridge, it forks into the Lochside and Galloping Goose trails. The Galloping Goose follows Douglas out to the Old Island Highway.
The road crossings at Tillicum and Burnside near Helmken require stops. There is a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians over McKenzie (as of April 2018). The trail west and north of the Island Highway is signed and may show on maps as the Galloping Goose, the Trans-Canada trail and part of the E&N. It is part of the Goose. The trail follows the rail tracks – real tracks although unused in recent times.
The trail swerves away from Douglas Street and follows the Island Highway west. This takes it into the Highlands north of View Royal and in the central-northern part of Langford. It is paved as far as Wale Road. There are two crossings of Atkins Road. and a connector trail connecting to the E&N Trail, in Langford; near Wale Road. , but far from the highways and fairly quiet. There are some patches of housing development and side roads. Some of the road crossings are at the bottom of hills, so it’s tempting to blast across to get a run up the other side.
There is a tangled bit where the trail crosses Wale and the Island Highway. (For some reason some street signs and maps identify the road as the Old Island Highway.) Maps suggest there was trail on the opposite side of Wale Road After 2012, it became necessary to cross Wale Road, and use a bike lane, then cross the Island Highway at the light. The Galloping Goose trail picks up and goes past Fort Rodd Hill and Royal Roads University. There is another crossing of the Island Highway in front of Royal Roads. The trail continues past Royal Roads and across the Island Highway through the West Shore communities and then west towards the Sooke Basin. The Goose is gravel west of the Island Highway. Crossing Veteran’s Memorial in the big box distict is an event, as is crossing Sooke Road near the firehall at Sooke Road end of Happy Valley Road. There are other crossings of streets near the big box stores that require a dismount and a crossing signal e.g. Jacklin Road. It crosses several roads in the West Shore communities, requiring slowing down or stopping and crossing with traffic signals. After two crossings of Happy Valley Road it has long stretches without road crossings. For rides to more distant locations (e.g. out to Matheson Lake or the Sooke Basin or beyond) parking at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Center, or in lot opposite Royal Roads on the Island Highway are options.
There are water stations along the Galloping Goose:
- at the Swingbridge;
- at the Atkins Rest stop near the BC Transit Park and Ride Lot near Six Mile Road in the combined Goose E&N section
- at Royal Roads at the Old Island Highway
- at the Luxton Fairground
E&N Rail Trail
This Trail follows the line of the Esquimault & Nanaimo Railway. It is a real rail trail. The tracks are still in place, except the on the bridge. It has four sections, as of summer 2021:
- West of the Johnson Street Bridge in Vic West, along Kimta Street and Esquimalt Road and a paved trail along the tracks from near Russell Street at Equimalt Road, though Esquimault and View Royal to the Island Highway. This section was developed 2016-19;
- Galloping Goose from the Island Highway to the intersection of Atkins Avenue (the second intersection – the west one;
- A paved trail from the Goose, beside Atkins Avenue for a few hundred meters – to where the tracks cross Atkins; and a new (2021) paved trail along the south side of the tracks to the intersection of Station Avenue with Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford
- A section along the north side of the tracks in Langford from Veterans Memorial west to Jacklin Street
The first section starts to follow the rail line where the tracks cross Esquimault Road near Russell Street. The CRD and the City laid out the bike lanes along Esquimalt Road in an S curve to cross the tracks at right angles before turning into the trail. The first bit of trail after leaving Equimault Road is squeezed between a business property and the track. This can be avoided by turning down Russell or Springfield and taking Wilson and getting on the trail where the trail crosses Wilson. There are road crossings parallel to level rail crossings. The traffic on some of them may be light but Lampson is heavily travelled. Counterweights or the control boxes for the crossing arms jut out into the trail at most crossing. The crossing of Admirals Road/Colville and the main entrance of the naval base involve two roads, tracks and the base. The traffic pattern is unique; roads intersect at angles; the tracks are at different angles and cyclists have to cross pedestrian sidewalks and make a few tight turns.
The paved trail follows the tracks into the Songhees land at Maplebank Road. At Maplebank, the trail separates from the tracks, and runs beside Admirals Road from near Thomas Road to Hallowell (the Admirals Walk mall). The trail is a better option for cyclists than Admirals Road although Admirals Road was improved in 2018. Admirals Road is wide from the base to the Songhees land. There is a bike lane on the climb to the edge of Esquimault at Caroline Street, close to the ege of the Songhees land. As of summer 2019, the bike lanes are continuous to/from the intersection of Hallowell – with a traffic light – and a left turn at Hallowell (Admirals Walk mall – the Thrifty’s store) to get back to the trail, or ride along the shoulder approaching Craigflower and the bridge over the end of the Gorge. At this point, the rider is in View Royal, a suburban municipality. The trail from Hallowell to the Island Highway and Douglas is nice. The trail follows the rail line and is elevated over a couple of busier streets. It crosses the Island Highway where the Island Highway crosses under Highway One. It joins the Galloping Goose Trail north of Highway One. On some maps the E&N trail is shown as continuing into Langford, by way of Atkins Road. Atkins is an asphalt road, parallel to the rail corridor, with some housing. It has a bit of bike lane in urban Langford but is mainly narrow, without shoulders. It intersects the Goose twice. It climbs into the Highlands. There has been a short trail parallel to Atkins, since late 2016, which was extended in 2021.
There is a section of trail – part of section 3 -along the south side tracks from Savory School (on Atkins) to Veterans Memorial. The paved trail continues – section 4- west on the north side of the tracks for a couple of blocks. The tracks and trail are parallel to Atkins and Station Road. Section 4 has road crossings – and they involve crossing Veterans Memorial Parkway and Peatt Road (and then getting back on the trail through posts and gates. This section is not very useful, but has the advantage of being separated from traffic. It is efficient to stay on the road, cross urban Langford and take Jacklin to Jenkins and get in narrow bike lane and follow Jenkins and Glen Lake to Sooke Road and go onto the Goose or Happy Valley Road.
Langford has some bike lanes on paved shoulders along some roads. The cycling infrastructure is better than in Metchosin or Colwood (where the standard is no shoulders ).
Lochside Regional Trail
This Trail begins at the Swingbridge as a fork of the Galloping Goose. It runs north and east toward Mount Douglas. The trail is mainly paved out past McKenzie Avenue, then continues as a mix of gravel trails, asphalt streets and gravel roads out pretty well to Swartz Bay. After Island View, it is a combination of Lochside Drive, a trail along Highway 17, and some streets through Sidney. The trail is mainly gravel from Royal Oak to McKenzie and Quadra with wooden bridges over bogs along Blenkinsop Lake and Swan Lake. The gravel is good – depending on traffic and grade. There is some loose gravel and dirt on a working farm south of Island View. Past Island View, there is a section of chip sealed tarmac, and an asphalt trail along Highway 17 past the Tsawout First Nation lands to Mount Newton Cross Road. Lochside Road resumes there and continues north to Sidney. There is a bit that requires caution to cross vehicle lanes to to stay on the trail beside the roundabout beside Highway 17 at McTavish. There are water stations:
- beside the Don Mann Excavating’s yard (north of McKenzie), There is a concrete brick muncipal pit privy here too.
- McMinn Park (north of Royal Oak),
- near the Mount Newton Cross Road,
- Tulista Park (Sidney).
There is loop through Hunt Valley. Hunt Road is parallel to the trail. There is access off the trail at Sayward north of Lochside Park and the golf course or Dooley following Hunt Road, to Martindale, coming back to the trail near Michell’s Farm at Island View. The Hunt Valley part is pebbled asphalt (some sections affected by “chip sealing” as of summer 2019) with some climbs, but some nice downhills and lovely views.
The Interurban Rail Trail is not a Regional Trail but is identified on signs and some maps – for instance this map on John Luton’s Cycling Vancouver Island site. There is access to Interurban Road from the Galloping Goose, just past Tillicum (5 Km out from the Blue Bridge) and down to Interurban. The section along Interurban has a consistent bike lane, pinching out at a couple of places. It mainly climbs to West Saanich, but gently.
The BC Electric Railway had an Interurban route from Victoria to Deep Cove 1913-1924. The trail follows parts of the abandoned rail line.
The parts of this trail:
- a bike lane on the Interurban Road south of West Saanich Road;
- a gravel single lane road and trail parallel to West Saanich Road;
- Wallace Drive, to Brentwood Bay;
- Wallace from Brentwood Bay to Saanichton,
- Wallace to the Lochside Trail a few km. north of Mount Newton X-Road.
The gravel road starts just before West Saanich Road. It is level, low traffic. For much of the ways it is a gravel service road for residence west of West Saanich, although there are several driveway access point onto West Saanich. The other option is paved but has heavy traffic and a few steepish bits – West Saanich Road past the observatory road the Mount Work turn off, and Prospect Lake Road, to the intersection with Wallace on the Tod Creek flats. Entry to West Saanich Road is at an intersection with traffic lights. There is bike lane or paved shoulder of West Saanich. There is a left turn at bottom of a hill, at the uncontrolled intersection of Wallace.
Wallace is mainly old pebbled asphalt. The first section from West Saanich Road into Brentwood Bay is narrow, without paved shoulder. The asphalt has been patched, but some of the patches are breaking down. It is a bit wider and has a bike lane most of the way from Brentwood Bay into Saanichton. Wallace runs into Mount Newton x-Road in Saanichton. Then a few hundred meters to East Saanich, in Saanichton is offset. There is a left turn onto East Saanich and right turn off back onto the next section of Wallace a block later. At this point, the road is chipseal instead or asphant. It is ightly travelled. It follows a ridge through an agricultural area into a cluster of houses. Wallace runs into Amity which drops toward the Pat Bay. Amity does not cross the Pat Bay. There is a short block of Amity east of the Pat Bay. the Lochside is less than 100 m. way. There is a footbridge over the Pat Bay. .
The routes back are by Blenkinsop or Cedar Hill to Cook. Another direct return is Royal Oak to the Lochside School, and then back south by the trail.
I lived in James Bay 2006-2020. James Bay is the south end of Victoria, between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Inner Harbour.
Many routes out of James Bay have vehicle traffic. Douglas Street and Blanshard Streets are heavily travelled. Douglas Street becomes a highway (the Trans-Canada) west to Colwood and Langford, over the Malahat and north up-island. It has a paved shoulder and bike lane, but the traffic on the entrance and exit ramps is significant. Blanshard Street runs up to Saanich and the BC Ferry terminal at Swartz Bay. It is a highway, called Highway 17 or the Pat Bay Highway. It has bike lanes, but significant traffic. Other streets go north: Quadra, Cook, Gorge Road, Cedar Hill, Richmond, Shelbourne. They have drawbacks including traffic, lack of bike lanes, limited visibility, curb lanes occupied by parked cars, elevation changes. One option is to go downtown along Government, Douglas, Blanshard or Quadra as far as Fort Street and east and north on Fort Street whch has a bike lane (as of 2019) The bike lane had been redeveloped as a separated lane out past Cook Street as of 2017-18. Fort Street crosses Oak Bay Avenue which runs east out to Beach. Fort becomes the Cadboro Bay Road.
There is 5 k. loop around James Bay on Belleville along the Harbour on the north, the streets at the west end, Dallas on the south, and Douglas on the east. There is longer loop around Beacon Hill Park by Cook Street, and some loops in the park. The is a new paved bike lane beside Dallas from Beacon Hill park to Ogden Point as of 2020 after Dallas Road was torn up 2018-20 for sewer reconstruction. These are usually safe in the evening but the traffic on Sundays is heavy between tourists, families with children, people walking dogs, and people taking elderly parents out (any of which can makes for a wide party of inattentive persons blocking the path).
In the first few years, many times , I went east on Dallas past Beacon Hill Park and the Ross Bay Cemetery and followed a nearly coastal route. Dallas continues until it runs into Hollywood Crescent and Crescent Drive, which also follow the coast. These streets connect to to Beach Drive in Oak Bay. The traffic along Dallas is steady. There are intermittent micro-congestions behind tour buses and the ubiquitous horse drawn carriage rides. There are sections where cars park at an angle facing the Strait. The drivers have little vision and can back into oncoming traffic. These conditions may be mitigated by the new bike paths that opened in 2020.
In 2016 I began to take the Beacon Hill-Oak Bay-Uplands-UVic-San Juan option.
- going southeast along Niagara, through Beacon Hill Park exiting on Park Avenue;
- cross Cook Street at May, turning north at Moss Street, crossing crossed Fairfield at the traffic light;
- turning right on Thurlow and follow Thurlow to Kipling and Brooke to St. Charles. Then another block along Chandler to Richmond, and a short block to Richardson. This avoided climbs of streets approaching the heights on Richardson at the south end of the Government House area. I used this as a route to Richmond at Richardson.
- From there, I often cross Foul Bay Road and proceed on Richardson (which becomes McNeill in Oak Bay) to Victoria, turn left and then turn right onto Windsor.
- I turn at Monterey, to cross Oak Bay Avenue with traffic lights. I go north on Monterey and St. Ann to Bowker, turn left and then right to continue northbound to the edge of Uplands of Oak Bay on Musgrave.
- I ride north and cross Lansdowne on Midland, continue on Upper Terrace until to ends at Cadboro Bay Road, opposite the end of Cedar Hill Cross Road.
- I cross Cadboro Bay Road and ride west on Cedar Hill Cross Road to University Drive and turn there and cross the Univesity of Victoria. Sometimes I pass the University and turn north on Gordon Head.
- I emerge at Gordon Head and McKenzie, at the NW corner of the campus, and on go up Gordon Head to Feltham. A left turn and an immediate right onto Longview brings me to San Juan, which runs west as road and trail as far west as Cedar Hill Road.
My main cycling-friendly route out of James Bay was north along Menzies or Government to the Legislature, and along Government and Wharf along the Inner Harbour to the east end of the Johnson Street Bridge. There is a cycling lane, as of 2019, along Government from Belleville to Humbolt and along Wharf to Johnson Steet.
Local 2020 >
I moved to Victoria West in 2020. I am a couple km north of James Bay, on the Esquimalt side of the Gorge, west of urban Victoria. I am north of the Bay Street Bridge, which is north of the Johnson Street Bridge. I can get onto the Galloping Goose trail at the Selkirk Trestle, or make a 10 minute trip to the Bridge by way of local streets, and ride along Kimta Street to the west end of the bridge.
I have access to Bridge from the west by crossing Wilson and Esquimalt Road and riding on Kimta to the Bridge. From the Bridge, I can take the Goose along the Gorge to the Swingbridge and either the Goose or the Lochside. I am a little closer some of the waypoints on routes that I take regularly. The distances from my old home were recorded on a Cateye which measured distance by wheel revs, not a GPS, so the data may be out by few hundred meters:
|Point||from home (Km.)||From old home (KM.)|
|Royal Oak at Lochside (Lochside School)||11.3||12.6|
|Cordova Bay Road at Lochside (Mattick’s Farm||14.6||15.9|
|Island View Road at Lochside (Michell’s Farm)||19.5||20.8|
I can get onto the E&N at Wilson or by taking some side streets out of my immediate area, crossing Hereward and taking Devonshire to the trail.
I can get into Equimalt south of Equimalt Road by taking Wilson to Dominion, crossing Equimalt Road and taking Wollaston or Dunsmuir west through the West Bay area to reach Lampson. A short block south on Lampson takes me to Lyall, which takes me past the back of the Archie Browning (a curling arena that served as a vaccination center in 2021) and Equimalt recreational buildings, close to the Esquimalt branch of the library. I can also get onto the south end of Admirals Road, which gives me a way to reach the naval base and to connect to the E&N at the base.
The Victoria Canoe & Kayak Club is on Gorge Road just past Tillicum. My best route from James Bay to the club was over the Johnson Street Bridge, along the Galloping Goose to the park at the West Victoria Y, near the Selkirk Trestle. At that point it’s off the trail through the park to Craigflower and then on Selkirk, a side street that runs parallel to Craigflower, all the way to Tillicum. At that point a right turn onto Tillicum, across the bridge, a left turn onto Gorge Road and that’s it. 6.8 k one way, mainly off the main roads.
Several streets, on a map, go east and west : Bay, Pandora/OaBay, Fairfield, Lansdown/Hillside/Gorge Road, Finlayson/North Dairy, Equimault Road, Craigflower, MacKenzie, Royal Oak, Cedar Hill Cross (X) Road. The drawbacks of most include traffic, lack of bike lanes, limited visibility, parked cars, elevation changes.
Fairfield traverses Oak Bay from downtown. It becomes to Beach at Hollywood. It is heavily travelled, and has parking in several sections. It has some steeper areas. Richardson and McNeill traverse Oak Bay from Cook east to the water, at the Oak Bay Marina. It has parking in several sections. It has some steeper areas.
Royal Oak Drive starts at Cordova Bay Road at the north end of Mount Douglas Park. The Lochside trail crosses it near Lochside School. (which showed up in one of the commercials for the London Olympics in 2012 – the ones narrated by Gordon Pinsent). Royal Oak goes west from Mount Douglas, past Broadmead Village (a shopping center with Canadian Tire, Thifty’s a) and across the Pat Bay Highway. It has bike lanes as far west as Highway 17, but not on the overpass. Traffic is heavy. It has some climbs and descents.
The is a traverse north of McKenzie called the San Juan Greenway. From the west, it starts at the Lochside Trail, at Don Mann excavators. First, a paved trail across farms to Blenkinsop. Then a paved trail along Mt. Douglas X Road to Glendenning. Then paved and residential streets to San Juan Avenue. San Juan is a wide residential street. It was connected with a paved trail through the park on Tyndall. There are stop signs, and a few climbs. There is a road crossing at Blenkinsop and a trail connecting to the Lochside just beside Don Mann Excavating. At the east end of San Juan, there are routes to get onto Gordon Head and cross McKenzie and enter the U Vic campus. Or to get to Arbutus. From the east, it is approached from Arbutus or from U Vic by way of Gordon Head. There some ways off of Gordon Head through the residential area. From the east, the stop signs are at Tyndall, Torquay, Majestic, Shelbourne , Cedar Hill.
In Saanich and Central Saanich, there are the roads named “cross road” – Keating, Stelly’s, Mount Newton. Also, near the airport McTavish. Each has a degree of climb, traffic, minimal or no bike lanes and other concerns. Wallace crosses the Saanich Peninsula diagonally from Brentwood Bay to Saanichton. It is a bit better, but it has traffic and nominal bike lanes.
Past the airport, there is a route from Patricia Bay on the west to Sidney in the east. Mills Road starts (or ends) at West Saanich Road and runs along the north edge of the airport. It connects to Beacon Avenue, which crosses Highway 17 and connect to the Lochside Trail and other trails and roads in Sidney. There is a bike trail along Mills – part the airport trail called the Flight Path.
North South Routes; U Vic; Mount Douglas
The best route out of Victoria north up the Saanich Peninsula is the Galloping Goose Trail to the Swingbridge, and the Lochside Trail.
Other options on the east side of the peninsula go to or near the University of Victoria or Mount Douglas. U Vic:
- Foul Bay Road to Cadboro Bay Road and out to Cedar Hill X Road (University of Victoria). A grind up a hill, and traffic.
- Up Cook Street, until it branches onto Cedar Hill. Cedar Hill turns into Shelbourne near the Park. Shebourne turns into the Cordova Bay Road at the edge of the Park. Cook is heavily travelled by Victoria standards, but wide and generally 4 lanes. There are some sharp climbs on Cook and along Cedar Hill. The surface is good.
- Shelburne Street is heavily travelled and not good for cyclists. It has bike lanes from Begbie out past Bay Street, but they do not continue along some narrower corridors in well travelled street. It is better to go to U Vic and cross from Gordon Head to Shelboure via Feltham.
- Foul Bay and Cadboro Bay Road to Cedar Hill X Road. There are a more ways to U Vic off the coastal route: from Arbutus along Finnerty or Gordon Head.
- Richardson/McNeill, cross onto Windsor and cross Oak Bay on Hampshire or Monterey/St. Ann and then proceed north on Musgrave to the Uplands area.
- Through Oak Bay by Musgrave to the Uplands, continue by Midland and Upper Terrace, and cross Cadboro Bay Road at Cedar Hill X Road.
- Coastal: Dallas, and Beach. The pure coastal approach involves Dallas, Hollywood and Crescent and a climb up to King George Terrace. Or, along Crescent, a turn onto Foul Bay Road, and then on McNeill or Oak Bay and east to Beach. One option is to go down to Beach near the Oak Bay Marina and turn on Beach. The coastal approach goes past Cadboro Bay. Beach runs into Arbutus, which runs into Ferndale. Ferndale become Grandview, and Grandview become Ash, running to the edge of Mount Douglas Park where it runs into or becomes Cordova Bay Road.
Some have drawbacks:
- from Beach by Lansdowne, Cadboro Bay Road and Cedar Hill X Road (steep bits)
- Foul Bay Bay Road, (traffic, steep).
The routes to Mount Douglas Park come out on Cordova Bay Road at the south east edge of the park and run along the base of Mount Douglas through some older Douglas firs. The road is heavily traveled, but it has a bike lane. At the north end of the park, Cedar Hill reaches an intersection. I can make a sharp left turn and head south up Blenkinsop and hook up with Cook. I make a soft left turn onto Royal Oak, or I can make a soft right and proceed on Cordova Bay.
West Saanich – the Lakes
On the west side of the Pat Bay, and north of Royal Oak, West Saanich Road travels north. It intersects Wallace at Brentwood Bay and goes to end of the airport and all the way to Deep Cove. West Saanich is heavily travelled, and has some climbs and drops. The bike lane is just a narrow shoulder.
The Interurban Route avoids the traffic along West Saanich Road by using gravel roads and trails and following Wallace.
There are options. It is possible to cross West Saanich Road near the end of Interurban Road and explore Old West Saanich Road (narrow; steep bits). It is also possible to traverse off of Interurban Road by some side roads and that connect to West Saanich Road, cross West Saanich, and traverse east to the parks around Beave and Elk Lake
There is access from Beaver Lake Road at the south end of Beaver to a trail on the west side of the lakes – it is an old rail grade (I have not figured out which one). It is about 4 k. of trail north to Brookleigh Road, which lead to other options. One is to turn east on Brookleigh out to the Pat Bay, ride the paved shoulder until the north end of Elk Lake Drive or Royal Oak. Another is to go west to Oldfield and north on Oldfield to Keating Cross Road
It is possible to reach Beaver Lake Road from the east. The Lochside Trail intersects Royal Oak. Royal Oak has a bike lane from the Lochside Trail to the Pat Bay Highway and Elk Lake Drive. There is access to Beaver Lake Roadby turning onto Elk Lake Drive and going through the Park
A ride to Sidney and back from James Bay is about a 65 k ride on the Lochside trail. I could urn it into a century by going to Oak Bay and out to Mt. Douglas first, then crossing to West Saanich Road and meandering across rural Saanich around the airport, or out around Deep Cove or Swartz Bay before riding to Sidney.
On July 15, 2007 I started with the outbound part of the Mt Douglas ride. Second leg: Brentwood Bay by Royal Oak & W. Saanich Rd. Third leg: Sidney by Stelly’s X, E. Saanich Rd., Mount Newton X, Lochside. Break: at 47 k., Serious Coffee in Sidney. Fourth leg: Brentwood Bay by Lochside, Mt Newton X, E. Saanich Rd, Wallace. Fifth leg: east again by Keating X to Oldfield, south to Brookleigh (N. end of Elk and Beaver Lake) east to the Pat Bay Highway, south on the shoulder. Sixth leg: Royal Oak to W. Saanich, Markham and the Camosun campus to the Interurban, south to Burnside. Then I had a short stretch on the Goose, out Cloverdale to Cook, down to Dallas. 90k. Finish: Loops around Beacon Hill and James Bay.
On August 6, 2007, I tried a route that started with the outbound part of the typical Mt. Douglas ride. Second leg: Royal Oak to W. Saanich Road, and out to Brentwood Bay. Third leg: Wallace to Saanichton, E. Saanich Rd to Willingdon, around the airport. Mills, Beacon, to Sidney. Break at 50 k at Serious Coffee in Sidney. Fourth leg – South: Lochside along Bazan Bay to Mt Newton X. Central Saanich, (Keating X) and Oldfield to Brookleigh. Pat Bay Hy. (shoulder) to Royal Oak, W. Saanich to Markham, Camosun, Interurban, W. Burnside, down to Douglas. Fifth leg – south and east: Galloping Goose to the Gorge. Gorge Road, Hillside, Lansdown to Foul Bay Rd. Finish: waterfront to Cook, up to Cook Street Village, loop on Oxford and Moss back to Dallas, past Ogden Point. Montreal, Niagara and Boyd.
Another option of getting a century would be Mount Douglas, Royal Oak, and then West Saanich all the way to Deep Cove, around Swartz Bay, and then back into Sidney, etc.Other options for long rides can be taken from the Tour de Victoria 2012 Map.
The Victoria & Gulf Island Cycling and Walking Map, developed by the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition and Davenport Maps is in a 5th edition (2013 ?). It has a QR code that opens updates if you have a device and a connection. It is sold at MEC, some cycling stores and some book stores. It show places where there are trails and paths where the pavement end to make connections. It also shows climbs and descents with chevrons. It shows bike stores and rentals.
John Luton’s Cycle Vancouver Island site is aimed at touring visitors.John Crouch’s Bike Victoria, in the 2006 edition or the 2012 revised edition, is useful. (The revision adds some mountain bike routes, but mainly adjusts the ride notes). John Crouch’s web page has a list of stores where it is available. Here is my list and concordance. (Distances are from Crouch’s suggested start points).
|2012 Ride #||2006 Ride #||Km.||Chapter/Ride Name|
|Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimault|
|3||20||Coffee Shop Crawl|
|3||14||Downtown/Oak Bay Marina|
|4||4||21||James Bay/Oak Bay|
|5||14||Beacon Hill Park/Oak Bay|
|5||6||33||Beacon Hill Park/Mt. Douglas Park/Broadmead|
|6||7||24||Oak Bay/Uvic/ Ten Mile Point|
|8||8||31||Equimault, View Royal|
|9||9||28, 44, 56||Coastline Route (3 variants)|
|Saanich, Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney|
|11||11||24||Elk & Beaver Lake/Brentwood Bay/Saanichton|
|12||12||18||Elk & Beaver Lake/Cordova Bay|
|13||13||29||Beaver Lake/Prospect Lake/Brentwood Bay|
|14||14||30||Tillicum Mall/Interurban Road/Highland Road|
|15||15||20||Carey Road/Layritz Park/Burnside Road|
|16||16||10||Mt. Douglas Park/Blenkinsop Valley|
|18||18||22, 27, 32||Cordova Bay/Island View Beach Pk./Central Saanich|
|19||19||25||Panorama Rec. Centre/Ardmore Drive|
|20||20||15||Bazan Bay/Central Saanich|
|21||21||32||Bazan Bay/Deep Cove/Curteis Point/Sidney|
|23||23||10||Wain Road/Deep Cove|
|24||24||16||Blue Heron Park/Lands End Road|
|25||25||36||Tour of the Highlands|
|26||40||Roads & Trails|
|26||27||66, 93||Tour of Saanich|
|27||28||39||Highlands/Humpback Road/Galloping Goose|
|28||29||24||Atkins Road/Happy Valley Road/Esquimault Lagoon|
|29||30||27||Tour of Metchosin|
|33||42, 160||Jordan River|
|Roads & Trails|
|32||65, 45, 28||Peninsula Loops|
|33||46||Bear Hill/Layritz Park Loop|
|34||54, 48||Thetis Lake Loops|
|35||62||Hazlitt Creek Loop|
|36||34||32, 22||Shawnigan Lake/Cameron Taggert Road|
|37||35||97||Shawnigan Lake via the Malahat Drive|
|38||36||47||Mill Bay/Cowichan Bay/Shawnigan Lake|
|39||37||30||Cowichan Valley Winery Tour|
34, 20, 10
|Galloping Goose Regional Trail|
|Lochside Regional Trail|
|42||40||28||Trans-Canada/Cowichan Valley Trail|
|Routes Into Victoria|
|44||42||30, 32||Swarz Bay Ferry Terminal|