Go Multi-Modal –Combine Cycling with Other Transportation Options. Part II: From Metro Vancouver To Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Whistler and the U.S.

Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. Photo by J. Chong

Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. B.C. Ferry in background. Photo by J. Chong

Revised Aug. 29/10,  with better map link on bike trail from Swartz Bay B.C. Ferry dock to Victoria on Vancouver Island.

This article continues from my earlier  article on how to combine bike trips with other forms of transportation within Metro Vancouver.  Once we know a few tips on what is possible, then we can travel further afield with our bike to other destinations outside of Metro Vancouver.

To Vancouver Island,  Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Inside Passage
Horseshoe Bay B.C. Ferry Terminal: Cyclists can cycle to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, on the north shore to catch a B.C. Ferry. Just make sure you have done some cycling on several long hills for practice. Or  you can throw your bike onto a bus rack and take TransLink #250 or #257 bus to Horseshoe Bay. Do plan for an earlier bus since there maybe other cyclists waiting in line.

Just a trip to Horseshoe Bay, is a beautiful local outing with Howe Sound and lush mountain views for a few hours with lunch outside or in a restaurant overlooking the bay.

To Vancouver Island,  Gulf Islands (Canada) and San Juan Islands (U.S.)
Tsawwassen B.C. Ferry Terminal:

Note  George Massey car tunnel: To reach Tsawwassen, cyclists need to consider this tunnel which joins suburban cities of Richmond and Delta.  Be aware that cycling is illegal in the high speed George Massey car tunnel.  You must either must take a TransLink bus that will go through the tunnel or use  the free bike shuttle run by B.C. Ministry of Transportation.

Click here for  map and schedule for the George Massey bike shuttle. It does not run in the winter.

B.C. Ferry: For a nominal extra charge, you can roll your bike onto all B.C. Ferries. Some of the larger ferries provide just a few bike racks.  So be prepared and bring a bungie cord or two, to strap  your bike to a hand rail. During warmer seasons, there are many cyclists travelling between the mainland and the islands. There is no limit to cyclists and their bikes per ferry. http://www.bcferries.com/travel_planning/

B.C. Ferries is cost-effective, marine travel compared to far more expensive luxury cruise companies. You get the same gorgeous views of ocean and islands, as well as purchase of snacks, meals and small gifts on board.  Several longer routes offer on-board sleep accommodation.

 

 

Cyclists waiting for B.C. ferry at Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island. Photo by J. Chong

Cyclists waiting for B.C. ferry at Brentwood Bay. Saanich, Vancouver Island. Photo by J. Chong. Half hr. ferry ride takes one to Mill Bay where one can bike for awhile and tour some wineries.

Washington State Ferries (for San Juan Islands)
After reaching Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island, one can also switch from B.C. Ferry and take Washington State Ferry for San Juan Islands from North Sannich.  On the north section of  the signed Lochside bike route, it is approximately a 40-min. flat terrain bike ride between Swartz Bay B.C. Ferry and Washington State ferry stop in North Saanich.   Remember your passport.

Bus on Saltspring Island, Sunshine coast: B.C. Transit buses on Saltspring Island and in the Sunshine Coast communities, now have bike racks for 2 bikes.

B.C. Ferry with 2010 Olympic markings. Photo by J. Chong

B.C. Ferry with 2010 Olympic markings. Photo by J. Chong.

Bus to Whistler: Check this web site for buses bound for Whistler from Vancouver airport and downtown bus station. With some restrictions, there is transport of bikes in the baggage storage area underneath the bus.

Train: At this time, the Amtrak Cascadia train which runs between Vancouver and Seattle, provides only 2 trains daily with bike storage rail car for you to roll on your bike. Please check latest Amtrak train schedule and contact the train station.

The Canadian VIA rail train to Jasper, Alberta towards the Canadian Rockies, has very limited options for transport of bikes. You must box your bike. Schedule will provide latest details. http://www.viarail.ca/en

Vancouver train station for Amtrak, VIA rail and Greyhound bus, is downtown near Main Skytrain station.

Make Vancouver your start or end destination since there is much to see by bike. With careful planning and time scheduling, a bike trip combined with at least one other transportation option, can make your trip more enjoyable, affordable and make you more fit –provided you don’t indulge too much on good meals and wine.

Revised Aug. 29/10,  with better map link on bike trail from Swartz Bay B.C. Ferry dock to Victoria on Vancouver .Island.

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2 Responses to Go Multi-Modal –Combine Cycling with Other Transportation Options. Part II: From Metro Vancouver To Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands, Whistler and the U.S.

  1. Great info!

    I’ve done the Jasper route w/ VIA a bunch of times, and bringing your bike along is pretty easy – the checked baggage area will supply a free box, & you’ve got to turn the handlebars and take off the pedals to fit it in. Or they’ll bag it if the pedals aren’t removable. Usually not a big hassle :)

    So if you’re thinking about biking in the Rockies, definitely keep VIA in the running!

    Hope this helps,
    Vivian is Virtual
    VIA Rail’s tour guide

  2. I believe there is a charge for the bike box. If it is free, please point us to VIA rail’s latest customer service policy.