Vancouver Outdoor Community Spotlight: Paul Taplin of Into the Wild Cycling Tours

Paul Taplin of Into the Wild Cycling Tours poses in front of his tour bus and bikes

Paul Taplin of Into the Wild Cycling Tours. Photo: Into the Wild Cycling Tours

You’ve heard the saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Paul Taplin made that a reality when he launched Into the Wild Cycling Tours. He spends his days introducing people to the great outdoors around Vancouver and across the province.

“We specialize in adventure tours, anything outdoor-based,” Paul says. “And in the summer, we definitely specialize in cycling. Our aim is to take people out of the city and show them some of the lesser-known spots.” Into the Wild offers cycling day trips around Vancouver and Southern Vancouver Island. They also lead multi-day cycling tours in the Okanagan and Ireland. In the winter, they offer day trips to hit the ski slopes at Cypress Mountain and multi-day tours to Sun Peaks and Revelstoke.

Two cyclists ride along a dyke trail in Pitt Meadows on a tour with Into the Wild Cycing Tours

Cycling along the dyke in Pitt Meadows. Photo: Into the Wild Cycling Tours

“I have a huge love for the outdoors and adventure in general,” Paul explains. He spent a few years backpacking around the world, but a bad motorcycle accident in Thailand changed his perspective. “It was an epiphany,” he says. “After I had the accident, that kind of really kicked me into gear to get something that I could kind of live the rest of my doing and be happy… When I’m out leading tours that’s when I’m happiest… I get to be outdoors nearly every day… And I get to meet people. I love people. The most rewarding part is just bringing people to some of these special areas in and around the Lower Mainland and all throughout BC. Seeing the reaction on their faces and taking people into areas that they might not have gone to on their own. It’s a pretty special thing.”

Originally from Ireland, Paul spent time in Vancouver while attending college. “I had very great memories of the place. I definitely fell in love with it,” he says. A few years later he met his now-fiancée while travelling in Chile. She is originally from Vancouver Island, and he wanted to spend more time in British Columbia’s wilderness, so they decided to start a life together in Vancouver.

Paul decided to build his business around cycling tours because “biking can be enjoyed by almost anybody… You can cover some nice ground. The older people get, walking and running, people have problems with their knees. Cycling is non-intrusive and low impact. It’s a great hobby for everybody.” He credits the introduction of e-bikes for opening up cycling to even more people. “If it’s making your day that used to be a 20 km ride, and now you can do 60km, power to you. It’s great. Some people think you don’t get as much exercise, but you’re still working, you still have to spin the pedals. It’s the hills mostly where you’re getting the big push.”

Cyclists on a forest trail at Elk and Beaver Lakes on southern Vancouver Island

Cycling at Beaver Lake Regional Park on southern Vancouver Island. Photo: Into the Wild Cycling Tours

He also loves the variety of cycling trails in Vancouver. “We have nice paved trails around the seawall. You can head up to Seymour Demonstration Forest and you have an 11 or 12 km each way paved road [that is] traffic-free. You’ve got dykes in and around Richmond, Pitt Meadows, and PoCo,” Paul explains. “The best part about the city is the proximity to nature. Twenty or thirty minutes from downtown you can really be getting away from everything. That’s really what I try to promote on the tours.”

While you can go on an adventure on your own, Paul believes that going with a guide makes it more fun and more comfortable. “It’s always nice to go with someone who knows what they’re doing, who is professional. For us, it’s getting out and enjoying yourself is what we like to do, taking the stress away for people. Being able to fix a flat or if there is a medical emergency or someone gets lost, it’s part and parcel of the job.”


Learn More About Into the Wild Cycling Tours

Into the Wild is a small, locally-owned adventure tour company that specializes in personal and unique experiences. Visit their website to learn more or book a tour. You can also follow along with their adventures on Instagram.


Paul’s Vancouver Favourites

We also asked Paul to give us his recommendations for outdoor adventures around Vancouver.

Paul’s Favourite Vancouver Area Outdoor Destination: “I love Lynn Canyon. I love the forest. I know it intimately. If you get [there] before 9 a.m. and you’re leaving at 11 or 11:30… you can have a lot of the forest to yourself and it’s fantastic.”

Hiking in Lynn Canyon

Hiking in Lynn Canyon on an Into the Wild Tour. Photo: Into the Wild Cycling Tours

Paul’s Favourite Spots for Apres: “For a beer, Brassneck Brewery is always nice. It’s a good vibe, good people, nice beers. I really like Thai food and I love Sala Thai on Burrard. I stayed in Thailand for about five months after my accident so I have a soft spot for Thai food. I think [Sala Thai] is as close to the real deal as you can get.”

Paul’s Outdoor Advice for Beginners: “Respect the outdoors. Don’t have an ego. Be prepared by taking the 10 essentials. If you ever have to spend the night out or get into trouble, it could save your life.”

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