The Route - Grampies and the Waddling Dog - CycleBlaze

July 26, 2016

The Route

We feel our options for cycling with kids in North America are very limited. Although many, even most, highways have shoulders there is no way we will take such innocent and precious people as kids out in, or near, traffic. That is a non-negotiable starting point.

(OK, one exception might be the broad shouldered Icefields Parkway that links Banff and Jasper National Parks.)

Beyond that we will acknowledge that there is a sprinkling of rail trails and dedicated bikeways. Some might even call it a fair sprinkling. Some might point to the Rails to Trails Conservancy, to an active cycling program in Oregon, to the Erie Canal, the Coeur d'Alene, and in fact to the dozens of trails listed in Wikipedia, like here.

Still the fact remains that in North America, in more or less easy reach of where we live, there are not a whole lot of options. That is why we often turn to the short but nice trail running in the vicinity of Victoria. There are two, actually, that are linked. The first is the Lochside Trail, that runs basically from Victoria 30 km up the Saanich Peninsula to the airport and ferry links near the town of Sidney. The second is the Galloping Goose, running from Victoria 40km basically to the village of Sooke. So that's 70 km of trail. Yes, there are offshoots and partial routes around, but 70km is really about it.

OK, there is one other thing - the gravel Trans Canada Trail, running about 65 km from near our house up to the village of Lake Cowichan and then over to the town of Duncan. So that's 70 km, paved near Victoria, and 65 km unpaved, near Duncan. Total, 135km and the two are not actually linked. It's not exactly the stuff of high adventure.

That is, of course, if you are an adult. But what if you are three or five? 30 km up and 30 km back is plenty! So that's where we are at. Our route is the Lochside. It is lovely. And it has more than one ice cream stop. What's more, of note to this adult, one of the stops has credible apple strudel. Good enough. Lettts go!

The Lochside actually is a great choice.
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