If you commute to work daily on your bicycle, you probably get pretty tired of seeing the same streets day after day. Although some people might feel that the last thing you want to do after putting in 10 rides back and forth to work every week is do *more* riding, there are a number of nice, casual rides around the region.
You’re probably familiar with riding the trails in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, the False Creek Seawall and Stanley Park, but there are a number of other cycling trails throughout the region that provide some refuge from fighting your way to and from work each day.
One of these rides is the Central Valley Greenway. The CVG is a 24 km mixed-mode path from Science World to the Westminster Quay. The path is sometimes on-street, often separated from traffic, and occasionally off-road (packed gravel). The route roughly follows the Millennium Line Skytrain. There a few steep sections: the climb from False Creek Flats to Clark Drive, and most of the route in New Westminster come to mind, but for the most part it is a nice, easy, stress-free ride. It passes through a few busy areas in Vancouver, the industrial area just north of the Grandview highway, a nice park-like ride by Still Creek near the western end of Burnaby Lake, and again at the eastern end of Burnaby Lake as you pass under Highway 1 towards New West. The route is reasonably well signed, and in Vancouver a fair portion of the route has been painted bright green to bring extra awareness and visibility to the route.
There’s another, older route similar to the Central Valley Greenway: BC Parkway. This 26 km mixed-mode route roughly parallels the Expo Skytrain Line and frankly, it can be a bit challenging. It’s hilly, narrow, and pretty pedestrian-heavy. Finding the trail as it wends its way through the streets and parks is an issue. It is, however, a nice ride through East Vancouver, out past Central Park in Burnaby (the best-maintained section of the trail) then through to New Westminster, eventually down to Westminster Quay (and beyond). You can make a nice loop by combining the two routes together.
If you don’t have one already, pick up a Metro Vancouver cycling map from your local bike shop, rec centre, or library. Or use the PDF. The Metro Vancouver Cycling Route Finder is also a good resource to plan out your next ride, wherever you may be heading.
Where do you like to ride when you’re not commuting?