Friday, 12 March 2010
Vancouver Island Pre-Trip
Before I set off up the Sea to Sky highway, I'm going to take a short cycling tour on Vancouver Island. I haven't got time to explore the island fully on this trip, but I did want to experience a flavour of it, so I'm going to ride from Nanaimo to Tofino via the Pacific Rim Highway. It's about a 400 km round trip.
Many X-Canada cyclists use Victoria, BC rather than Vancouver, as their 'official' starting point because it has the Mile 0 of the Trans-Canada Highway. (There's another Mile 0 in St. John's, if you're travelling east to west). It also presents a traditional photo opportunity due to the well known sign marking the point.
I'm not actually using much of the Trans-Canada Highway on my route. I'm riding just the odd bit around Banff, Winnipeg and Sault Ste. Marie and some longer sections further east on Prince Edward Island and across Newfoundland. So Mile 0 doesn't hold a lot of significance for me. What is important to me, though, is a 'proper' Pacific-Atlantic ride...
Vancouver, my starting point, technically doesn't face out to the Pacific as Vancouver Island is in the way! The Pacific Rim National Park coastline between Tofino and Ucluelet on the other hand does. So for an authentic Pacific-Atlantic road-trip, I'm riding to Tofino!
Here I can dip my wheel in the ocean (a cycletouring tradition when doing a coast-to-coast) and dip it again at St. John's. I may also pick up a Pacific Coast pebble, carry it on my journey and lob it into the Atlantic when I get there!
All very symbolic and something I forgot to do when I rode across the US in 2007...