Victoria is a mecca for road riders. With the warmest winter climate in Canada, it’s one of the only cities where cyclists can typically ride and train comfortably 365 days a year.
Whether you prefer relatively flat rides or want to challenge yourself in the hills, there are routes for all riders. As well, with regional trails heading North and West from Victoria, you can choose to avoid urban traffic and have a leisurely ride out to surrounding country roads.
Although you might consider avoiding some of the busier streets (which you can identify on the CRD Bike Map), most motorists in Victoria are used to sharing the road and most recreational cyclists will find themselves comfortable on downtown streets.
Perhaps Victoria’s best known and most beautiful ride is the seaside “out and back” ride on Dallas Road. You can get on Belleville Road (by the Legislative buildings) and then just follow the seaside as you wind around James Bay and then out along Dallas Road. Those wanting a quick ride can travel to the Oak Bay Marina to see the seals and turn back around whereas more adventurous riders can plan a multi-hour out and back trip of virtually any length, with a majority of time spend riding with the ocean alongside.
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Those wanting a hillier ride have several options for heading out to Victoria’s Westshore community (a new favourite is Tyee Road and Craigflower) and then consider taking Sooke Road, Metchosin Road and Rocky Point Road out to East Sooke Park for an out and back in the 100km range, depending on your starting point. More adventurous cyclists may consider riding to Sooke or Jordan River.
For a real challenge in the hills, consider riding through Metchosin, Langford and The HIghlands. Have a look at the Tour de Victoria routes to get some inspiration when planning a ride through these areas.
Your route variations are infinite, so have a look at the map and make some plans before heading out!
The roads out towards the airport provide some wonderful routes. One route from town is to head out from downtown on the Galloping Route to warm up, then to hop off the trail at Interurban Road, heading North until you turn left onto West Saanich. You can the ride West Saanich all the way out to the tip of the Peninsula to Lands End Road (a local favourite detour is to take a left on Wallace Drive and ride until you loop back to West Saanich, turn left back onto West Saanich and head out to Lands End).
Many local riders will ride the length of Lands End, stay on the smaller roads on the East side of the highway, and then stop for Sidney for coffee before picking a route back South to the city. One route (which involves some cool down time and a bit of packed dirt trail) is to then take the Lochside Trail South from Sidney and then turn left on Cordova Bay Road and enjoy the seaside ride looping along the water all the way back to downtown.
If a local tells you to “try the Peninsula,” the above ride is pretty much what they are describing!
From Victoria there are virtually infinite rides and variations. One fun ride is to head out over the Malahat Mountain just north of Victoria, riding to Mill Bay and then taking a short ferry ride with your bike back to Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsula. This day trip is a lot of fun and well within the reach of most recreational riders who are comfortable doing rides in the 80-100km range.
The Lochside and Galloping Goose Trails
These trails are discussed more extensively in our Family Rides section. They are amazing local resources and, despite some sections of dirt path, are comfortably ridden on road bikes. It’s worth noting that these are multi-use trails so are not ideal for high speed riding, but rather are great for a warm up, cool down, or a relaxed jaunt.
If you’re looking for a great cycling resource, check out the CRD Bike Map, which shows comfort levels for all local bikeways, roads and trails.