Biking in the Comox Valley
Most cyclists will agree on the prerequisites for a great bike tour: quiet roads, beautiful scenery, friendly locals, good accommodation – and lots of bakeries. The Comox Valley delivers it all. Nestled between the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park and the coastline of the Salish Sea, the Comox Valley is prime cycling territory. The historic town of Cumberland, snugged up against the mountains, offers world class mountain bike trails while the back roads of the Valley provide days of rural cycling. Nearby Denman and Hornby Islands are popular destinations for those who don’t mind a hill or two – and they include brief respites on the ferry!
The Comox Valley has all the amenities that a cyclist could ask for. Half a dozen bike shops provide service, sales and rentals and a thriving tourist industry means that accommodation and dining at every level is readily available. The Comox Valley Bicycle Coalition has been active in pressing for improvements to the cycling infrastructure and visiting cyclists will notice the “bike friendly” vibe in the Valley. And, of utmost importance, whether you’re in Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland or on the islands, a good cup of coffee and some delicious baking is never far away.
Armed with a map and your own bike, anyone can find some enjoyable cycling in the Comox Valley. But if you want to worry a lot less and experience a lot more, Island Joy Rides: Unique Cycling Tours (www.islandjoyrides.com) will provide you with a comfortable bicycle, expert guides, first class food and accommodation and route secrets that only a local could know. They offer deluxe all-inclusive tours ranging from half a day to five days, exploring the Valley and beyond. A popular choice is the “Weekend Getaway”, two days and nights of the best riding and dining the Comox Valley has to offer. For an even bigger indulgence, consider their signature tour, “West Coast Foodie” – five days of Island cycling built around the remarkable experiences and food that make this region special - from First Nation canoes to seafood feasts on the beach. And, of course, Island Joy Rides will gladly customize a cycling experience to suit you.
The Comox Valley is one of the jewels of the Island – and there’s no better way to see it than from the seat of a bicycle. What are you waiting for?
*Special thanks to John Elson and Chris Round for writing this article