By Richard Fox
When the weather cooperates, this urban ride is virtually unsurpassed. Paved flat trails meander around and through beautiful Stanley Park and along the Vancouver waterfront along seawalls that surround the downtown core on three sides. On a clear day, mountains tower over the Vancouver skyline. Pleasure boats, freighters, cruise ships, water taxis and float planes plow the waterways, while pedestrians stroll, and beachcombers frolic. The Vancouver skyline is ever present from many angles as the bike trails curve hither and thither, each time offering a different spectacular vista. Make sure your camera’s battery is charged up for this ride, as you may spend a lot of time clicking photos, especially if it is your first time. Besides Stanley Park, many of Vancouver’s attractions are along this route. Most people will concentrate on Granville Island, however, one of the prime dining and shopping locales in the city. There are three parts to the ride; the 9-km one-way (counter-clockwise) Stanley Park loop, the 19 km False Creek ride using a bridge or water taxi, and the 4km excursion to Canada Place along the seawall. Of these, the actual trail is most scenic around Stanley Park, but some of our favorite vistas are from the south side of the False Creek trails looking north toward Vancouver and the mountains. Ultra novice cyclists should stick with the Stanley Park section. Those wanting some extra kilometers may want to cycle all the way out to the University of British Columbia at Point Grey. Needless to say, options for a Bike n’ Brunch abound, including numerous cafés along the bike trails.