Day 6: To the Capital (McDonald Park to Victoria)


Our view from McDonald Park camp ground

Dedicated bike paths which separate cyclists from motorist traffic is essential to bicycle tourists on days like today.  We took the Lochside Bike Path from McDonald Park campgrounds all the way into the beautiful city of Victoria!  There were a few snafus along the way, but we made it to our hostel without any problems.

Sidney, BC

After 2 miles on the Lochside Bike Path, we entered the small retirement town of Sidney.  We paid the information center a visit to find the ferry times to Anacortes for Wednesday, as our book of reference told us there are only 2 departures each day.  We also picked up bike maps so we know where to go as we navigated down to Victoria.  The little town is fairly bike friendly as we saw many cyclists on the main road of Beacon and other arterial roads with bike lanes.  They even have signs telling motorists that they want us to ride in single file along with the cars and not share the road.  I suppose that’s necessary because the roads are narrow.

Beautiful Country Roads

Sang Hyun riding on the Lochside Bike Path

We decided to grab brunch at the 3rd Street Cafe.  We indulged in some really good breakfast meals: Sang Hyun had a skillet and I ordered their Eggs Benedict with roasted potatoes.  We found the the Lochside Trail once again along the coast and followed it through beautiful countryside sceneries.  We were treated to miles and miles of canopy coverage from trees along the path down to Victoria.  As we approached the busier parts of the city, we were sent through quiet streets as we shared our lane with dozens of riders going our direction and many folks heading north towards Sidney.
We even got to ride across wooden bridges that suspended us above marshes and treetops as we emerged from a very comprehensive network of bike paths in Victoria.  We finally got into the downtown area of Victoria and followed the GPS, which led us 2 blocks away from the Parliament building in Victoria.  We put in the address of the hostel on Yates street and followed it to our home for 2 days.  Unfortunately, Sang Hyun selected Yale instead of Yates on the GPS, so we ended up riding further north than necessary.  We were about another 2-3 miles away from our destination until we both sensed something wasn’t right as we were heading away from the hub of downtown Victoria.  We decided to recalculate and found our hostel, which we should’ve reached as soon as we left the bike path.  Oh well, things like this will happen.  Sang Hyun was probably more upset with this than I was.  I was just exhausted.

HI Hostel

Johnny enjoying the Lochside Bike Path

The hostel that we stayed in Victoria was a male dormitory in which we shared our bunks with 20+ other travelers.  Needless to say, it did not smell very good.  We quickly took out all our dirty and damp clothes and put it into the washer.  We basically sat in their lounge for the next 2 hours waiting for our laundry and enjoying Internet connectivity.  It was very nice not to be on a bicycle seat and being connected to the rest of the world again for a good amount of time.

First Rest Day

Sang Hyun riding across one of the wooden bridges

We are looking forward to our rest day tomorrow, which happens to be Canada Day.  All of this was not planned, but it worked out very well.  I believe we will see fireworks and enjoy our day doing absolutely nothing!  I’ll tell you all about in our Day 7 post.

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.

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