I live on a sweet mid-sized island off Canada's West Coast. I've been here 5yrs and wanted to bikepack it to see the sights and have an easy access bike camping alternative out my door since living on an island everything is an expensive flight or ferry to get to.
Bikepacking is just starting to become a thing here and any old-timey epic bike tours were not documented well enough to survive the decay of time so a bunch of friends and I started putting something together.
We've got a boat load of logging roads on the island, but what's on the map and what's on the ground are two different things. Especially in the south island it was a challenge to find a way through to the mid-island with geography and development blocking the obvious choices. After a bunch of on-the-ground recon, internet searching and Google Earth fly throughs we had a route worked out.
Last week we completed the first full ride through from Cape Scott in the North-West down to Victoria in the South-East. ~850kms & 12,590m climbing [531miles & 41,300'] in 7.5 days of riding.
The route is all GDR/TD style logging roads. However, you will pass through 4 towns with amazing trail networks should you want to drop the camping gear and spend a couple days shredding while reloading on beer and pizza!
It was great to see the island from my bike saddle. Especially the north end which was the most remote and where I have spent the least amount of time. I made many mental notes of places I wanted to come back and explore with more time and possibly my fly rod!
I'll post a trip report and all the usual info here over the next few days as I get my pics processed.
I appreciate all the hard work people put into building trails and creating routes. Nothing here is really unique or something I created with my own hands, but at the very least I can curate the info for the bikepacking community so somebody from another part of the world can swing by my lovely island and take a rip without route finding hassles.
I live in Victoria, BC so anyone who wants to ride this route can lean on me for up to date info and logistic support. If the GF is in a good mood you can setup a tent in my backyard and grab a shower/use my bike tools.
Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route - Regional District of Mount Waddington, British Columbia
Interactive map and GPS track: ^^^^^
My trusty Surly Krampus at the end of the ride. 29+ is a great format for this type of trip. Rolls fast through smooth or rough sections. Deep loose gravel ain't no thing. Stupid steep chunky crushed rock fill at 50kph just makes you grin. Climbs well up loose chunder and doesn't feel porky.
My last bikepacking rig was a light 29er and I'm faster overall on the Krampus as well as feeling more confident. Which is awesome when you a spent and not at the top of your game.
Not sure if I'll stick with the suspension fork or not. I think the trip would have been just fine rigid with that short rear end riding the rear wheel is easy.
The Porcelain Rocket gear was superb and I appreciated some of the subtler details when I was trying to push long days and ease of use when beat down tired was so key. It's a great system. 100% stable and reliable on the bike. Intuitive and easy to work with when setting up camp or packing up in the morning.
I will work on lightening/minimizing my load for the next trip. Less is more when you are pushing your limits. :thumbsup: