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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route on: July 24, 2015, 12:56:30 PM
vikb


Location: Victoria, BC...
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« on: July 24, 2015, 12:56:30 PM »



I've been working on piecing together a bikepacking route the length of Vancouver Island [~850kms] on 95%+ dirt. I was happy to finally ride the whole route in one shot back in June.



GPS track: http://ridewithgps.com/trips/5275401

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vikapproved/sets/72157655142727565

Ride Report: http://forums.mtbr.com/bikepacking-bike-expedition/vancouver-island-bikepacking-route-979909.html

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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 07:45:26 AM
Lentamentalisk


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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 07:45:26 AM »

Wow, I don't know how this didn't get more traction. It looks amazing. I was looking into doing something like this (but much shorter). What are the services like in back country Vancouver Island? Were there frequent country stores and places to fill water?
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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 07:58:06 AM
vikb


Location: Victoria, BC...
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 07:58:06 AM »

Wow, I don't know how this didn't get more traction. It looks amazing. I was looking into doing something like this (but much shorter). What are the services like in back country Vancouver Island? Were there frequent country stores and places to fill water?

Van Isle can get dry in the depth of summer and can be quite wet spring and fall. Collecting water shouldn't be too much of an issue with the number of lakes on the route. I prefer getting water from creeks/rivers, but in a pinch lake water is fine.

For resupply there are stores in:

- Port Hardy*
- Woss
- Gold River
- Cumberland
- Port Alberni*
- Lake Cowichan
- Sooke
- Victoria*

I put an asterisk next to the locations where you might be able to find dehydrated backpacker meals. The rest of the spots will have "normal" food items and restaurants. You don't need to carry too much food with you unless you are very particular about what you need to eat.

Have fun! I haven't ridden the route since my OP in 2015, but I am keen to get out there again and enjoy the backroads of Vancouver Island. Hopefully next year. Smiley

All the reports I've rec'd from people who have ridden some or all of the route have been positive.

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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #3 on: July 19, 2018, 02:23:21 PM
MikeC


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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2018, 02:23:21 PM »

Wow, I don't know how this didn't get more traction.


Had Vik called it the 'Vancouver Divide' people would be flocking to it.
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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 10:27:10 AM
Marc40a


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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 10:27:10 AM »

It looks amazing. Well done, Vik.
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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 03:48:43 PM
Jumpy787


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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 03:48:43 PM »

Has anyone done this trip this past year? I know there are several roads closed around the Comox Lake Area which makes the traverse challenging.
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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 07:51:34 AM
vikb


Location: Victoria, BC...
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 07:51:34 AM »

Has anyone done this trip this past year? I know there are several roads closed around the Comox Lake Area which makes the traverse challenging.

I haven't been around the back of Comox Lake this year, but there are private cottages along the north shore of the lake so I'm not sure how that road could be closed to all traffic. Once you get to the end of the cottages it's a pretty short run on any actively used road until you are away from the lake on deactivated logging roads towards Port Alberni.

Personally I don't stop riding when I see a "road closed" sign. If I did I'd never get anywhere on Van Isle. I've run into logging company personnel numerous times on "closed roads" and not one time has anyone been upset with me being there. They are just curious WTF a guy on a bike is doing so far from anywhere. That said I do interpret "road closed" signs as ride at my own risk and "get the F--K out of the way of any trucks/equipment!" because they are working and not looking for cyclists. If I figured a section of road was actively being utilized and I still wanted to get through I'd just be there at the crack of dawn and get through before work started for the day.

That's ^^^ just my personal take and not what I am saying anyone in particular should do. You have to evaluate your own risk comfort zone and do what's right for you.

If you can't get around the back of Comox Lake you can follow the Eastern portion of this loop to get around to Port Alberni and rejoin the route:  https://ridewithgps.com/trips/1305947

Although there is a sign on this alternate route that says "Private Road - No Trespassing". A bunch of rich folks have fancy houses on a lake in this area and the road doesn't go anywhere in their minds so they don't want riff raff driving into their enclave. I ignore the sign and pedal through. I'm only on a developed road for a few minutes before things get remote/wild again. Nobody has ever given me grief when I have done this.
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  Topic Name: Vancouver Island Bikepacking Route Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 04:01:42 PM
Jumpy787


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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 04:01:42 PM »

This is the response from TimberWest....

“Thank you for reaching out. Comox Main gate is locked to the public. We ask that you please consider access by becoming a member with the Comox Mountaineering Club. We have an agreement with them in place for sanctioned weekend access. Please see our Access Note for information on the groups that we have membership-based access agreements: https://www.facebook.com/notes/timberwest-forest-corp/accessing-our-lands/1267700043242

They had a manned gate all Summer blocking access. Hopefully they’ll allow people through next Summer
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