What Off Season?

23 09 2011

Sharon on a borrowed Brompton...

The fall rains have started in Victoria. If we were living in Calgary it would be the beginning of the end to the cycling season. At least for most sensible people…=-) Here it means breaking out the rain gear and picking your riding days a bit more carefully. In some respects it actually means more cycling than in the summer. During the summer our weekends are pretty much dedicated to kiteboarding which cuts into our non-errand/commuter cycling time in a big way. We just couldn’t fit in a bike tour this summer and the couple times we tried we were aghast at how full campgrounds were on Vancouver Island. Living in a beautiful spot is great except once other people hear about it they come visit on their holidays and fill up the place! Last thing I want to do is fight for a camp spot at a busy campground with screaming kids and barking dogs. Now that the rains have started the island is empty of tourists – sweet! Of course we are no hardcore bikers. If it’s pouring rain we’ll do something else like go surfing. That’s okay because despite a reputation for wet weather heavy persistant rain isn’t all that frequent on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Most of the time it’s dry or raining lightly & intermittently. We are medium-core enough to handle that! If I can get Sharon out on our tandem for 1 or 2 overnight camping trips that would be great. I think bike touring would be right up our alley as a couple and now that we have a tandem we have the right tool for the job.

My other cycling goal for the winter is to keep up with my regular MTB rides. Practically I get out once a week on the trails. Twice a week would be bonus and although I don’t enjoy riding dirt in the rain there is always a dry spell each week that will let me ride. As well with weekends freed up from kiteboarding Sharon and I can do some MTBing together. If it’s raining we’ll go surfing and if it’s dry-ish we’ll MTB or get out on a mini-tour – sounds like a plan!

I plan to ride some brevets in 2012, but I’ll leave the rando stuff until 2012 starts. I know I don’t have the dedication to train in the winter until an event is on the horizon and that would likely be the Victoria Populaire in March.


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7 responses

23 09 2011
Anthony

Hey Vik,

When I lived in Victoria one of my favorite weekend trips was to Nanaimo. I’d ride up via the the Mill Bay ferry, then taking the side roads through Cowichan Bay, Crofton…. You don’t spend too much time on the island highway and the sections you do use aren’t too bad.

On the way back I’d take the Vesuvius Ferry and ride back across Saltspring Island to Fulford Harbour.

I used to stay at the Cambie hostel but I would imagine there is some pretty nice camping in the area.

23 09 2011
bencoli

If we’re suggesting tours, then keep in mind that Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula is 90 minutes and about $20 away from Victoria by ferry. Port Townshend’s about 75 km from Port Angeles, and it’s a nice little town with a great brewpub. If I lived in Victoria, I’d be pretty tempted to head that direction this weekend.

23 09 2011
Chandra

I haven’t done any S24O this summer either as it has been hotter than hell around here. It has finally cooled off a tad and I can’t wait for it to cool down a bit more (80 deg F), so I can go on a trip. I got the itch, ya know…

Enjoy rainy rides!

Peace :)

24 09 2011
Val Garou

Man, this is the part of the riding season in Edmonton where I’m looking for new ski goggles because I know what’s coming.

25 09 2011
AC

I’m not much of a wet weather rider. What do you and Sharon wear to keep dry and comfortable?

26 09 2011
doug d

Conveniently for me, I lack the good sense to stop riding when the weather turns wintery (and it will soon) here in Calgary.
This year I bought a rain poncho for riding my bike in the rain and it keeps my legs dry for about 3 hours longer than rainpants in steady rain.

29 09 2011
heather

What, you don’t ride everyday? I don’t have much choice. Last weekend we did stay indoors mostly, but it stopped raining so did bike into town, sushi etc.. But, if we have to go to work, we ride in the rain. It’s not so bad-honestly. In fact, when I do get a ride to work I end up regretting it because I missed my bike ride and the sun did come out for 15 minutes…. It’s hell on the bikes though.
In Saskatchewan for years I rode until the snow came, and got back on when the snows stopped…until I discovered winter biking and just kept on going.

And it is kind of true that it rains less on the southern tip of Vancouver island than other parts of the south coast…I’ve been watching the weather lately like a total canadian. Another reason to move?

Oh yes, Port Angeles area is supposedly great for cycling as is Washington State in general. In “The Hundred Mile Diet”, they toured some of the area, visiting farms and it sounds so sweet-and not hyped up and expensive like BC is.

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