A Guide to the Perfect Vacation in Vancouver – By Bike!

Critical Mass VancouverPhoto by Ben Johnson

The Lions Gate Bridge during Critical Mass.

 

WHERE TO STAY

The West End Guest House

1362 Haro Street, 604-681-2889

Bikes are available for free! At this bed and breakfast located in a quiet downtown neighborhood.

The Buchan Hotel

1906 Haro Street, 604-685-5354

Situated in the heart of the West End in downtown Vancouver, the hotel offers secure bike storage.

The Sylvia Hotel

1154 Gilford Street, 604-681-9321

A heritage building on Vancouver’s scenic English Bay, The Sylvia Hotel is close to bike trails along the seawall and offers secure indoor bike storage.

Granville Island Hotel

1253 Johnston Street, 604-683-7373

Located beside the seawall on Granville Island, the hotel has indoor bike parking available.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Your best bet for a great experience in Vancouver is to bike along the seawall and along the trails in Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Park. The Central Valley Greenway is a fantastic day ride that runs some 24 kilometers from Science World to New Westminster. The beaches are particularly welcoming in the summer, and are beautiful places to contemplate the scenery year-round – check out Kitsilano, Third Beach and Spanish Banks. If you’re in Vancouver for the last Friday of the month, you may want to join in for a Critical Mass, which meets at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Georgia Street side), in downtown Vancouver, at 5:30pm and departs at 6pm.

WHERE TO GO/EAT

Along the seawall

Taste the latest catch from the West Coast at Go Fish Ocean Emporium (1505 1st Avenue West); nestled in the bustling False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf near Granville Island, Go Fish is the best place to get fish and chips – and fish tacos! after a morning riding the seawall around Stanley Park, coast along to Denman Street (in the downtown peninsula) for a snack or coffee in the West End.

Spend your day walking around the tourist attractions on Granville Island, which include a public market, a kids’ market, the Arts Club Theatre, playgrounds for kids – a water park and water slide during the summer months – and various artisans and activities for the whole family, and then head down to The Galley Patio & Grill (1300 Discovery Street). With a panoramic view of Jericho Beach, The Galley, located on the second floor of the Jericho Sailing Centre, overlooks the best patio sunset in the city.

Main street and Commercial Drive

The perfect places to immerse yourself in the local color of Vancouver: Commercial Drive has a multitude of ethnic restaurants and coffee shops and Main Street is home to a large collection of independent fashion boutiques. Note to the caffeine-dependent: you will rarely be more than a block away from a coffee joint in Vancouver.

If it’s a sit-down meal of locally-grown, organic vegetarian food that you crave, go to the Radha Yoga & Eatery (728 Main Street), a non-profit organization that runs yoga classes and serves food from Wednesday to Saturday, 6-10 pm. The restaurant also offers vegan and raw foods. As a bonus, they encourage bike parking in their building, which is upstairs from the Brickhouse Bar, a cozy, late night hipster hangout.

Bandidas Taqueria (2781 Commercial Drive) is a staple hangout for hungry riders. Opened by a dynamic duo of fixie-riding women, Bandidas is a great way to finish your day touring around “The Drive.” Enjoy hand-made corn tortillas and a variety of fixings, from spicy to mild, at this vegetarian Mexican eatery. Bandidas is also a car-free business that uses bikes, baskets and a locally made cargo trailer to transport their goods.

WHERE TO SHOP AND TUNE-UP

Atomic Bikes

1555 West 6th Avenue, 604-714-0158

The Bike Doctor

137 West Broadway, 604-439-2453

Bikes on the Drive

1350 Commercial Drive, 604-215-7433

Denman Bike Shop

710 Denman Street, 604-685-9755

JV Bike

955 Expo Boulevard, 604-694-2453

Mighty Riders

10 East Broadway, 604-879-8705

Our Community Bikes (full service & DIY education)

3283 Main Street, 604-879-2453

Rain City Bikes

2518 Manitoba Street, 604-879-4455

Reckless

1810 Fir Street, 604-731-2420 &

110 Davie Street, 604-648-2600

Super Champion (fixed gear)

245 Main Street, 604-689-3610

BIKE RENTALS

Cycle BC Rentals

10 – 73 East 6th Avenue, 604-709-5663

JV Bike

955 Expo Boulevard, 604-694-2453

Rain City Bikes

2518 Manitoba Street, 604-879-4455

Reckless

1810 Fir Street, 604-731-2420 &

110 Davie Street, 604-648-2600

Spokes Bicycle Rentals

1798 W Georgia Street, 604-688-5141

Steveston Seabreeze Adventures

12551 No. 1 Road (Richmond), 604-272-7200

Originally published in the Jan/ Feb 2010 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.

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