Day 1: Arrive in Sidney at your leisure. If you arrive by air or ferry, we’ll pick you up and transport you to the Sidney Pier Hotel where you can relax and enjoy exploring beautiful Sidney. At 7pm, we’ll hold our Welcome Dinner at 10 Acres Bistro, the award-winning restaurant in the hotel.
Day 2: We meet downstairs at 8am for breakfast, before loading up for the short shuttle to begin our first ride on the south island’s famed ‘Galloping Goose,’ a former rail grade that runs through farms, arbutus forest, and along stunning coastline enroute our lunchtime destination – the tumbling Sooke River Potholes. A picnic lunch awaits before we shuttle you back to the Sidney Pier Hotel. 65km/1100m
Day 3: After your morning pick-up at the hotel, we shuttle you to Langford and the start of the Sooke Wilderness Trail, a challenging and spectacular gravel marvel that winds through deep forest up and over the Malahat summit, before joining the Cowichan Valley rail trail. After a lunch stop near the 150ft high Kinsol Trestle, we continue north, before turning onto logging and then paved roads, taking us to our lovely oceanfront suites on Cowichan Bay. 55km/1400m
Day 4: A short shuttle returns us to the Trans Canada Trail, heading west along the Cowichan River through lush west coast rainforest, passing waterfalls and trestles enroute Lake Cowichan. After a lake-side lunch, we begin our return journey, heading back east along a smooth gravel trail that gently descends through forest and marshland for 25km, depositing us in Duncan, city of Totems. Here we take to pavement, passing longhouses and log sorts along the Cowichan estuary as we ride beneath the cliffs of Mt Tzouhalem before arriving back at Cowichan Bay. Cold microbrews await at the iconic Masthead Pub. 67km/750m
Day 5: After breakfast, we’ll shuttle to Nanaimo, where we board the ferry bound for Gabriola Island and the classic island hideaway of Surf Lodge and Pub. After three big days of riding, some of us will opt for an afternoon relaxing on the Lodge’s outdoor deck or exploring the shops of Gabriola, but for those itching to ride, we’ll offer an optional afternoon jaunt through the trails and tracks hidden on this forested island.
Day 6: Today we explore Gabriola Island’s incredible mix of double track, gravel, and smooth single-track riding on trails that are closely-guarded local secrets. The day will be split into two, with a delicious lunch allowing you to refuel for the afternoon’s adventure. Feel like taking it easy? No worries, a short shuttle back to the Surf Lodge after lunch and you can kick back on the seaside deck to relax for the afternoon. 25-60km/ 260-970m
Day 7: We hop on the ferry after breakfast and shuttle south through Nanaimo to Ladysmith and the newly-created Cowichan Rail Trail, riding past picturesque Stocking Creek Falls and through Chemainus and its famed murals. We take to pavement here, riding winding, narrow roads through farmlands to the shores of Quamichan Lake, where we’ll have a delicious al fresco lunch at the Italian Kitchen and Deli. Post lunch, with full bellies, we’ll shuttle to the Mill Bay ferry, where a picturesque 30min crossing deposits us at the ideally located Brentwood Bay Pub, and the perfect place to enjoy the view and toast an amazing tour. After refreshments, we’ll return you to the Sidney Pier Hotel where we’ll check in and relax before our final celebration dinner. 55km/1200m
Day 8: Enjoy a relaxed seaside breakfast at the Sidney Pier Hotel before we shuttle you to the ferry for your return home.