July 11-16, 2021
Showcasing the diverse backroad riding of the Southern Vancouver Island, your custom gravel itinerary combines curated routes, boutique west coast accommodations, and great meals to create the perfect cycling ‘staycation.
“What an adventure! I appreciated the guides and the freedom to ride at my own pace, to see the sights and feel supported along the way. The attention to daily details was fantastic, leaving me the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the ride. The guides and support crew were also amazing at adjusting on the fly as conditions changed. They were amazing at reading the group, assessing conditions and adapting to ensure we got the most out of our trip!”
– Stephanie Petersen, 2020 SW BC Gravel Tour
Come See The Wild Side of Vancouver Island
Curated from our own experiences in searching out the best gravel riding in our own back yard, your South Island gravel tour incorporates some deservedly ‘must do’ rides with a selection of ‘locals only’ secrets to pack five truly memorable off-road rides into a trip that’s no more than a stone’s throw from Victoria. Our five night, six day tour will see you riding a wide variety of terrain, including smooth, loamy singletrack, winding rail trail, and backcountry forestry roads, while staying in the finest lodge accommodations in the region.
Riding Gabriola. It may lack the popularity of its neighbouring islands, but this place is a quiet gem of off-road riding;
Enjoying a cold beer around the beach fire at Wild Renfrew, celebrating 5 days of incredible riding;
Feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but trees and mountains, with only the sound of gravel crunching under your tires;
Enjoying a delicious breakfast overlooking the ocean at Surf Lodge as you chat excitedly about the days ride to come.
Five nights double-occupancy lodge-style accommodation
Five (or six if you’re game) fully guided, van supported daily rides;
Five delicious breakfasts and gourmet picnic lunches, along with ride nutrition and drinks on your rides;
Pickup and return shuttle service for your and your gear from your residence in Victoria;
1 set of Magic Places professional-grade cycling bibs and jersey;
Our friendly and attentive customer service.
Day 1: After your morning pick-up in Victoria, we shuttle you to Langford and the start of the Sooke Wilderness Trail, a challenging and spectacular trail that winds through the forest up and over the Malahat summit, before joining the Cowichan Valley rail trail. After a lunch stop near the stunning Kinsol Trestle, we continue northwest, following the Great Trail to Cowichan River Lodge, our boutique lodging for the evening. 70km/950m
Day 2: A post-breakfast shuttle takes us to Nanaimo, where you’ll board the ferry bound for Gabriola Island. Riding off the ferry, we quickly duck into the forest for the first of two days of an incredible mix of double track, gravel, and smooth single-track riding on trails that are closely-guarded local secrets. Cold beers, fresh seafood, and beautiful views await us at Surf Lodge and Pub, our home for the next two nights. 30-50km/400-800m
Day 3: Yesterday’s taster will leave you wanting to explore more of Gabriola’s secrets, and we’re happy to deliver. 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. 25-80km/260-970m
Day 4: After breakfast, we board the ferry back to Nanaimo and jump on the bikes, following a network of forestry roads west, through the Nanaimo River valley before turning south, over a 14km climb. Your efforts will be rewarded with a fun, winding descent to the south end of Lake Cowichan. The final 25km of the ride sees you riding the gently rolling lakeside FSR all the way into Cowichan. We return to the beautiful Cowichan River Lodge for another great meal and evening on the river. 80km/1100m
Day 5: Departing Cowichan, we dive back into the mountainous heart of the south island, lacing together a network of forestry roads that see us climbing passes, riding along rivers, and passing through the awe-inspiring Avatar Grove, before emerging from the trees in Jordan River. Refreshments, great food, and seaside cabins await us at Wild Renfrew, a modern west coast resort. 70km/900m
Day 6: After a well deserved sleep-in and a hearty breakfast, we load up for the shuttle home to Victoria. Want to squeeze in some more miles? No problem, you an hop out of the van in Sooke for the 50km ride along the Galloping Goose back into town. 52km/430m optional.