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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Cowichan Valley/Gulf Islands Tour 2023, Int - Don H

  • Monday, April 03, 2023
  • 8:00 AM
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023
  • 4:00 PM
  • Sidney BC
  • 18


Registration is closed

RIDE - LEVEL:  Intermediate

Coordinator:  Don Hollingshead

Distance:  500 km

Pace:  15-20 km/hr

Elevation Gain:  6000 m

E-Bikes allowed:  Y

Join us for a 10 day loop tour of southeast Vancouver Island including the Gulf Islands.   Early April brings tulips, daffodils and a canopy of Gary Oak emerging from winter dormancy.  Roads are pretty quiet and the weather is often warm and sunny (but anything is possible).

This is a classic EVCC tour organized and operated by an experienced EVCC coordinator who will provide route information (navigation files), alternate routes, recommend points of interest, eateries, daily debriefs, and generally be available to the participants. On days when the coordinator is not transferring baggage, he/she will ride with the group.

It is perfect for new members and seasoned members who prefer a predictable, well planned event with reserved hotels, luggage handling, transfers, and the type of camaraderie that results from spending 10 days with a group. The tour is a “spoke and hub” style where we use 3 different accommodations and organize day trips from them.  

We depart Victoria Airport (Sidney) on Vancouver Island, taking the Mill Bay ferry the first day, visiting a winery and arriving at the village of Cowichan Bay. Our motel borders on the largest blue heron rookery on Vancouver Island and is near the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre (a museum on a warf) and the Rock Cod Café, a must visit for seafood aficionados.

After a day trip to loop Shawnigan Lake and across the Kinsol Trestle, we depart  Cowichan Bay and head for Duncan, exploring the Mt Tzouhalem area including the remains of the Butter Church, the village of Maple Bay and perhaps the Northwest Raptor Centre en route.      

While in Duncan, the planned outing is a day trip up to Cowichan Lake to visit the western terminus of the Trans Canada Trail and back.  Several restored trestles are accessible along the Trans Canada Trail from the lake, though riding the TCT for any distance requires sturdy tires due to the large gravel used to construct the trail.

Leaving Duncan, we visit the town of Chemainus, the town of murals on our way to Crofton and the ferry to Saltspring Island.  We cycle across Saltspring to  the town of Ganges and its Saturday Market (farmers market and craft fair) where we stay for the next 5 nights.  We’ll use Ganges as home base for a series of island hops via water taxi to explore, Galiano, North and South Pender and Mayne Islands. 

On the last day of the tour, we depart Ganges and ride to Fulford Harbour for the last ferry ride back to Swartz Bay followed by a ride around the north end of Saanich Peninsula, arriving back the town of Sidney and nearby Victoria Airport.

The route’s pitch and frequency of climbs increase towards the later part of the tour culminating in numerous short, steep hills on the Gulf Islands.  This is an ebike friendly event with shared hotels (2/room), luggage shuttle, ferries, and water taxis. The coordinator’s expenses (meals, travel, accommodation) are included in the registration fee.  Daily distances vary between 40-70 km per day with an option to pedal further if desired.  The total distance is about 500 km with 6km of climbing.

The tour departs 10:30 AM from Victoria Airport YYJ (Sidney) on Monday April 3 and arrives back at 3 PM at YYJ April 12. Participants are responsible for their own travel to and from Victoria.

A gear shuttle vehicle will carry baggage between airport and from one accommodation to the next. A bike shuttle from Calgary to Victoria (return) is available for those who would like to fly. Lockers are available at Victoria Airport to stow bicycle airline shipping cases.

A solo accommodation rate is available for those singles desiring their own rooms. 

If you’d like more details, please phone or email Don Hollingshead 403-289-7061. donhol at nucleus dot com.



A non-refundable deposit of $25 is required to register for this event. The balance is $1325. Payable by etransfer or credit card.  (3% payment processing fee returned if paid by etransfer)

Registrants will receive an emailed invoice for the balance owing with a payment deadline and instructions on how to pay by e-transfer or credit card.

Cancellation Policy

This event will be cancelled if there are less than 7 participants.

If the event is cancelled by EVCC, the full amount paid will be refunded to participants (-3% payment processing fee if paid by credit card).  


Costs such as air-line tickets, expenses incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations or illness and related costs incurred by a member but not included in the EVCC trip fee are not refundable by the EVCC. Members are advised to purchase their own travel cancellation insurance.

Event surplus refund policy

Even a perfectly budgeted event can endure some surprises.  EVCC events are planned as closely as is reasonably possible with the information at hand.  Our policy is to return the surplus (if in excess of $25/participant) via e-transfers after reconciling the event finances. 




Please note:  To cancel your registration, make sure you are signed into the system, click on the "already registered" button, then click the "Cancel Registration" button.  

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