Adventure on British Columbia’s South Coast with Pedego Delta
June 8, 2023
Located in Tsawwassen’s Southlands, Pedego Delta is just minutes away from the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail and approximately twenty minutes from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. It’s a great starting off point for any adventure of British Columbia’s south coast. Contributing writer Caylie Warkentin took a Pedego ebike on an adventure and shares her experience with us here. Thanks, Caylie!
An Orientation and You’re Off!
Whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice, owner of Pedego Delta owner Murray Pratt will give you a comprehensive and thorough orientation on operating an e-bike so that you feel confident and safe when you’re cycling. I rented a cruiser-style e-bike equipped with saddle bags packed with all the essentials you’ll need for the journey, including a battery charger, first-aid kit, tire pump, helmet, and lock. On a low-speed setting, the battery should last for around 100 kilometres — meaning you can cycle to Victoria and back on a single charge!
From Pedego Delta, there are two main routes to reach the ferry. For a quieter route, follow Southlands Drive out of Southlands towards 56th Street. From there, turn left on 12th Avenue. This will connect you to 52nd Street. From there, you can reach the highway that connects to the Ferry Causeway. For a guided tour, book an Oh, Victoria! 8-12 hour guided tour.
Once off the ferry, follow the small blue signs that read Lochside Regional Trail. These signs are clearly visible from the ferry terminal and will connect you within minutes to the start of the trailhead. Bathroom pit stops and water fountains are available en route, as are maps of the trail. Be sure to allow time for stops — I’ve shared some of my favourite below.
Lochside Regional Trail
Driftwood-strewn shores and rocky beaches meet wooden trestles and wetlands on the Lochside Regional Trail. Once a railroad, this 29 kilometre trail connects the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal with downtown Victoria, British Columbia’s Regional Capital District. Relatively flat, mostly paved, and well-signed, this trail acts as a connecter for cyclists to explore Canada’s southernmost tip.
Sidney’s Harbour Waterfront
A quaint, picturesque seaside town, Sidney’s harbour front offers seaside fish and chips, cyclist-friendly coffee shops with outdoor patios, and a 2.5 km long waterfront walkway. The stretch south of town is all waterfront — perfect for a picnic, and an opportunity to walk along a rocky shoreline.
Michell’s Farm Market
On the right of the Lochside Regional Trail in Saanichton is Michell’s Farm Market — a market with seasonal fruits and veg, local cheeses and baked goods, and vinegars and oils. Picnic tables are nestled behind Michell’s next to Harvest Rd., a field-to-fork café that offers burgers, sandwiches and fresh-pressed juices made with produce from Michell’s farm. Public bathrooms are available. Open Tuesday until Sunday.
A favourite amongst cyclists, Mattick’s Farm features a small, curated grocer, local shops, and Adrienne’s Restaurant & Tea Garden, a café with an outdoor patio and generous bike racks for the many cyclists that enjoy these amenities. Situated midway between the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal Victoria, Mattick’s Farm is the perfect pitstop to top up on water and to stretch your legs.
Just ten minutes from the Lochside Regional Trail is Elk Lake — a small, swimmable lake with a sandy picnic area. On a balmy summer day this makes for a great pit stop to cool off and go for a dip. There’s ample space in the provided saddle bags for a towel and a swimsuit.
Farm Stands Many farms have small stands stocked with fresh-grown produce, baked goods, potted plants, and cut flowers. This section of the trail is worth taking your time on. Be sure to have cash on hand, though some farm stands also accept e-transfers.
The Capital Regional District, Victoria boasts an intense network of trails and other biking amenities in the city.
Once in Victoria, cycle from the Johnson Bridge cycle along Pandora Avenue to the free Downtown Victoria Bike Valet. In its second year, this service offers free, secure, and monitored storage for your bike from May through to December. Drop your bike off and in turn you’ll be given a keychain with a number — be sure to hang on to this keychain as you’ll need it when picking up your bike later on. They also have free cycling maps and other resources for cyclists.
Own your own bike? Register your bike with Project 529 Garage — a non-profit anti-theft service that registers your bike with your contact info and photo, and provides a unique sticker placed on your bike that identifies you as the owner, reducing bike theft. This service is also offered by the Downtown Victoria Bike Valet.
With peace of mind knowing that your e-bike rental is secure, explore Victoria on foot. Follow the harbour front past the Fairmont Empress for their spectacular spring and summer garden displays, and their famous high tea — served since 1908. Continue past the Fairmont Empress along the water to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, open to guided tours seven days a week. For a slower place, spend time meandering down residential streets, and you might just stumble across iconic Canadian artist and writer Emily Carr’s home, now a historic site. For further cycling, head on over to Beacon Hill Park — a 200-acre park that has the tallest free-standing totem pole in the world, and protected Garry Oak ecosystems — a meadow ecosystem unique to pockets of South Western British Columbia. End the day with fresh seafood and chilled drinks by the waterfront — for vegetarian comfort food, check out Rebar Modern Food, and for fresh seafood, try Ferris’ Grill & Garden Patio for their local fresh-shucked oysters. For an extended overnight cycling trip, continue on the Galloping Goose Regional Trail to Sooke — a seaside getaway abundant with local artists and cafés.
After a day of local adventuring, pick up your bike from the Downtown Victoria Bike Valet and follow the same route you took to cycle to Victoria. Take a late afternoon or evening ferry home to catch the sunset from the water, and to hopefully see some harbour porpoise from the upper ferry deck.
With big smiles, return your e-bike to Pedego Delta.