Take a Galiano Gander – Rent an Ebike from Pedego Delta
Located in Tsawwassen’s Southlands, Pedego Delta is a great starting off point for any adventure of British Columbia’s south coast. Contributing writer Caylie Warkentin took a Pedego ebike on the adventure called the Galiano Gander. A haven for creatives and art lovers, Galiano is a popular cycling destination. Caylie shares her fun experience that takes her through beautiful countryside, along some great pit stops and landing her at the beach. Thanks you! You’ve inspired us!
An Orientation and You’re Off!
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. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice, Murray Pratt, owner of Pedego Delta, will give you a comprehensive and thorough orientation on operating an ebike so that you feel confident and safe when you’re cycling.
I rented a cruiser-style ebike equipped with saddle bags packed with all the essentials you’ll need for the journey, including a helmet, water bottle holder, and lock. On a low-speed setting, under optimal conditions the battery should last for 60 to 100 kilometres — meaning you can cycle to Galiano and back on a single charge.
With a standard road bike much of the route around Galiano might be inaccessible to a novice cyclist. An e-bike offers relief on steep 12% grades, and expands the possibility of adventure in a single afternoon. Without feeling the weight of laden saddle-bags, you’ll return from your Galiano adventure to Pedego Delta feeling rejuvenated, and eager for another Gulf Island adventure. Let’s get started!
Take a Ferry Ride!
From Pedego Electric Bike Rentals 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, and the highway that connects to the Ferry Causeway is just a short ride from there. Galiano is the closest southern Gulf Island to Tsawwassen, located fifty minutes away by ferry, making it a doable day-trip on a bike. A haven for creatives and art lovers, Galiano is a popular cycling destination, and you’ll likely find yourself waiting with other cyclists and walk-on passengers. Smaller vessels and just four sailings a day in the summer mean that reservations are encouraged.
Sandstone rock formations, old-growth forests, and towering bluffs are just some of the islands’ spectacular natural features you’ll cycle by. 27.5 kilometres long and 6 kilometres at its widest point, Galiano offers dozens of kilometres of cycling opportunities. Most roads are paved, though there are no dedicated bike lanes. Be cognizant of blind corners and quick-moving traffic, particularly along narrow roads without shoulders. Some stretches of road are unpaved and have sections of loose gravel. Gear down and take this time to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace.
The ferry schedule in the summer is infrequent, meaning a cycling day can be limited by available sailings. Be selective in the areas you want to visit. Porlier Pass is the more obvious route to cycle to Montague Harbour from the terminal, I began my day at Sturdies Bay and cycled to the harbour via the Bluff route, passing through old-growth forests en route. For an extended two-day cycling trip, Bodega Ridge Provincial Park and Dionisio Point Provincial Park at the north end of the island are worth visiting. I share some of my favourite sights from my cycling trip with you below.
Eats + Pit-Stops
Within a block of exiting from the ferry terminal, you’ll find yourself in Sturdies Bay, less a town, and more a small collection of buildings scattered within a few blocks of each other. Bright murals of underwater seascapes and meadows bring a down-to-earth vibrancy to the exteriors of buildings, and make for good photo-ops. Start your day by visiting Sturdies Bay Cafe & Bakery. This small café offers outdoor seating, ice cream, and gooey salted caramel brownies — you’ll definitely want to pick up one of these. There are infrequent water fountains en route, so if needed, top up here.
Later on in your journey, pop in to Daystar Market — a gourmet grocery store stocked with essentials including organic eats, local goods like Avalon dairy, and summer produce. Pick up a postcard from a local artist, and grab a snack before you head back to the ferry. At the Sturdies Bay Ferry Terminal, grab takeout at Max & Moritz, an Indonesian food truck that boasts traditional dishes like Bami Goreng, as well as a selection of grilled German sausages.
Bellhouse Provincial Park
Bellhouse Provincial Park is just a stones throw away from Sturdies Bay Terminal. At low tide, explore exposed tidal pools, and spot purple ochre sea stars. This park has a protected meadow ecosystem and smooth, sweeping rocks that lead to soft sandstone at the waters edge. Benches are available and offer a view of Mayne Island. Beaches adjacent to Bellhouse are small and nestled next to private residences, but the beaches are sandy, and are worth stopping at.
The Bluffs Nature Protection Area
The Bluffs Nature Protection Area is a three-hundred acre area of bluffs, forest and meadow ecosystems. The immediate viewpoint from the parking lot looks out towards Active Pass, towards the Southern Gulf islands. You can secure your bike to the racks in the parking lot, and explore some of the trails on foot. Looking out towards Active Pass, watch eagles rise on thermals. You’ll be high enough that you can look down on them as they soar, a unique and wonderful vantage point. You can also watch ferries navigate Active Pass. On a balmy afternoon, this is a lovely and warm spot to enjoy lunch before you begin your descent through a verdant forest.
Access to beaches is frequent around the perimeter of the island, though many trails are narrow and tucked between the perimeter of properties. Keep an eye out for signage directing you towards tucked away beaches.
Montague Harbour Marine Park is a provincial park with walk-in campsites, a grassy picnic area, and a sweeping beach with swimming access. A dock provides a different vantage point of the harbour — watch as sail boats go by, or pop in for a swim on a hot day.
Situated halfway along Galiano on the South side, Retreat Cove is a protected cove with breathtaking sandstone formations, including a cave that overlooks the ocean. This is a beautiful spot to see the colours of sunset reflected in the water below.
On the ferry home, keep an eye out for orca — both Bigg’s and resident orca pass through this section of the Strait of Georgia, and are often spotted off the Galiano Harbour in the summertime.
Are you ready to try your own Galiano Gallop? Get in touch with Murray at Pedego Delta to arrange your adventure!