The Ultimate Vancouver Bike Ride

Fitness fanatic Natalie Langston reveals the scenic highlights of her favourite Vancouver bike route

Take in some of the city’s most spectacular views as you bike your way through Vancouver

New statistics released by city transportation officials indicate that for the first time ever, Vancouverites are choosing to make almost as many trips by bike, transit or on foot as by car. Since 2008, daily biking trips in the city have doubled, from 50,000 to 100,000.

Biking is not only a green and cost-efficient way to get around the city, it’s also a chance to get a great workout and experience many of Vancouver’s beautiful parks.

Click through for the most scenic and memorable moments I‘ve experienced on my favourite bike route through the city.

Credit: Natalie Langston

Science World, 1455 Quebec Street

I like to start my bike route at the Yaletown Seawall entrance and ride by Main Street/Science World along False Creek. The views are picturesque and it’s less crowded than the Yaletown side. When you get to Southeast False Creek, there’s an island called Habitat Island (pictured below) that’s worth a pit stop. It’s a very scenic little place that’s home to a myriad of plants and animals, so park your bike (do not ride it on the island) and take a few minutes to explore.

Photo: Courtesy of the City of Vancouver

Credit: Natalie Langston

Charleson Park, 999 Charleson Road

As you turn around the bend away from Science World and BC Place, you hit Charleson Park, which has a secluded waterfall – the perfect place to let your dogs roam free and cool off on those hot summer days. Even if you don’t stop, you can’t miss the giant jelly bean art installation (pictured above).

As you ride along under the shady comfort of large maples and weeping willow trees, you’ll notice a variety of other plant life. You’ll also observe the many bird species that inhabit the area, such as ducks, cranes, swans, herons and geese. Just be warned: there are a lot of cute little goslings this time of year, so stay back and give them lots of space so to avoid getting nipped by a protective mother.

Granville Island, 1661 Duranleau Street

Stop by for a drink and/or appies at one of the many fantastic restaurants on Granville Island. In my opinion, The Granville Island Hotel’s Dockside Restaurant patio is one of the best spots in the city (pictured below).

Alternatively, Edible Canada and the Granville Island Market both have delicious eats that you can grab on the go if you’re planning a picnic.

Photo: Courtesy of Dockside Restaurant

Hadden Park, 1905 Ogden Ave

This clearing near Vanier Park is dog-friendly and has gorgeous views of the city from the beach. It’s the perfect place to stop and play with your canine companion. On hotter days, there are lots of shady spots available for hanging out under the many large trees in the area.

Marriage Point at Kits Beach (at the end of McNicoll Ave.)

The locals call this area Marriage Point. It makes for a nice picnic area over the hill from Vanier Park and the sunsets here are breathtaking. From the name, I’m sure you’ve guessed that many people like to get married here and with the ocean and mountain views, it’s no mystery why. If you’re lucky, you may even witness a wedding.

Kits Beach, Cornwall Ave. at the north end of Yew

There is definitely something for everyone at Kits Beach. Whether you want to people-watch, play volleyball, throw a Frisbee, swim in the salt-water pool or just catch some rays, you’ll likely want to take a little break here.

Jericho Beach, at the west end of Point Grey Road between Wallace Street and Discovery Street

Jericho is known for its naturally sandy beaches nestled amongst copses and ponds. There is a seawall system along this beach with a concession, washrooms, picnic tables, tennis courts, a very popular youth hostel, a sailing centre and a lifeguard on duty from late May until early September.

If you’re up for some extra activity, you can also try paddleboarding at Jericho. Windsure Adventure Watersports offers rentals and lessons and is located at Jericho Park West inside the Jericho Sailing Centre Compound.

Credit: Patrick King @instagramvancouver

Spanish Banks, Northwest Marine Drive west of Tolmie Street

One of the best beaches in Vancouver, in my opinion, Spanish Banks is easy to access, has washroom facilities, great skimboarding and much more privacy than Kits Beach. There is a spiritual vibe about Spanish Banks that continues to draw me in that I find both fascinating and surreal.

Credit: John Goodall

Bunny (aka Jericho) Park, located behind the Jericho Sailing Centre and beside the park’s tennis courts

I like to end my bike ride at Jericho Park – or what I call Bunny Park – because of all the wild rabbits in this area. I’ve had so many touching experiences at this park, like cuddling up with a delightful rabbit or having brand new ducklings waddle over to me wondering what I was doing. This stretch of land is a great place to pull up a blanket and have a nice little snack or a bit of a snooze. I find that looking out at this magnificent view allows me to be present and appreciate how truly beautiful life in B.C. is.