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Cycling the Cedar Loop

Cycling the Cedar Loop

March 2nd, 2007  · stk

Cedar/Yellow-Point Bicycle Loop: We took this excellent, 15-mile ride, for the first time, since moving to Vancouver Island. We're lucky to have it right out our front door. See what makes it such a great ride, get a printable route map, and learn more about what the area has to offer ...

A Scenic Ride Past Forest & Farms

On Tuesday, the Oop was insistent on going for a bicycle ride. She's been wanting to go on one, for over a week, but the weather hasn't been very cooperative, with rain threatening nearly every day and busy work schedules interfering when it wasn't raining. Finally, everything came together on Tuesday.

This was the first bike ride we've taken since moving in to our new, Vancouver Island home and of course, it took a long time to find all of the cycling clothes, helmets, gloves and other gear. All the bicycle tires, including those on Alex's buggy, were flat. Scott had the added exercise of pumping up six tires!

We decided to do the loop trip, down Yellow Point Road, to Cedar Road and then back up to Yellow Point, where the two roads meet again. This is an excellent bicycle loop trip, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) in length and we're very lucky to have it right off our doorstep. The roads pass through scenic forests and sun-dappled pastures. Along the route are parks, beaches, Inns, restaurants, hiking trails, campgrounds, artist studios and family-run farms.

The Oop was excited to be "cycling" again, though just how much help can she be, sitting in a buggy that I have to tow? We've both put on weight, since we last cycled, but the Oop is the only one of us that's grown any taller. ;) While I was pumping up the tires, Alex strapped herself into her buggy, itching to get moving.

Finally, we headed down our street, a downhill run toward Yellow Point Road, at a fast, nippy, early-morning clip.

"Whee!" squealed the Oop, from inside her buggy.

Read about our trip and get information about the excellent Cedar/Yellow-Point Cycle Loop (including a map) ...

"Go Faster, Daddy!" cried the Oop.

The Cedar/Yellow-Point Bicycle Loop

Located just 10-15 minutes south of Nanaimo, on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, the area of Cedar and Yellow Point lies just east of the main north-south Island Highway. Rolling hills, family operated farms, cedar and Douglas fir forests, sun-dappled lakes and stunning ocean views make up the landscape. There are lots of reasons this area is popular with tourists and this cycle trip adds yet another.

The Cedar/Yellow-Point loop is about 15 miles (25km) in length and follows rural roads that pass through picturesque, pastoral farmlands and coastal forests. Neither roadway has a rideable shoulder, which is too bad, but automobile traffic is light, especially during the middle of the day and on weekends. (Avoid cycling during commute times on weekday mornings and afternoons, if you can.)

The trip makes for a wonderful weekend ride, which can be combined with a number of other activities in the immediate area. It makes perfect sense to stay in one of the B&B's, Yellow Point Lodge, or area campgrounds and enjoy a bike ride one day, while doing something entirely different on another! Yellow Point has great hiking trails, regional and Provincial parks, restaurants, golf courses, sea and lake kayaking, an authentic English Pub, fishing, boating, clamming, prawning, local artisans, family-run farms, lakes and the world's longest running eco-forest at "Wildwood".

• Dashed lines on the map indicate alternative cycling routes one can take to shorten or extend the core bicycle ride (solid red line).

• Cyclists going south on Yellow Point Road, can turn left onto Tiesu Road, which goes out to Boat Harbor. Turning right onto Greenway Road, will take you back to Yellow Point Road (Dot "#9", at (unlabeled) DeCourcy Road). It's another dashed-line alternative that isn't indicated on this map.

Click the map for a larger (suitable for printing) version. It's a tad "muddy". I hope, one day, to put together a cleaner map, with more information, that's up-to-date and has contact details for the area activities, for everyone to use and enjoy.

Heading south, on Yellow Point Road, we made our way along the water's edge, to Blue Heron Park. The road to the park was fairly level, with a few downhill runs. Under forested cover, with temperatures just over freezing, we were cold by the time we got to the park. We stopped to make a few bike adjustments, look out over the calm waters of Stuart Channel and try to warm ourselves in the hazy, mid-morning sunshine. The calm waters reaffirmed our desire to buy sea kayaks and explore some of the islands that are only a couple kilometers off of Yellow Point. Many have overnight camping, making this area a wonderful kayaking destination.

Scott's chain slipped off his rear cog set, just as we were pulling back onto the road (we need to get our touring bikes in for their annual checkup). Once fixed and greasy hands wiped, we faced our first climb. We were actually thankful for the warm-up, though out of breath at the top, which just shows how out-of-shape we are.

"Go faster, daddy," the Oop chanted, from her buggy, as I slogged up the short hill, "Go faster, go faster, go faster!" I didn't have the breath for a retort, but I'm sure that saying, "I'm going as fast as I can," would've done bugger all to mollify her.

For one, Dad will be happy when the Oop is riding her own bicycle, though I suspect that it's better to suffer through Alex's goading, than to have to wait on her, every kilometer. :|

Slowly, we past the tip of Yellow Point and the turn off for the Yellow Point Lodge. We've not been down to investigate the Lodge yet. It's on 137 acres of wooded land, right at the tip of Yellow Point and is, apparently, a wonderfully remote retreat from a normally busy life.

We also slid past Yellow Point Bed & Breakfast, Yellow Point Park, Cranberry Farms and McNabb's Farm. Just after McNabbs, at the top of a small hill, we spied a house whose front yard was filled with violet crocus'. Amazing. We stopped to take a picture and then carried on, eventually joining Cedar Road.

We cycled past horses and cows, and out of the forest into a more open pastoral setting. We past the Cedar Community Hall and many farms. We remarked that we hadn't been passed by a single car. The sun began to shine more brightly and we were comfortably sailing along the rolling hills, at about 13 mph. The Oop was singing to herself in the buggy, mooing at the cows as we passed.

Eventually, near the big bend in the road, we were passed by a couple of cars.

By the time we turned back onto Yellow Point Road, the excitement of the trip was wearing off for the Oop and she was beginning to nod off, in the trailer. We were in full sunshine now, as we past the entrance to the "Crow & Gate", an authentic English Pub, which has been built, stick and stone, after one in England. It's a family-run establishment, with authentic English pub fare and a casual atmosphere. A huge stone fireplace provides warmth from 3-foot burning logs, during the winter months. It's a must-stop place, if you're not traveling with children (unlike England pubs, the B.C. version, doesn't allow children).

Yellow Point Road dips and bobs past Long Lake, with a gentle climb to a sandstone ridge, just past DeCourcy. The gradient changes, however, as you approach Roberts Memorial Park and one can pick up some good speeds, heading downhill. A couple of hours after we left, we pulled back up our street, my tired legs struggling to pull the buggy up the short, but steep, road. It felt good to get the cycling legs pumping again and we vowed to do the trip again, exploring some of the alternative routes, which can either lengthen (or shorten) the overall trip.

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1.flag Ann Sutthery Comment
03/02/07
Whee! Love the crocus fields!!
2.flag stk Comment
03/02/07
Ann, you crack me up!! Hope the knee is doing OKAY.

Get yer butt over here and visit.

Cheers,
-stk
3.flag Sheldon Comment
06/30/09
Have you ever seen a blue ghost in the area?
4.flag stk Comment
07/02/09
Sheldon - No. Not blue. Not red. Not green. Not any-colored ghost. (Is there supposed to be one?)