Friday, June 10, 2011

My cycling commute

Earlier this week, I read about a fellow blogger's daily trials on the New York subway. I threatened to counter with an account of my own commuting experience. And here it is.

The drive between home and work is about 25 minutes and pretty stress-free. But even so I like to get on my bike whenever I can in the summer months. And here's why.

I have about 4km of quiet roads around Saanichton, before crossing over the highway and onto the bike trail.

The trail runs alongside the highway for about 2km. This is the noisiest part of the ride.

Then I leave the highway behind and travel 3km of virtually deserted roads through farmland. On the way, I pass Michell's model airfield, site of a fabulous annual airshow. When I ride past in the evening there's often model enthusiasts flying their planes.

Off the paved road, there's 3km of dedicated cycle path, overhung with trees. Welcome shade for the return journey on a hot summer's day.

Back on the road for 3km through quiet suburbia. Oddly enough, this is the stretch where I most often see deer, completely oblivious to human presence, grazing on peoples' lawns and hedges.

Then it's back to the tree-lined trail for another 3km, with the occasional picturesque trestle thrown in for good measure.

The last 3km is through the outskirts of Victoria, across a few busy roads (but with strategically-placed crossings).

But even through this built-up area the trail is well-protected from traffic, with yet more trestles...

And glimpses of Swan Lake sanctuary...

Total distance: 21km.
Cycling time: 1 hour, give or take.
Conditions: Quiet and flat. You'll notice most of these pictures don't show much in the way of traffic. Yes, it really is like that.

I hoped to show you some deer too. Sadly none around in the morning. Saw two on the way home, but by then my phone was out of battery. Ah, well, another day, eh?


  1. Excellent commute, Ian! And thanks for linking to my original blog post. I'd take your commute over mine any day of the week!

    Wow, so that's around 11 miles or so. That's quite a good workout, too, then! I loved the scenic pics the best (of course). Everything looks so quiet and peaceful.

  2. What a great commute! And it's so sustainable -- all on your own steam -- how cool is that!

    Thanks for sharing this and inspiring the rest of us...


  3. It's actually more like 13 miles, David, so yes, it is a good workout. And remember there's the return journey too. The bit that kills me is that it's all flat except for the home stretch. I've got to climb a hill for about a mile right at the end of the day. Ouch.

    Saloma, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Cycling is very popular around here, and you can see why.

  4. Goodness that looks lovely - I envy you everything except the homeward hill.

    My cycle commute is only fifteen minutes in central London. I share narrow roads with motorists maddened by speed cushions, camera traps, the congestion charge and traffic jams. Nice and flat, though :o)

  5. He Lexi, that London commute sounds similar to the daily to & fro I used to do in Guernsey. Short journey, but very narrow & congested roads and homicidal drivers. Nowhere near as much traffic as London of course, but nowhere near as much road to carry it either.

  6. Wow. I'm not sure I could cycle that far but it sure would be an incentive to try!

  7. Hi Ellie, since moving from the UK to Canada I found everything here seems about ten times as far as I was used to. The distance is a challenge for sure, but as you say there's an incentive!

  8. Looks like a lovely commute. I have a coworker who bikes to work and I envy him. I wish I could do it but just can't see making it and still, you know, breathe the rest of the day :) I used to when work was 2 miles away (I know I am a total WIMP!!!) but now it's more like 5 and almost completely uphill. WIMPY, WIMPY, WIMPY! Fortunately my bike needs work so I also have that excuse.

  9. Danette, I used to cycle every day (and home again for lunch) when work was less than 2 miles from home. It's a different story now. This distance is hard work and takes a big bite out of the day too. It's not something I can manage every day.

    5 miles uphill sounds tough, though, but just think of the return journey :D

  10. What a beautiful trail! I've missed your blog. Thanks for sharing this. Now I need to fix my bike :)

  11. Hello Mysti, and thank you. It's good to be back in circulation.


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