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Cycling the Cowichan Valley Trail on a road bike
posted by: kmack89   email this member
Posted Monday, Aug 21 at 10:15 PM
Mon, Aug 21 at 10:15 PM
Regarding trail Trans Canada Trail Cowichan Valley Section near Duncan, BC

Hi all,

Can anyone advise as to whether it's possible and comfortable to ride the Cowichan Valley Trail on a road bike? I am looking to ride from Victoria to Lake Cowichan and would prefer staying on a protected trail, but worry about my road tires on the trail. Any advice/previous experience would be appreciated.


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trails page for wjiRe: Cycling the Cowichan Valley Trail on a road bike
wji  email this member
Posted Tuesday, Aug 22 at 2:52 PM
Tue, Aug 22 at 02:52 PM
Regarding trail Trans Canada Trail Cowichan Valley Section near Duncan, BC

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< BR>Thanks for your interest in cycling Vancouver Island (VI) trails. Firstly, every trail on VI has at least two names and some as many as four names.
Initially, the Cowichan Valley Trail (CVT) was the name given to the former CPR rail line between Duncan, BC and Lake Cowichan township.

The other trail connecting to Lake Cowichan is the former CNR rail line right-of-way (RoW) and was (is?) named the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).
It too, now (2017) carries the CVT and the TCT monikers.

This brings us (me?) to your question of tyre selection for cycling the dedicated trails' route from Victoria to "The Foot" (the locals name for Lake Cowichan township). As of July 2017, the logical contiguous, dedicated, cycling route is the newly-connected "Great Trail" route. Don't ask me where these names derive from as I have no idea.

The route as of 2017 would start at the Blue Bridge (Johnson Street) in Victoria and follow the Galloping Goose Regional Trail (GGT) through Langford to connect with The Great Trail at Mt.Work Park (Humpback Reservoir). There are several routes through Langford to accomplish this but I prefer the direct connection from the GGT at Kelly Rd to Irwin Rd in West Hills.

Road bikes (and tyres) probably work for this section. The Great Trail here has several other monikers, namely: Vancouver Island Spine Trail (VISP); Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail (SHWT) and the Trans Canada Trail (TCT). I've traversed this section and in parts three times and observed 80% of cyclists were -- to my surprise -- on road bikes. Their choice not mine.

Continuing northwest bound, one crosses Sooke Lake Road to connect with the TCT (and now also known as the CVT). I haven't cycled here for a while but it was pretty rough the last time we did. I'm recommending at least a hybrid here with puncture-resistant tyres and carbon-fibre liners. That's what I have on my Norco XFR (2010) hybrid. According to my GPS tracks it's another 49km from Sooke Lake Road (over the Kinsol Trestle) to Lake Cowichan along the TCT.

Enjoy. Stay safe and don't cycle this wildness section of the TCT alone. The locals will confirm this is bear country.

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