Salt Spring Cycling Tips 2023-07-26T20:35:57+00:00

a 7-minute heads-up about riding one of the island’s better roads

For decades, Salt Spring and the other Gulf Islands have been seen as great places to cycle. They are, but they also have hazards — different ones from those in towns and cities. Yes, you’re less likely to be doored on country roads, but there are other very real risks. We want you to stay safe and have fun, starting with knowing how to share our roads.

What to expect:

    • lots of friendly people
    • paved main routes, in varying states of repair
    • narrow or non-existent shoulders
    • loose gravel and bumpy patches
    • no off-road routes
    • lots of hills and blind corners
    • some fast, impatient drivers

How to Prepare:

  1. Read Salt Spring’s “Share the Road” brochure”, for a quick overview of the basics.
  2. Make sure your bicycle is well-maintained, with the legally required helmet and lights (front and back lights, if you’re riding between dusk and dawn). No helmet, poor tires, dirty chain, iffy brake parts, sticky gear levers — just don’t risk these on our hills, curves, and aging roadways.
  3. Know and follow the rules of the roadRide single file at all times in traffic, and don’t wait until vehicles are close by do so. When you stop by the road, stay well to the side. Don’t stop on anywhere that drivers can’t see you until, bam! you’re right there.
  4. You have the right to ride and walk on the pavement, as far to the right of the driving lane as practicable. Many drivers don’t know this and also don’t know that they have to stay a metre away from you when passing. Don’t press your rights, however legitimate, to an unsafe degree.
  5. Watch for wildlife, especially for deer, which can bound out very suddenly in front of you. They’re especially active at dusk and dawn.
  6. Consult a map before setting out. Knowing your route and what’s along it – elevation gain, amenities, viewpoints, etc. – will enhance your ride.

Where to get info’:

BC Ferries

Island Pathways

  • Posters of our Heritage Map are on Salt Spring Island ferries, in Fulford by the Rock Salt Restaurant in Fulford and in Ganges by the Visitors’ Centre, at the entrance to the Rainbow Road pool.
  • Consult our Heritage Map online; click here for a large PDF of our old, sold-out one.
  • Ganges Village map, click here.
  • Read our article for cycling tourists: “A Salt Spring Gander”, page 8-9, Cycle Therapy magazine, Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition, 2013 Fall.
  • Check out Island Pathways publications page for various cycling initiatives on island.
  • Look for our new cycling map, “Salt Spring on Wheels”, in early 2019.

Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce, Visitors’ Information; click here for accommodations, food, shopping, things to do, etc..