Exploring the lower mainland by bicycle is always a treat, and today was no exception. We decided to begin our ride at the New Westminster Quay and head into Vancouver via the BC Parkway. Formerly known as the 7-11 trail, this multi-use urban pathway is 26 kilometers long and follows the Expo Sky Train line from Surrey, to New Westminster, South Burnaby and into Vancouver. Recent upgrades to the path, including new wayfinding signage and freshly paved sections, have improved safety for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Fall is an ideal time to cycle the Parkway. The changing colours along the park corridors are magnificent and the sound of leaves crunching under your tires brings back wonderful childhood memories. Views of the Vancouver skyline literally take your breath away. For many, this ride is an excellent workout and part of their fitness regimen. However, our group managed to turn the outing into a day long “foodie” tour. We found ourselves enjoying breakfast at the New Westminster Quay, lunch on Commercial Drive and celebrating our success with drinks and appetizers in Vancouver. I suppose a few of the calories we consumed were warranted as we did cycle between “pit stops.”
It was a day of contrasts – industry along the river and rail lines, graffiti, luxury condos, yachts, shopping malls, sports fields, parks, restaurants, bars and people, people, people! We saw it all. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting street art, parks and pop-up libraries that we stumbled upon along the way. How remarkable that in a few short kilometres a cyclist pedalling along the BC Parkway can travel through numerous municipalities and experience a multitude of vibrant and thriving neighbourhoods. That is #veryvancouver!
Whether you decide to begin your day in Vancouver or New Westminster/Surrey, this route permits you to cycle one way and hop on the Sky Train to return to your start point. Does it get any better than that?