Victoria and the surrounding area, primarily the Saanich Peninsula, boasts of great bike riding trails and attractions. Over a two day sojourn to Victoria we found this to certainly be true. Setting off from Brentwood Bay we hopped on the Interurban Rail Trail which heads south from Butchard Gardens along the west side of the peninsula. The traffic is pleasantly sparse, even though the road is lacking a shoulder, but just a short ways away you reach a well-graded gravel bike trail which our skinny road tires handled well. We continued on following the convenient yellow signs leading to Victoria, sometimes on the gravel trails and sometimes on the road, although closer to the city a bike lane is available.
Several kilometers shy of Victoria I came up with a flat tire and so, for the next forty five minutes, we set to fixing three different flat tires. First: the tube blew near the nozzle while pumping it up, second: we discovered two more holes in the tube after pumping it up again, and finally: to hell with it and we threw on a new tube. So after a short lesson in the cost of being cheap and clinging to your worn out tubes, we are back and on the road.
To our pleasure and amusement we find that we had come to Victoria during an annual busker festival (street music and theatre) and so of course we stayed the night. We watched a trio of fire tamers named Les Walkyries and the one woman Canadian comedy act with Sharon Mahoney, as well as other terrific shows and music throughout the city. There is something kind of magical about a city full of street theatre, as though you’ve stepped into another world ruled by gypsies and musicians. That evening we made it to the Comedy Cabaret, where standup comics and rather ingenious silent performances had us in hysterics.
The next morning we had breakfast and toured the city which is wonderful with or without a busker festival going on. We reluctantly departed late that evening and rode the Lockside Trail which is a great network of paved and well graded gravel trails all the way up the Saanich Peninsula to Swartz Bay. We arrived at Brentwood Bay just at sunset and found La Fortuna resting safe and sound in Todd Inlet.