Lonely Planet ranks Vancouver area among best places to take a 'cycling holiday'
Published Tuesday, February 4, 2020 6:06AM PST
A man is silhouetted while cycling at sunset at Iona Beach Regional Park, in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- "Some of the most beautiful places on earth are best explored on two wheels," writes Lonely Planet in a ranking released last month.
The travel site posted a top 10 list of best places to take a "cycling holiday," and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Metro Vancouver made the cut.
Not only that, but the site ranked the region as second best in the world.
However, Lonely Planet makes no mention of the sprawling network of bike lanes in Vancouver itself – a topic that has become controversial with some local drivers.
While listed as "Vancouver," Lonely Planet only mentions North Vancouver.
The site praises the North Shore as a "legendary place to ride mountain bikes.
"Situated a short drive from the city centre, steep tracks twist down through old-growth red cedars, aided by a range of man-made bridges and teeter totters," the site wrote.
It mentions trails on Mount Fromme and Mount Seymour, calling them the most renowned and difficult.
"The riding there will leave you giddy with laughter if your skills are up to it," the site says, adding that there are cross-country trails for those whose skills are not.
Siena, a city in Italy known for the Strade Bianche, was the only spot that beat North Van.
"It's like being on a cypress-lined rollercoaster through vineyards and olive groves," Lonely Planet wrote.
It recommends choosing a bike with wider tiers to handle the dirt pathways, and stopping to enjoy a hearty meal and Tuscan wine after a day of cycling.
Also in the top 10 are Yorkshire, England and Stavanger, Norway.
The Spanish city of Girona and the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, also made the top, as did the U.S. city of Athens, in Georgia.
Cape Breton was the only other Canadian city on the list, scoring pots for the Cabot Trail's fishing villages, old-growth forest and "rust-coloured bluffs."
The trail around the island in Nova Scotia is considered one of the best in North America, Lonely Planet says, but it recommends going in the spring or fall.
"It can get very busy in summer, and winter is, well, winter in Canada."
In ninth place is Boulder, Colo., and the Mexican city of Chihuahua takes the final spot.
Read the full list for reasoning and links to the cities mentioned in the top 10 on Lonely Planet's website.
Lonely Planet is not the first to rank Vancouver second for cycling. Last year, real estate listings site Redfin sorted Canada's cycling-friendly cities, and put Vancouver in second, after Victoria.
Vancouver also made the Global Bicycle Cities Index in May of last year, but the city came in 37th out of 90 in that list. Montreal finished highest in Canada at 18th.