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You are all experienced riders, but one can never be reminded too often about cycling safely on the roads. Vancouver Island roads are no safer, or more dangerous than any other roads we cycle on throughout North America, France or Great Britain. Here are a few reminders:
cycles and reflective
- This randonnee is limited to riders pedalling human-powered bicycles or tandems. Cycles with more than two wheels are not permitted, as many of the roads are narrow.
- Riders' cycles must be in excellent mechanical condition as the northern 600 kilometres of the route travels through isolated wilderness.
- A strong front-light and at least one red, rear tail-light are required to be mounted on the bike. Back-up lights and batteries must be carried with the rider.
Note: These safety requirements must be met at the pre-ride bike check and at all times on the ride.
- Reflective material is highly recommended on rear seat-stays, crank arms and front forks; in addition, a reflective triangle hanging from the seat, seat bag or on the rear side of the rider should be considered an essential piece of safety equipment. (Note: It is recomended that each rider use sticky-backed silver 3M reflective tape - if you are concerned about sticking it to your nice paint job, then electrical tape placed on the bike as a 1st layer, then apply the reflective tape)
- A reflective triangle mounted on your bicycle and reflective arm or ankle bands are required to be worn at from dusk to dawn by registered riders while riding. Reflective arm and ankle bands and safety triangles will be provided at bike check in. Reflective sashes - sam brown style - are available to members of the following American organizations for a very reasonable price & membership is also very reasonable: Seattle International Randonneurs & Randonneurs USA
the Roads in
- Please download a copy of Bike Sense, a provincial government sponsored document to help cyclists ride safely on the roads in B.C. In particular, please note the sections on intersections and entering/leaving highways.
Life on the Route
Most wildlife can be active throughout the day, but they are particularly active at dawn and dusk. You will likely see
Deer - Be careful if you are riding fast, they can very unexpectedly dart out into your path.
Bears - North and west of Campbell River, you will likely see bears. Mostly, they will ignore you if you ignore them. Don't feed the bears and avoid close contact. Do not sleep on the side of the road - your carbo-loaded drinks and food will be attractive to them.
Cougars - These large carnivores are active in the area. Another good reason not to sleep on the side of the road.
along the route
- Lots of fast moving traffic along the main highway south of Sayward, but there is a reasonably wide paved portion of the road to the right of the white fog line, EXCEPT between Campbell River and Sayward, where there is very little pavement to the right of the white fog line. This portion of the road has a lot of freight and logging truck traffic during daylight hours. Ride cautiously.
- There are rumble strips from time to time on the main highways. Keep to the right of these where possible. The most dangerous rumble strips are on the down-hill portions of the highway over the Malahat Drive summit from Victoria to Mill Bay & Mill Bay to Victoria. Keep your speed down!