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Frequently Asked Questions [2024]

What kind of weather should I expect?
Expect moderate temperatures. Evenings are always cool so bring extra layers. June is usually dry but be prepared for rain, especially on the northern half of the route.
Victoria: average high 20°C | 68°F/average low 11°C | 52°F, probability of precipitation 17%
Port Hardy: average high 16°C | 61°F/average low 10°C | 50°F, probability of precipitation 32%

How do I get to the start?
By air: The Waddling Dog Inn is a short taxi, car or rideshare trip from Victoria International Airport (Airport code YYJ). We have arranged storage for your bike box at the start/finish hotel.

By ferry from Vancouver, BC: By car, the hotel is 13 km/8 miles south of the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on highway 17. Turn left at the Mount Newton Cross Road intersection. The distance by bike is the same but take the Lochside Trail bike route.

By ferry from Port Angeles, WA: By car, take highway 17 north to Mount Newton Cross Road. Driving distance is 21 km/13 miles. The distance by bike is 22 km/14 miles, follow the Galloping Goose Regional Trail/Lochside Regional Trail. There are some well packed gravel sections that are easily ridden on skinny tires or detoured on quiet, paved roads.

By passenger only ferry from Seattle, WA: The Victoria Clipper has limited space for bicycles—you must reserve a bicycle space in advance. Note that this is a passenger ferry. It does NOT take cars. It is a 22 km/14 miles ride to the hotel following the Galloping Goose Regional Trail/Lochside Regional Trail.

Will food be provided?
Breakfast will be provided at the start hotel, meals will be provided at all three overnight controls, both dinner and breakfast. Please let us know of allergies or dietary concerns in advance so we can discuss accommodations.

For the rest of the route, it will be your responsibility to purchase it along the way. Some sections for the route are in remote areas with no services, plan accordingly. Snacks and water will be provided at staffed controls on the remote sections of the route. Note that there are no late-night services north of Campbell River.

What will the overnight accommodations be like?
You will share a motel room with another rider of the same sex. If you’d like to stay with a specific person, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Can I ride through the night instead of sleeping at an overnight control?
We strongly discourage it. There are no late-night services north of Campbell River. Controls will not be staffed for riders who choose to ride through the night. That means you may need to carry sufficient water and food for the entire 500 km section from Campbell River to Port Hardy and back to Campbell River. There are no bike repair shops on this section of the route and little cell phone service. We cannot provide support for riders that ride through the night.

If you follow our daily stages, most of your riding will be during the daytime, when shops and convenience stores are open and you can appreciate the scenery. But you may do so if you 1) notify us of your plans before the ride, 2) do not expect any assistance or support once you’re past the overnight control, and 3) find some alternative means of proof of passage for intermediate controls that are closed when you pass through (e.g., a time-stamped photo of you at the control).

Is there cell service throughout the route?
No. There is good cell service near the populated areas only. Please consult your providers coverage map for Vancouver Island.

I have my own satellite location tracking device; can I use it instead of the one you provide?
No. All riders must use the satellite location tracking device we provide.

Will ride organizers alert me if I go off course?
No. The SPOT tracking system is to give our volunteers an indication of when riders will be arriving at the controls. We will not be monitoring individual rider tracks to determine if they are following the route.

Can I use my SPOT tracker to alert organizers or emergency services if I need assistance?
No. The SPOT trackers allow the ride volunteers to track your progress. They do not have the capability to send alerts or messages to the ride organizers or emergency services.

Can I have a drop bag?
Riders can have two drop bags for toiletries and changes of clothes. One drop bag will be for the overnights in Comox on day 1 and day 3. The second drop bag is for the overnight in Port Hardy on Day 2.

Drop Bag Contents: Please do not pack any glass, liquids or oils in your drop bag. Please only pack what you need on the ride. There will be secure storage at the Waddling Dog Inn for any luggage that you do not require during your ride.

Drop Bag Size: Each drop bag is limited to 2.5 kg

Drop off Schedule:

Start: Riders can deliver their drop bags to the drop off area at the Waddling Dog Inn at the registration/rider briefing on Wednesday, June 19. We will put coloured tape on your bag to indicate the destination. Please make sure your bags have your name and phone number on a luggage tag.

Comox: Your bag will be available at the control in the hotel when you arrive. You will leave your bag at the control the following morning when you depart. The bag will be stored at the control for your return on Day 3. On the final day (Sunday, June 22), bags must be delivered to the control no later than 8:00 AM.

Port Hardy: Your bag will be available at the control in the hotel when you arrive. Your bag must be returned to the control no later than 8:00 AM the next morning.

Will there be mechanical support?
Be sure that your bike is in good working order before the ride! There are some remote sections that do not have services. You must be self-sufficient. There are a few bike shops on or near the route.

Will you pick me up if I am unable to continue?
There will be limited shuttle/SAG wagon support between Campbell River and Port Hardy on both the northbound and southbound days. If you are unable to continue, we will do our best to help you get back to a Campbell River or Comox. Note that you will be traveling with volunteers who will continue their assigned duties. Regardless of which day you get picked up, you will not get back to Campbell River or Comox until late on Saturday night. There is bus service from Port Hardy but they will only take your bike if it is in a box. There are NO bike shops where you can get a box.

The ride includes a ferry. When is the last crossing?
There is a short ferry crossing near the end of the last day. The last sailing of the day is at 6:30 PM. It is 204 km from the overnight stop in Comox to the Mill Bay Ferry terminal. The big hills are all behind you but it won’t be flat riding. Plan to leave the hotel early enough to catch the last ferry.

Do I get time relief for the ferry crossing?
No, the clock is still running. The crossing time is 25 minutes. After the ferry you only have 15 km to get to the finish line. If you are on the last ferry of the day, you have ample time to make it to the finish line before it closes at 11:00 PM

What do I do if I miss the last ferry or the ferry isn’t running?
There will be an alternate route if the ferry isn’t running or if you miss the last ferry. The alternate route will not get you back to the finish line hotel. We will do our best to transport you and your bike back to the finish line hotel but you should expect to arrive very late—you will miss the finish line celebration.


FAQ last updated: January 2, 2024