Last weekend I had the opportunity to take a ride around Victoria while cruising on a Lochside bike. It had been a long time in the making and I was so excited when I finally got to get on one of their beautiful bikes!
Before this ride I had no idea how bike friendly Victoria is. I knew we had a bunch of bike lanes but I didn't realize how easy it was to get from downtown Victoria to Vic West and all the little places in between. We started our ride in Vic West - a place I haven't spent much time in but definitely will be now that I know how easy it is to get to and how beautiful it is!
Our first stop was at Caffé Fantastico and Fol Epi for some coffee, tea, hot cross buns, and croissants. There was a pretty cold wind that day so the warm mugs were greatly appreciated. Once we'd caffeinated, we headed off and rode some more until we got to a big beautiful abandoned brick building (try saying that five times fast!). It was a perfect setting to take some pictures of the bikes and get some shelter from the wind.
Speaking of the bikes, let's talk about them for a bit, shall we? Lochside Cycles is a bike company based out Victoria, BC. The goal behind the company is to get more people on bikes. Period. To accomplish this they have created a beautiful line of bikes designed to take into account the all the various lifestyles that people live. The bike I got to ride was the “Madeline” - a sleek 5-speed step through that I now need. The first thing I noticed about this stunner was how amazing the handle bars felt. They were squishy and warm and just felt so nice under my hands. The next thing I noticed was how smooth the ride was. The springs in the seat absorbed all the shock and made for an incredibly comfortable ride. The other bikes in the line include the Roadster, a 5-speed perfect for zipping around downtown, the Café Racer, a beautiful 3-speed complete with a coffee holder (WHAT!?!), and the Single Speed, your basic (not to be confused with boring) bike with, you guessed it, a single speed.
After we’d taken a few pictures, caught our breath, and let our fingers defrost we got back on our steeds and took off for downtown, the harbour, Beacon Hill Park, and Dallas Road. We battled the wind (did I mention there was some wind already?) looped through the city and ended our ride back in Vic West.
It was such a great way to spend a morning. And that’s all it took - a morning! In less than two hours I got to see all of my favourite parts of the city, stop for coffee, and see places I’d never seen before. And you can too, if you just hop on a bike and see where the wind takes you (ok, I’m done)!
Lochside Cycles have their bikes in shops all across Canada. To find the nearest retailer, check out their list of stockists here. And if you live somewhere else, don’t let that stop you! Lochside bikes ship all over, so head to their website to pick out your new wheels!