I love sunny weekends in September. Yesterday, we had a great time biking around New Westminster. After hearing about the Queensborough Loop on CBC Radio, we thought it would be fun to explore that part of Greater Vancouver.
So we loaded our bikes on the SkyTrain in Vancouver and headed out to the ‘burbs. We started our ride at New Westminster station and ended at the 22nd Avenue station. 22nd Avenue is closer to the Queenborough Bridge, but New Westminster allows you to explore the waterfront area.
New Westminster has a great riverside quay, dotted with restaurants, shops, and condo developments. The paths are wide enough for walkers, runners, and cyclists.
After the riverside trail, we had to bike along the street and almost ended up on Stewardson Way (a busy 4-lane highway). The bike route signage at 3rd and Stewardson Way is horrible. The only sign we saw looked was buried in a bush and looked like it was pointing us down Stewardson Way. We started biking on the sidewalk of Stewardson Way, but that ended within a block. Unwilling to brave the traffic, we biked up a steep hill. From our vantage point we saw the couple below braving the traffic and the semblance of a bike trail on the other side of the street under the SkyTrain. We backtracked and found the unmarked entrance to the bike route in a parking lot.
The BC Parkway Trail sure seems like it was built as an afterthought, with cobbled together segments of inconsistent width and quality. But it did get us to the Queensborough Bridge without having to deal with traffic, so I’m grateful it was there. It also had the saddest scenic lookout I’ve ever seen.
Getting over the Queensborough Bridge was easy, but only because we didn’t run into anyone else on the narrow, 2-way shared cyclists/pedestrian bridge sidewalk.
Queenborough was a mix of gritty industrial sites and modern suburban developments. We had a rough idea of the loop we were supposed to take. There isn’t much traffic so it was fine just biking around and getting lost.
There were some nice off-road trails.
Rhea did most of the organizing for bike ride and packed an awesome picnic lunch for us.
More separated bike paths on the way back.
Route Map (PDF) from Fraser River Bikes.
Yeah. Signage in New West for the bike routes had me confused the one time rode out that way. I ended up down at Stewardson Way not sure where to go, so I just went back up and went across to Uptown New West instead.