GCN’s Classic Rides |  Vancouver – British Columbia: Canada’s Cycling Hotbed
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GCN’s Classic Rides | Vancouver – British Columbia: Canada’s Cycling Hotbed

(dramatic music) – I have to say, probably one of the coolest parts about being a GCN presenter is you get some rare
opportunities like this one. We’re staying at the
Wall Center in Vancouver and they offered to let
us come up on the rooftop and watch the sunrise with coffee before we get out and explore the entire
city on our bikes today. I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t think of a
better way to start my day. (gentle violin music) Today, we’re in Vancouver,
British Columbia, which is on the West Coast of Canada for a beautiful day of riding. And joining me, is Steph Corker. Welcome. – [Steph] Thank you. (laughing) – Steph is a, uh, triathlete, also a local area rider, and a cookie connoisseur from what I hear. – [Steph] I have made some
cookies. A lot of cookies. – And, a pretty accomplished triathlete. Something, I just want to
go through the numbers, maybe 25, um, Ironman participations, There’s like a couple wins in there that are prestigious. – [Steph] It’s true. (laughs) – Okay, well, Steph, we’re
here at the convention center in the harbor of Vancouver. It’s a beautiful area. Absolutely breathtaking. We’re sitting here, having coffee before we
head out on this ride, and we’re looking at mountains, parks, people enjoying themselves, and the sun is just coming up. The day is just getting going. So, what’re we going to do today? – [Steph] Yah, dawn patrol.
Riding with the sun. So, we’re leaving downtown Vancouver. We’re going to head over
the Lions Gate Bridge, um, through Stanley Park, which is sort your entrance and exit for every ride out of the city. – Okay. – [Steph] And, today, we’re
going to hit Cypress Mountain. And hit the Sea to Sky
highway en route to Whistler. – So, what is, what’re we looking at here? We’re going to go over
the bridge, Lions Gate. We’re going to go through Stanley. We’re going to go up Cypress. And then there’s two other climbs, that are part of the Triple Crown,
that we’re not going to hit, cause we want to do a nice ride. We don’t want to do a drag out, knock out. But tell me about the other two
climbs that are in the area. – [Steph] Ya, so, the second
mountain is Grouse Mountain. It’s a little bit shorter. It’s a quick, like, steep pitch at the end. Um, I wouldn’t say
there’s a ton of cyclist that go up Grouse. You really only hit that mountain if you’re doing the Triple Crown. – Okay. – [Steph] But, Seymour
is the next mountain. Which is a gorgeous climb. It’s about 14 kilometers long. There’s two races that take place here. The Cypress Challenge and
the Seymour Challenge. So, often, people will be
training on these mountains. As a triathlete, or a roadie, it’s awesome, to have mountains like right out your doorstep, and, um, you know, you can
head up Cypress and back. It’s a 2-3 hour ride from
your home, downtown Vancouver. And it’s awesome. – Cool. All right, well I can’t
wait to check it out and take in some of what
Vancouver has to offer. – [Step] Let’s roll. – [Steph] All right. – Vancouver, British Columbia, is the third largest city in Canada, after Toronto an Montreal. The city style is really easy going, and conducive, for riding your bike. With bike paths everywhere, and not a single highway inside the city. It has a beautiful mountainous terrain with the Pacific Ocean
almost always in sight no matter where you are. And in the winter months, skiing
is just a short drive away at the local mountains
the tower over Vancouver, making it a truly unique place for people who love the outdoors. Steph, we’re here on the bike path. We’ve come through Stanley Park, we’re makin our way to the, – [Steph] Lions Gate Bridge. – Lions Gate Bridge. This is already really pretty with the big, cedar trees, and the pine trees kind of towering over. And this is like, like I said, this is where all the cyclists
will come in and out of. This is the main way to
get in and out of the city and head out to the mountains. Am I right? – [Steph] Absolutely. Yah. – Well, this is a great resource and uh, definitely, I can tell, well utilized. – [Steph] Absolutely. (upbeat music) – Steph, this has been great so far. We’re on Marine Drive, and 29th, but we’re making our way – [Steph] To Horseshoe Bay. – What? (laughs) And then what’re we going to,
what’s goin on down there? – [Steph] Ya. So, Horseshoe Bay, the rip to Horseshoe Bay is
awesome for local cyclists. It’s a great place, I mean, typically, not as many
cars as the highway, some rollers, gorgeous views, and on the other of Horseshoe Bay we’re going to dip down
to White Cliff Park. – Popular route for area cyclists. It’s a nice place to ride. Good views. I can’t wait to check it out. (upbeat music) Steph, Marine Drive is beautiful. It’s, all these houses on the water that smell of the sea salt, and gosh, there’s not a ton of cars. It’s just, really, really pretty. Like, giving me the good
vibes being out here. – [Steph] It’s pretty hard to beat. It’s an awesome place to ride. You’re away from the
highway and it’s gorgeous. – God. Looking out into
the city over on this side, I get it now. Now I get it. – [Steph] Secret’s out. – Yeah. (calm music) It’s a beautiful climb to this marina. And then, there’s all
these little islands here. – [Steph] Yah, it’s super cool
cause far in the distance, you can see the Gulf Islands. – Okay. – [Steph] And Vancouver Island. But much closer, right
here is Eagle Island. There’s about 20 homes. People live there full-time, year round. – Yep. (calm music) So, that was Marine Drive. Very pretty. Again, just that sea
salt, all that in the air. Really enjoyed that. We’re here now in, – [Steph] Horseshoe Bay. – Kay. And, where are we headed? – [Steph] Well, we’re headed
down to White Cliff Park. It’s a quick little
extension from Horseshoe Bay. But the views are gorgeous
and it’s totally worth it. What’s notable is Horseshoe
Bay is the ferry terminal. It takes you, to, local islands, some are close, some are
a little bit further away. It’s a special place. (dramatic music) – So we’re here. We hit
that base of the climb. Cypress. We went through the park and all that area down on the water. Marine Drive. Tell me, what’re we doin? – [Steph] Well, dipped
down to White Cliff Park for a few beautiful views. And jumped on Sea to
Sky to head up Cypress. Now, instead of heading on
Sea to Sky north to Whistler, we’re on this local mountain. It’s an awesome climb.
45 minutes from downtown. – You were telling me that a lot of people in the winter time, the city doesn’t get any
snow, but this area does. This is where the snow line is, and so, this mountain will obviously get quite a bit of snow, which is, convenient if you’re a cyclist
and you like to ski as well. But this isn’t a year round climb. – [Steph] Ya, not so much. It’s a little chilly at the top. There’s definitely snow up there. Great place for Nordic
skiing or downhill skiing. – So okay, so we’re going to get to a really pretty lookout here. – [Steph] First, lookout. (calm music) Well, right from where we started, Vancouver Convention
Center is across the way, Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, it’s really, I mean, you’ve
landed a bluebird perfect day. You can see it all. – It is, really, just,
breathtaking up here. So, I remember when we
looked at it from this way, this was the mountain that
was the furthest to our left. And so then now, still,
this is going to be, the Grouse Mountain, and then – [Steph] Seymour Mountain. – Seymour Mountain is right over there. So that’s the, that’s the Triple Crown. But we’re only on part one of three parts. We still got like eight kilometers to go to get to the top of this. – [Steph] We’re about
a third of the way up. – Okay. – [Steph] Yep. – All right, well this is beautiful. And what’re we looking
at just straight across? – [Steph] Ya, that’s the
University of British Colombia. It’s its own little pocket here. – I’d be fun to go to
university on the beach. – [Steph] On the beach. – Barrett’s View. Dave Barrett. Premier of
British Colombia from 1972-1975. Well, throughout the 1960’s, the future of Cypress
Bowl was hotly debated. In 1964, a Member of the
Legislative Assembly, which is the MLA, by the name of Dave Barrett
pressed the minister of forest to honor a commitment to preserve the forest lands in Cypress. Well, Cypress Bowl. What followed was an eight
year effort by MLA Barrett to save Cypress Bowl from chainsaws and residential development. Elected British Colombia’s
Premier in 1972, his dream was finally realized when his government
established Cypress Park as a Class A Provincial Park in 1975. (dramatic music) Is this Bear Corner? – [Steph] It’s Bear Corner. The notorious spot where the bears just prance out of one side of the woods, cross the street, jumping
to the other side. – Got it. Yah. So a couple bear sightings here. We have bears in Massachusetts. It’s uh, they’re probably different from the ones you have here, I think. We have little black bears. They come in, they shred the bird feeder, the dog chases them off, and then, we look back at them and get
pictures and stuff cause, not that we mess with them, but it’s pretty cool and neat to see a bear at certain times of the
year in Massachusetts. – [Steph] Yah. – But you guys have, also, brown bears. – [Steph] Grizzlies. – That’s what I mean. – [Steph] I know. I don’t think there’s
grizzlies here though, I think closer to Whistler. – Okay. – [Steph] I think we’re
in black bear territory. – That’s still pretty close. – [Steph] Not far. – That’s like, close
enough where you’re like, I don’t think I want to see a brown bear. – [Steph] I don’t want to
carry bear spray in my jersey. Know what I’m sayin? – Yah, I know exactly what you’re saying. Yah, if I saw a brown bear, I think I would need to carry something else. (chiming music) All right Steph, so we’re at the top of Cypress Mountain road, but we are at the bottom of the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. – [Steph] I think it’s a privilege to have a mountain out your front door. – Completely agree. – [Steph] And, um, it’s
safe, the cars are kind, so, I think it’s incorrect to
not be up here as a cyclist. – Yah, honestly, it’s a beautiful day. We truly have not seen many cars. I mean, considering
that, that is your third largest city in the country. – [Steph] Yah. – Um, ya, I can’t help but
believe how nice it is. So, I’m excited cause we’re going
to go down and get a coffee. – [Steph] Let’s do it. – All right, let’s hit it. (upbeat electronic music) (laughing) (gravel grinds under bike tires) Okay, this is the lookout. Stanley Park. We’re here. – [Steph] We’ve just come
over the Lions Gate Bridge off of Cypress Mountain, and we’re on our way into
the city to grab a coffee. – Ah, man. But this, Stanley Park is huge. I was reading, it’s over a thousand acres. Which is big. – [Steph] Massive. – Ya, and there’s trails, and it’s like your guys’ Central Park. – [Steph] It is super, our Central Park. And it’s awesome for riding. – Ah hem, Central Park is, way, better. – [Steph] Wait, easy, Canada’s awesome. (laughing) – I’m joking. – [Steph] We can rip on this. – Actually I did read, too in Wikipedia that this was ranked as
one of the best parks – [Together] In the world. – So, Central Park can go kick rocks. – [Steph] Kick rocks. It’s home to beaches. It’s home to our aquarium. It’s home to a green space
where lots of people come to be outside, and it’s a
great place to ride bikes, so – Yah, it sounds like a lot of group rides and different things meet
up here throughout the week people can jump in. And is it 10 miles, kilometers? – [Steph] It’s 10 kilometers. There’s no stop signs, there’s no lights, so it’s a 10K loop. There’s a nice little climb,
there’s a sweeping descent, you have gorgeous views,
it’s all around the water, so, I mean, obviously, it’s
going to top Central Park. We’re riding around the ocean. – Ya, no, I’m not even
going to try on this one. It’s cool, um, Central Park’s also cool for a whole other different reasons. I’m excited to check this out, and ya, and get a coffee. (calm music) Gosh, so that was Stanley Park. And then if you want to
loop up and keep going you just take a left there. – [Steph] Absolutely. – And then go right back in
but now you’re in downtown? Where are we? – [Step] We’re downtown
Vancouver on Pacific Avenue and – Gosh. – [Steph] Loops in the
park never gets old. – No, I can see that. – [Steph] Just keep loopin. – This is sweet. It looks like there’s going
to be some type of festival or something going on in here tonight. There’s probably always
something going on here. – [Steph] Always,
there’s always something. If there’s sunshine,
there’s action on the beach. – Yah, that’s so great. Looks like people are
swimming, takin it all in, and uh, in theory, if you were in the area on a hot summer day,
you could probably just, roll right up and jump in. – [Steph] Heck yah! – And very Canadian of
you guys to just put old tree limbs out there for
people to rest themselves on. – [Steph] Yes, they’re beach logs. – Beach logs, I love it. They’ve washed up and
they’ve been repurposed. – [Steph] So, we’re en
route to grab a coffee, downtown Vancouver. – After a long day of
shooting and exploring, we had to get a coffee
to re-energize our souls and get the blood flowing
to our brains again. I also really wanted to
check out and explore everything that downtown had to offer, but we could only cram
so much into one day. So, we decided that we
would grab a quick coffee and then right afterwards, an early lunch to finish off our day. And, somehow I convinced
Steph that it’s super pro to wear your helmet in the coffee shop. Can’t say I wasn’t expecting it, but I was delightfully surprised that there were so many things that were, uh, made riding, pretty easy. So, ya. It was great and I definitely, I think the route is a nice route. It’s not like a drop dead, you won’t have to crawl home, you can just enjoy yourself. Couple hours from the city, boom, do some climbing, come back down, shoot in, grab a coffee, and
grab some food after this, it’s like, ya, it’s a nice day on the bike. I would, ya, if I was in town, this is the ride that I would do. – [Steph] It’s a good day that can be done very early in the morning, mid day, and if you want to
explore and see Vancouver, you really have seen
the best of Vancouver. And some of the best coffee. – Yeah, it’s been great. And we’re going to dig
into this pastry right now and then, we’re going to fill
up our bellies after that. (upbeat music) All right, Steph, where are we headed? – [Steph] Kitsilano, baby! Over the Burrard Street Bridge, leaving downtown, – Okay. – [Steph] Heading to the OV as
we call it. Olympic Village. – Okay. – [Steph] Cause that’s
where you go for a beer. – All right. (upbeat music) (cars passing by) (bike wheels whirring) Bike parking. – [Steph] All right. – We’re here. At the Red Truck. This looks great. There
are a lot of red trucks. (laughing) And we’re here cause this place is really, apparently, like, a big supporter of the local cycling community. They do, they’re part
of the RVC GranFondo, which we’re also here for. They’re part of, the sponsor a lot of youth development cycling programs, they’ve got a huge team in the area. – [Steph] Ya, And just a ton of super passionate, enthusiastic riders, and people involved in the sport. – And they make beer here. – [Steph] And they make beer. – And then I’ve heard
the food’s pretty good. – [Steph] Beers and bikes. (laughing) – Well, I’m into that. If they’re into supporting stuff, I’m into supporting them. Let’s hit this. Steph, cheers. Thank you so much for
showing us around Vancouver. (glasses clink) It was an absolutely perfect day for it. – [Steph] Mmm. – All of the amenities,
and cycling infrastructure, and all of the great people that we met, it was, ya, truly changed
my opinion of the area. Not that I had a bad one, just that it’s really, really conducive to cycling and a lot of great people
here that also love riding. So, really enjoyed being out,
and um, we got a nice meal. What’s up, you got
something coming up though. You got to get out of here
cause you got a bunch of cookies to make for the GranFondo. – [Steph] Gosh, I am baking
5,000 cookies tonight. And the kitchen opens at 5pm and I don’t know how
long it’s going to take. – We got to get her out of here. – [Steph] But I’m gone. – Thank you, so much, for,
the great hospitality. For showing us around. Get out of here. Go make your cookies. And, if you like this video and you want to check out Vancouver, make sure you leave a comment. Tell us your favorite spots. Please give this video a thumbs up. If you want to subscribe to GCN, click right here, and if you want to check out
other cool videos like this one check out right over here. (crowd cheering “Steph! Steph! Steph!”)


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