It's still February, so let’s keep it short and close to town. However, this one’s got enough climbing that it can be ridden even when you’ve got your summer legs under you.
The story goes like this; like so many others, I got laid off in March 2020. In between doom-scrolling and doomed job applications, I put my energy into pouring over every map, satellite image or Strava route of the North Shore I could get my hands on. I wanted to find each section of trail rideable on a gravel bike, and the best ways to link them. I’m not giving away all my secrets, but this route is a selection of quiet roads, gravel paths, and chonky FSRs that’s short enough to do in a few hours, with endless options for longer rides.
The loop can technically be ridden in either direction, but it’s primarily designed to go clockwise, starting at Waterfront Park. This direction is recommended if you want to get the hardest climbs out of the way early, and then mostly cruise down towards the Shipyards breweries.You might be familiar with bits-and-pieces (or even most) of this route, but hopefully there are a few hidden gem sections in here you can try for the first time.
Tire selection can be tricky, as the route is 60% paved, and most of the gravel is mellow and forgiving. However, there are a few sections (the powerlines near Grouse in particular) that can be pretty loose and funky.
One more note; a lot of this route goes along paths that are popular with hikers and dog walkers. So don’t be a dick, and be courteous to all other trail users.
If you're a masochist (hey, no kink-shaming here), we've even included a slightly longer version with more climbing here