Average Speed: 28-30 km/h.
Traditionally known as the Social Sunday, this ride is a more relaxed pace, but with intermittent sprint zones. The route goes from Gonzales Coffee at Fairfield Plaza to Dallas Road (left) to Memorial (left) and right on Fairfield Road to Beach Drive, along the waterfront, down Ash Road, right on Cordova Bay Road to Mattick’s Farm.
From Cordova Bay Road to Mattick’s Farm it’s a sprint and a chance for you to work your butt off. Regroup at Mattick’s Farm.
The ride continues behind the golf course onto Hunt Road, Welch Road, Martindale Road, and Lochside Drive to Island View Road. Out to Island View Beach and back up the hill. Regroup at the top of the hill.
From there down Island View Road to East Saanich Road, Mt. Newton Cross Road and back in along Wallace Drive, West Saanich Road, and Interurban Road. A ride up to the observatory is very common, but please follow the rules of the road and posted signs when riding up and down Observatory Hill. Finish with coffee at Café Fantastico, Dockside Green.
We often use a 'speed dating' format to keep the Sunday group compact and minimize conflict with drivers. Rather than riding 2-up and going 4 wide when riders drop back, we rotate, but slowly. Lead two riders ride together for 30-60 seconds. Then left-side lead rider pulls in front of the right-side lead rider and the left side moves forward by 2 riders. Rinse and repeat. This puts each rider 'in the wind' at the front for 60-120 seconds. Keep time on the front short if you’re tired or struggling with the pace.
New riders should always make sure the rider next to them points out all turns. Identify any new riders in your group and keep them informed of upcoming turns and hazards.
Approach intersection of Beach Drive and King George Terrace with caution, as the corner is blind.
Single up through Mount Doug Park and remain entirely within the bike lane.
Single up on Wallace Drive between Stelly’s Cross Road and West Saanich Road. Shoulder narrows suddenly in places, so be aware and point out hazards.
Single up on West Saanich Road as we approach the Red Barn Market. Stay in the bike lane.
Watch for cars approaching from behind during sprints. Call 'Neutral' if an approaching car is likely to endanger sprinters. Only pass when safe. Do not take unnecessary risks for the sake of gaining advantage in a sprint.
At Wallace Drive after Benvenuto Avenue, break into groups of around 6. Send faster riders first, and slower riders last, with a few car lengths in between each sub-group. This allows for cars to pass us more safely on a tricky and narrow section of road where several crashes have occurred. Once the groups reach West Saanich Road, groups in front should slow to allow groups behind to catch them. If riders are planning to ride Observatory, then regrouping at the base of Observatory is another option.
The end of this ride goes down the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Break into small groups (no more than 4) and slow way down, as it is popular with walkers, dogs, and kids on a Sunday morning. Be an ambassador for the club and for cycling in general.