Keith cycling the Galloping Goose trail:
“I had Markus and Amy sign up for the jaunt and the weather was perfect. Recently I have done a few things I have not done before and many have been bike related: Pemberton Slow Food Cycle Tour, Whistler Gran Fondo, and cycling the Oregon Coast as well. I have made crabapple hot pepper jelly as well for the first time – great with camembert on crackers! Galloping Goose was one I have wanted to do for a while and it looked like a good time to do it. The trail is about 180 km to Sooke and back to the ferry. It is an old rail bed so I think the grade is no more than 2 or 3 % – even though when everything is flat you notice the “hills”.
The group met up and we were off! The ride into Victoria was basic – the trail is mostly crushed gravel and mixed with pavement. We stopped to say hi to the pigs and they were not so interested. I bowled an orange towards one of them but no movement. The blackberries were big, juicy, ripe, tasty, plentiful and easy to pick. The blackberries seem to get another month in Victoria and are usually better. They were good. BC Ferries had a blueberry promo with White Spot on the ferry – I considered taking off the blueberries in the café to make their offering more tasty and more local; I decided this would be frowned upon.
We had a stop at Thrifty’s for lunch and got a few supplies. Amy had some issues with her bike Clunky Sue with the chain jamming. We continued on. We found a bike shop that did a bit of work and got it hopefully running along well. There are not many bike shops along the route and if you see one and THINK you need something looked at – stop in! The owner of the shop was very thankful for blackberry thorns – he seems to do good business with punctures due to them.
After we were fixed up and a couple of near misses between bikes, the trail was meandering and nice. As we neared Sooke you cross the Sooke Road and Sooke is still about 30 minutes into Sooke proper. If you want dinner out there is a pub called the Stickleback just 2 minutes west down the road before the Shell station. The beer selection is great and the food tasty and reasonable – get the tsunami fries!
The trail is very pleasant and has different smells along the way – from moth balls, to watermelon, to sweet blackberries that are past their prime. We rolled into the Sooke Potholes campground around 7 pm or so and set up for the night after biking some of the bigger trestles – didn’t realize how high up they are. There is a spot for bikers to camp with a big fire ring. I had a dream about a wolverine-like man attacking us, but nothing actually happened. This time 🙂
We had a quick but really nice swim at the potholes in the morning and biked on back towards the ferry. We (I) picked some more blackberries – they were just that good. We saw one rabbit, some pigs, horses and that’s about it.
I met a guy on the ferry who I called White Bread Will as that was what he ordered for food after cutting Markus off in the line up, he was drunk and was biking to Winnipeg on a rough looking machine. I urged him to get some air in his tires as they were super low.
The trail is easy to follow, flat, and a great trip for the fall. Overall a great trip that can be done as a day trip or comfortable 2 or 3 day trip.
Overall a fun trip and great weather!!”