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Christian Akl, Audrey Heath, Justin Li, Jason Liang and Mishika Sodhi

Science
SFU Recreation Services
Promotion Assistant

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Three people riding their bikes down a road.
BC is a great place for you to roll out in style during the summer and experience all the beautiful scenes while staying active!

This blog was originally published on the SFU Recreation blog on September 10th, 2021.

As we get further into the summer season, you might be looking for new activities to try out. In this blog post, we will cover various fun activities involving wheels for you to try. We will show you locations where you can rent equipment, as well as some local trails that best suit these activities.

Street Biking

Did you know that street cycling can offer you the chance to enjoy that warm summer sun while getting in a workout? There are several fantastic routes in and around Metro Vancouver but here are a few to get you started:

  • Always a must for locals and those new to the area, the Stanley Park Seawall offers cyclists a 10-kilometre scenic ride around Stanley Park with views of the oceanfront.

  • The BC Parkway and Highland Park Line provides a nice recreational workout for bikers and pedestrians alike. This 19-kilometre-long landscape park corridor stretches from the Westminster Quay Waterfront to False Creek in Vancouver.

  • The Central Valley Greenway is also another option for those looking to cycle or walk. This 24-kilometre path connects New Westminster, Burnaby and Vancouver and offers access to the Skytrain Millennium line in Burnaby to extend your journey.

  • Still wanting to explore Vancouver's waterfront? Why not try your hand at riding from Sunset Beach at English Bay, through False Creek, and ending your journey at Kitsilano Beach. There's plenty to see along the way including the iconic Science World along with Granville Island.

You've got your bike route all figured? Great! Now all you need is a bike. With rentals and bike shares available, here are a few possible options to help you on your way:

  • Spokes Bicycle Rentals (located at 1798 W. Georgia in Vancouver). Adult pricing starts at $8.57/hour.

  • Cycle City Tours (located at 646 Hornby Street in Vancouver). Pricing starts at $10/hour.

  • English Bay Bicycles (located at 1754 Davie Street in Vancouver). Adult pricing starts at $9.52/hour.

  • Mobi/Shaw Bike Share program. Starting at $12 for a 30-minute ride, you have the option of purchasing a 24 hour, monthly, or yearly pass to suit your bike riding commute.

Mountain Biking

With mountains surrounding the Lower Mainland, Vancouver is a great place to mountain bike. You can enjoy some beautiful views and sceneries while pumping those legs and getting some exercise in. Here are some great places to try out:

  • Grouse Mountain: A popular mountain with two beginner friendly trails for ones who are starting out. With options of pedal assisted e-mountain bike rental, it is THE place to go to for beginners.

  • Burnaby Mountain: Located below SFU, this mountain offers a good selection of trails suitable for beginners and intermediate bikers.

  • Mount Seymour: A mountain with steeper and more challenging trails, suitable for intermediate and expert bikers. 

  • Whistler: The world famous Whistler bike park has tons of options you can select from. From beginner friendly trails to expert only trails, it's got it all. 

Now that we have found some great mountains to bike down, let's see how much it would cost for bike rentals.

  • Endless Biking requires preauthorized payment of up to $2000 (refunded after return), but the cost of rental is around $65 per day.

  • Whistler 40$ for 4 hours, 52$ for a full day. Prices may vary based on bikes rented.

Rollerblading and Roller Skating

BC is a great place for you to roll out in style during the summer and experience all the beautiful scenes while staying active! Rollerblading and roller skating are the way to go! It is fun and definitely gets your sweat on! Here are some rinks and parks to try it out:

  • Stanley Park: The smooth and long route on the Seawall and Stanley Park Drive can give you the perfect experience when it comes to roller skating or rollerblading with a view!

  • The Arbutus Greenway: This 8.5 km stretch of paved path could give you just the space and opportunity to explore the Granville Island and Fraser River area.

  • The Central City Fun Park: This indoor amusement park in Surrey has a great skate rink that is suited for beginner and pro roller skaters!

  • Did you know you could rollerblade and roller skate at any skate park in the city? Check out the list below in the Skateboarding section for skate parks we recommend! 

Now that you've figured out where you want to rollerblade or skate, you're going to need all the gear! A new pair of rollerblades or skates can set you back around $150-200. If you are just starting out, I suggest buying a used pair or renting the gear. Here are some places where you can rent gear and even pick up some lessons if you need them:

  • The Central City Fun Park offers free helmet and skate rentals with admission to the indoor rink which is $10 for adults.

  • The Rolla Skate Club gives out free helmet and skate rentals for membership members and lessons. The memberships start from $85 per month and the beginner lessons start from $49 onwards.

Skateboarding

If you are from Vancouver, I am sure you have seen lots of people riding around on skateboards. Even though this is an activity people usually do in their free time by going to the park, Vancouver has it all over the place. Below is a list of some of the skateboard parks that the City of Vancouver has to offer:

  • China Creek skateboard park has two bowls that are open from dawn until dusk.

  • Coopers' skateboard park offers skaters two skate benches and a grind rail to enjoy.

  • Downtown skateboard plaza is a popular destination for advanced skateboarders. This park features: replica rails, embankments, curbs, walls, ramps and steps

  • Hastings skateboard park has three winding connected bowls, and a separate street course with plenty of coped ledges and wall rides.

  • Kensington skateboard park is a pool-style bowl that is 9.5 feet at the deep end (with 1 foot of vertical) and 5 feet deep at the shallow end. The park also includes a mini-ramp and amphitheater-style ledges.

  • Mount Pleasant skateboard park is great for beginners with plaza-style obstacles, including a bank to ledge, pump bump/hip, fun box, steel rail, transition feature with roll-ins, and a curved ascending transition. 

There are lots of skateboarding opportunities in Vancouver, from beginners to advanced skaters. However, these parks can be used by more than just skateboarders. Bring your scooter, rollerblades, or even a bike! For more details, check out the City of Vancouver skateboard parks website.
 
We have only covered a small portion of all the activities available to you for the summer. Other activities with wheels include scootering, dirt biking, riding ATVs, and go-karting. Whichever activity you choose, make sure to stay safe. Wear a helmet and the appropriate safety gear, know what you are doing before going, and take lessons if you need to! But also make sure that you are having fun with it. Be sure to exercise safety, and hopefully this blog will help you find ways to enhance your outdoor experiences!

About the Author

Christian Akl, Audrey Heath, Justin Li, Jason Liang and Mishika Sodhi

Science
SFU Recreation Services
Promotion Assistant
Christian, Audrey, Justin, Jason and Mishika are Promotion Assistants with SFU Recreation. They work together to promote SFU Recreation programs and services, as well as encouraging students about adopting an active lifestyle.

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