Yes, we know… Summer is finally winding down in the West End. And while that means an end to ocean swimming and beach hangouts, autumn is still a great time for all kinds of outdoor activity, especially bicycling.

In honour of the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference here in Vancouver this week, we thought this was as good a time as any for our top five reasons why you should explore the amazing West End by bicycle!

1. Bike Rentals Made Easy

The West End is ground zero for bicycle rentals in Vancouver. With over a dozen bike rental shops to choose from you have plenty of choice between make, model and style of bicycle.

English Bay Bike Rentals (1754 Davie Street) is a great starting point to venture out to Stanley Park or on to Vancouver’s incredible network of bike paths. They offer a variety of bicycles including hybrids, beach cruisers, and crosstrail sport bikes. Check out their website for the complete list.

2. Picnic Planners Paradise

First thing’s first… If you’re going to bike your way around the West End and Stanley Park, it’s probably best to bring some snacks. Luckily, Davie Street, Denman Street and Robson Streets offers a smorgasbord of international cuisine.

In additional to restaurants, there’s a wide variety of fruit and vegetable stands, markets, and take-out windows that can help fuel your ride around the neighbourhood.

3. Protected Bike Lanes

Vancouver is rapidly becoming a mecca for protected bike lanes, and the West End has one of the best seats in the house.

After getting set up at your preferred bike rental shop, you can quickly pedal over to the Comox-Helmecken Greenway, a convenient east-west connector through Downtown from False Creek to Stanley Park. Protected bike lanes make it safe and easy for pedestrians and cyclists of all ages and abilities to get around the city.

4. Stanley Park

With over 1,000 acres of parkland, Stanley Park is Vancouver’s urban oasis and North America’s third largest city park.

Officially created in 1888, Stanley Park is also one of the city’s most beloved attractions – and best explored by bicycle. Beyond the centuries-old trees, the park includes an 8.8-kilometre paved seawall with one of the best views anywhere! If you’re visiting Vancouver and the weather is even remotely favourable, we highly recommend it.

5. Three Great Streets

After you’ve toured Stanley Park, make your way back to the West End to check out the many shops and services that our three great streets have to offer. In addition to world-class dining, there’s a number of fun, eclectic and charming shops worth a visit.

If the sun is shining this fall, you know what to do… Come and experience the West End and Stanley Park by bicycle!

Photos: Alison Boulier