So I’ve been wanting to do ‘the loop’ (aka Pacific Marine Circle Route) since getting my insured bike a couple Summers ago, but was apprehensive to do it by myself being that the majority is outside of cell range and my tank gets me just around the distance between Cowichan Lake and Sooke.. Running out of gas, breaking down or worse yet – crashing sounds much worse alone! But the sun drew me out solo and next thing you know I was sitting at Cowichan Lake in the sun aaaand – fuck it. It was on. 🙂
The road between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew is amazing. Twisties like you’ve never seen and long straight sections of old growth forest perfect for letting it all hang out between the tight corners. Just be careful of random smatterings of gravel in all the wrong spots! I was surprised to only pass a handful of other bikes along the way given the beautiful weather… Those that did pass me were doing the police sign as they passed so I tried to keep it somewhat light on the throttle (that’s a lie, but in theory). Never did see any cops… I think I was being messed with by the old cruiser crowd. First stop was a random pool along an unknown river.
I continued on and hit Ferry and Lizard lakes. Great time for it because the campgrounds aren’t open yet, but the stealth DRZ was happy to loop around a gate or two. No pics, no evidence. 🙂
A note of caution – if you’ve never done the loop the road feels like riding on an ocean coming in to Renfew from Cowichan… It was a workout on my DRZ, but it would potentially launch you on a sports bike!
Made a couple stops once I got closer to Port Renfew. Here’s some random pics around there.
Once I got through Renfrew I started hitting every trail going West in hopes of finding a nice little ocean side place to relax, but they’ve done a decent job of keeping folks like us out. I did make a stop at a formal view point as shown below.
Then I found one wonderful trail through some serious old growth forest and according to my GPS I was within 100 meters of the coast, but the trail was tight and I was starting to worry about running out of gas before making it down to Sooke… We will go back to this trail for sure. Found a sweet old van covered in moss where I turned around.
By the time I made it to Jordan River I was remembering just how uncomfortable a stock DRZ seat can be. Have you ever had your balls go to sleep? Pins and needles? Try to walk that shit off like it’s not happening – not easy. Nonetheless, Jordan River was alive with surfers and just about as beautiful as a rest stop can be.
By the time I rolled in to Sooke I was deep in to my reserve tank, but I made it in one piece! If you’ve never made the loop, I highly recommend it. It’s about as close as you’ll get to a legit road trip without leaving the island if you’re in Victoria. My only advice is have enough gas, bring some munchies and if you can do it with some friends, views and rides like this are best shared.
Somehow I still had enough energy to rip in to Victoria to hooligan ride with Karl all night until heading back up to Shawnigan Lake. Man, did I ever sleep like a baby! 3 full tanks of gas on a DRZ is my new record ha!