I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan of city bicycle tours over the last few years, and have experienced them in Tel Aviv, Kelowna, Chiang Mai, Bogotá, Florida Keys, and Maui. Of course it’s the cycling aspect that I prefer, but I start to look for unique angles that set them apart.
That’s exactly what The Pedalar Victoria‘s Beans & Bites Tour did, and is definitely one of my top favourites from around the world.
The Beans & Bites Tour takes you through the picturesque Beacon Hill Park, among the trees and past a petting zoo, around a large duck pond, through the tree-lined streets and along the panoramic coastal trail, and finally into some quiet historic neighbourhoods of central Victoria.
After you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, you will be rewarded with your first breakfast stop; quickly followed by stops for coffee, tea & dessert. It’s a morning filled with delicious bites, fresh roasted beans, and a whole lot of pedalling fun.
I’d also love to try out their “Hoppy Hour Ride”, a tour that blends some of Victoria’s main attractions with a few samples of the local craft beer scene.
“DISCOVER VICTORIA THE ECO-FRIENDLY WAY.
Our guided bicycle tours showcase the local food and beverage culture, the regional Galloping Goose and Lochside trails, favourite scenic vistas, and the distinctive neighbourhoods that make cycling in Victoria so enjoyable.”
My favourite part of the tour was the scenic area along the coastline; there was just so much to look at, and everything was impossibly green and blue. As we rolled out of Beacon Hill Park we stopped at “The World’s Largest Totem Pole” at over 127 ft in height, carved by Kwakwaka’wakw craftsman Mungo Martin in 1954.
From there, we pedalled over to the coastal trail to take in the view of the sunny coastline. This is the spot that I couldn’t get enough of, and the rest of my group actually left without me. Luckily one of the understanding guides stayed with me, to guide me back to the others.
Ferwood Coffee: I’m not a coffee drinker, but if you’re looking for a good brew in the city, Fernwood Coffee is a good one. I actually quite enjoyed their carbonated canned coffee–Cold Brew! The guys that showed us around were pretty entertaining, too.
Silkroad Tea: Okay, not really beans, but hot delicious, fresh, organic tea. I drink at least 3 cups of tea on an average working day–so, when we strolled into Silk Road, I was in heaven. There were so many flavours to choose from, that I didn’t even know where to start. Luckily, we had a tasting to figure out our favourite blends, and each tea goes along with a square of matching chocolate. Yum.
Bubby’s Kitchen: With a menu prepared fresh from scratch with use of local sustainable products wherever possible, you know it’s going to be good. The restaurant is well known for all meals, but is highly popular for breakfast among the locals. I recommend the cinnamon roll.
Bon Macaron: The Patisserie is owned by two French chefs with a dream of showcasing both the sweet and savoury sides of the Macaron. We tried flavours from cheese & truffles, strawberry & mango, salted caramel, and double chocolate. My favourites were the peanutbutter & jelly, Nutella, and Oreo.
Pedaler cycling journalists cleansing with tea tasting at Silk Road pic.twitter.com/ARlsXcrstd
— The Pedaler (@pedalervictoria) February 5, 2015
It was a bit of a rainy morning when we headed out on tour, so I threw on a poncho and threw my stuff in a dry bag. Some of our group decided to take a car ride between the stops, but they followed along and got to see all of the views along the way. It was a bit wet as we rode through the park, but the sun decided to show its face as we pulled up to the coast, and it turned into the perfect day.
$89pp includes all tastings and equipment.
Departs 9am daily
This 3 hour tour reinforces the simple pleasures in life: a nice bike ride, great coffee, and delicious baked treats. This tour includes a behind the scenes tasting at a coffee roaster, a unique tea tasting and a couple of food stops. This ride is a great way to start your day. We will take you off the beaten path to our favourite shops.
Do you prefer walking tours or bicycle tours?