B.C. Guided Bike Tours

Overview

British Columbia (and the rest of the Western Cordillera) is one of the best areas in Canada for cycling, with a beautiful view, moderate temperatures and landscapes that range from "easy" to "difficult". To best use this region for a business purpose, I decided to create a guided bike tour and rental program.

Climate

B.C. has a varying climate throughout the province. The North has long, cold winters with high precipitation throughout the year and short summers. The South coast has milder weather, with warm summers and mild winters. The interior and central regions have the largest difference in temperatures with hot summers and cold and snowy winters. The climate is mainly influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, providing a moderating effect and adding precipitation. In terms of latitude, the Cordillera's distance from the Equator means that its weather (especially in the winter) is on average colder than climates such as Bermuda's and Florida's.

This (mostly) warm climate and not excessive precipitation means that avid cyclists are able to bike for most of the year in enjoyable conditions. The proximity to the ocean means that there are more cooling breezes than in other areas.

Landscape

British Columbia has a varied landscape, with many different landforms. One of its most noticeable features is the Rocky Mountains. Formed by subduction 55-80 million years ago, this 4,830 km stretch of mountains has some of the highest summits in Canada. Sharpened by alpine glaciers, cyclists will certainly enjoy the view and physical challenge the Rockies provide.

British Columbia also has coastal beaches, with over 25,000 km of coast. The splendid view of the Pacific Ocean is a definite must-see for avid cyclists. The Cordillera also has many beautiful waterways, a notable one being the Fraser River, the longest river in British Columbia.

Rock Types

The alpine glaciers that helped shape the region left multiple deposits such as drumlins, till plains and eskers. These all add interesting features and challenges for biking.

The Rockies are mainly formed from sedimentary rock, though there is some metamorphic rock under the surface. Further outwards, in the plateaus, one will find mainly igneous and sedimentary rock. Lastly, the coastal mountains are mainly made up of metamorphic and sedimentary rock.

Vegetation and Soil

Most of British Columbia (around 2/3 of the land area) is forested, which provides shade and ambiance for cyclists. There is little area with agriculturally productive soils, notable areas being located along the Fraser River and south of the North Thompson River. Multiple areas have leached soil due to the high precipitation, with some instances of permafrost further north. There is still plenty of vegetation, with lots of variance due to the different amounts of elevation, relief and precipitation. British Columbia has over 40 different species of trees, one of the most noticeable being the Western Redcedar, the provincial tree. Another noticeable plant is the Pacific Dogwood, the provincial flower.

Possible Natural Disasters

British Columbia, due to its proximity to the Pacific "Ring of Fire" (a seismically active region in the Pacific Ocean in which around 90% of the world's earthquakes occur) is a possible target for volcanoes, tsunamis and earthquakes. The Cascadia Fault Line,  a nearby subduction zone, has been building up energy for centuries and is expected to eventually give out. British Columbia also can suffer from avalanches, due to the high precipitation and steep mountains. All of these disasters do have the unlikely potential to harm cyclists on the tours.

Climate Change

Climate change is expected to have strong adverse effects on the natural environment, causing damage to the forests and coastal areas cyclists will be riding in. This will lessen the scenic side of the tours. The destruction of biomes (via drought, natural disaster, extreme weather etc.) may make some regions impossible or difficult to bike in. People may also suffer negative health effects such as heatstroke or cancer from the UV radiation if they use this service. Lastly, it is possible that with the melting ice caps, the entire coastal area may be flooded within the century.

This video shows mountain bikers in a similar setting to British Columbia, albeit with a more difficult course. WARNING: There is one instance of adult language at the beginning of the video.

Other Activities

While on the tour, one can partake in other activities accommodated by B.C.'s beautiful environment. Some of these including mountain climbing, canoeing, hiking, rock climbing, cave exploration, skiing and zip lining.

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