It is not a fenced off or dedicated cycle route per se, but it is a route used regularly by recreational cyclists and commuters.
Based on the exact start and end points, what many Vancouver cyclists refer to as the “UBC Highway” is an approximately four kilometer stretch of road between West 16th (UBC Botanical Garden) and West 41st Avenues. It is not a fenced or dedicated cycle route per se, but it is a route used regularly by recreational cyclists and commuters.
Traveling east from West 16th to West 41st, SW Marine Drive is down slightly. On a road bike, it’s entirely possible to reach 40 km/h – and even faster with the right legs and tailwind. Traveling west, the incline is minor enough that all cyclists will have little problem completing the stretch of road, although some effort may be required (a very minimal, visually flat incline is often called a “false flat” by cyclists).
The area that cyclists ride on is actually the shoulder of SW Marine Drive. The north and south sides of SW Marine Drive on this stretch have generous shoulders – wide enough to allow cyclists to comfortably pass other cyclists. Most of this section of road has also posted ‘no stopping’ signs for cars, so generally speaking there is very little reason for cyclists to need to travel in the designated lanes. cars.
This route connects riders to UBC (Wreck Beach, UBC, Spanish Backs/Jericho); in West Vancouver from SW Marine Drive (Endowment Grounds, Camosun, 41st Avenue, 49th Avenue, 57th Avenue); and even to the Arbutus Greenway and further to Richmond.
A few notes:
1. There are certain points where traffic interaction could occur (Eastbound – via SW Marine Drive Viewpoint; Westbound – via Westbrook Mall and W16th Avenue). Please be careful; drivers are often looking for other cars, not cyclists.
2. The shoulder is generally clean during the summer. However, if the weather is not dry, the shoulder can be very cluttered with debris. As always, keep an eye on yourself.
3. Many recreational cyclists travel this section at high speed. If you ride quickly on this section, please respect slower cyclists and verbally announce your presence.
4. Since the speed limit on the specific segment of the road is 80 km/h, cars in the lane closest to the shoulder can pass at an almost frightening speed. If you’re not comfortable around fast-moving traffic, you can drive further to the right of the shoulder. Also note that buses in and out of UBC frequent this stretch, and their larger footprint can sometimes even create a wake-like effect, pulling or pushing you out of your original line of travel.
Brian Lim likes to ride a bike (sometimes with his camera). He’s a complete and consummate enthusiast – in both cycling and photography, and says he doesn’t take himself seriously – and neither do you. Lim wants to share his love of cycling, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to talk! You’ll find him on Instagram at @wheelsandwhisky.