Ride to Fillongley Park

This weekend’s solo adventure took me to Fillongley Provincial Park at Denman Island. I took Friday off to start early, however I didn’t like the weather when I woke up. So I spent the day in lazy mode and jumped the bike the next morning. As usual, I did not make a rigid plan, rather went with the flow. Here is what I ended up doing:
    June 11

  • 5:30…7:30 ride to horseshoe bay, 30km
  • 8:30…10:15 ferry to departure bay
  • 10:15…12:45 ride to qualicum beach, 47km
  • 13:00…15:45 ride to buckley bay, 40km
  • 16:00…16:15 ferry to denman island
  • 16:15…17:00 ride to fillongley pp, 6km
  • In total: 123.87km in 6hr41m with avg 18.4km/hr
When I arrived at the park, I found all camp sites taken. Park officer showed up when I was walking around and offered me an overflow area which turned out to be the best spot in the whole park. I pitched my tent on a soft grassy patch under a canopy of pine trees right next to the beach. Weather was perfect and the water was calm. I let myself into the chilly water for a few minutes which is a first for me after almost three years in BC.

The next morning the sun came up around 4:30 along with beautiful bird songs which I tried to capture in video. I went to sleep for a few hours more and got ready to leave around 8am. When I arrived at the ferry terminal, I realized that the next departure was an hour away and sat down to drink some coffee and gobbled up a muffin which wasn’t the best. A nice local couple showed interest and asked me a few questions and we ended up talking until ferry arrived. Sheila Simpson was the name of the lady who turned out to be a poet and a hard code environemental activist who had some interesting stories related to the Clayoquot protests in 1993.
After the ferry ride, the return journey started with steady wind on my face!
    June 12

  • 10:00…15:00 ride to departure bay, 91km
  • 18:00…19:36 ride from horseshoe bay to home, 30km
  • In total: 120km in 7hr05m with avg 16.9 km/hr
The ride out of Departure Bay, Nanaimo is not pleasant with all the busy traffic but you have a road with wide shoulders. It’s better to follow 19 up to Qualicum Beach to avoid Parksville downtown. Fillongley park’s beach is very nice if you arrive at high tide. The park has only 10 sites and they are very close to each other, but if you can get one of those sites just outside the park, they are great.