New Westminster is well-known as a hilly city, with Downtown New West being at the bottom. This makes it extremely easy to get to Downtown by bike, but not so easy to make it back up. However, there are a couple of routes that will make the climb a little bit more gradual.
Biking is without a doubt the best way to explore a city. When you’re not cooped up in your car, you get the full sensory experience: the wind brushing past your face, the smell of blooming flowers, the sounds of a bustling city, and of course, an unobstructed view of the landscape around you. At the same time, you can go fast enough to cover a significant distance, allowing you to see all the wonderful sights.
Coming from Sapperton or Coquitlam? Take East Columbia. For most of the way, the path is completely separated from the street. You won’t have to worry about cars, allowing you to watch the mighty Fraser River go by as you ride.
1st Street is one of the only viable north-south bikeways that enters our city centre. By no means is it flat, but it is certainly more gradual than the other nearby routes. Plus, your hard pedalling will be rewarded as you go by some of Metro Vancouver’s most glorious heritage homes. Pro tip: take a break in Queen’s park if you can’t make it all the way up in one go.
BC Parkway is a 26km-long, multi-use trail stretching across the region, from Surrey to Vancouver. If you’re heading into DTNW from the West End or Burnaby, this is the way to go. Along the way, you’ll get spectacular views of Boundary Bay and the Fraser Valley.
As you ride into downtown along BC Parkway, the path joins the Waterfront Esplanade. You’ll want to slow down here, to take in all the activity on the pier.
Going East along the parkway, you’ll have to traverse the Pattullo Bridge to get into Surrey. However, this crossing is only for the brave, as you’ll be riding on a narrow sidewalk between four lanes of traffic and a sheer drop. The Pattullo’s replacement - scheduled to be built by 2023 - will include fully separated pedestrian and cycling lanes, improving connections to the South of Fraser.