Cycling in Vancouver – the best autumn views

Cycling in Vancouver – the best autumn views

Do you ever stop in your tracks because the world is just so pretty? I was having one of those days yesterday. After a few days of rain, Vancouver went back to showing off the mountains under a perfect blue sky. I was planning to cycle straight home BUT as the scenery was looking so gorgeous, I took a detour along some of Vancouver’s ridgeways. These are well sign-posted bike lanes that follow the contours of the city. The way I chose involved quite a lot of uphill pedalling, but I was rewarded with views of the city and of streets lit-up by the sun streaming through the Autumn leaves.

If you’d like to copy me and peddle through the prettiness, you can download a copy of Vancouver’s bike lanes here.

This is the tree that changed my evening. I had to stop my bike for a photo! I just love the way the autumn colours turn from green to yellow to orange to red. This tree was halfway down a hill, so I actually had to peddle back to see it. The sun was just the right height to light up each leaf and make it almost look like it is on fire. Once I’d seen this tree, I started planning a new route home in my head to see as much of the Autumn colours as I could.

These were all on W 18th Avenue, just East of Pacific Spirit Park.

Just around the corner, the houses were already in the shade of the evening, but the autumn colours still shone through the leaves up high in the street’s trees.

I then had a chance to zoom down a hill, and start re-climbing along the ridgeway bike lane up Quesnel Drive. I’d get occasional glimpses of the amaaazing views through people’s back gardens; But most of the best views are hidden by lucky people’s houses.

I love the way the side of this street with the most sun has changed colour faster than the shady side.

This view was near Trafalgar Street, at around 30th Avenue. If you want to find this viewpoint, it is close to where Trafalgar Street meets Elm Street. There is a footpath that goes between two houses. So suddenly there is a decent view for everyone, not just homeowners!

From there, I kept cycling slowly further up hills, looking down more streets lined with fire-coloured trees. It seems like quite a few streets have chosen to all plant the same tree species. This means it is really lovely for cyclists and walkers to explore as different streets all seem to bloom together. Yes I know autumnal leaves are dying rather than blooming, but the level of picturesqueness is similar so it feels like the trees are in bloom.

It’s funny, but after you have seen any pretty scenery you become slightly desensitized to it. Once I had been cycling for around an hour, I found myself stopping slightly less often for photos. I suppose my eyes had started to take the crazy autumn colours for granted. Even then, I couldn’t resist stopping for this tree on West 37th Avenue!

Next, I found myself on the midtown ridgeway. This follows a ridge along 37th Avenue for quite a long way. It also goes past both VanDusen Botanical Garden and Queen Elizabeth park, so I have a feeling this easy part of the route is a more obvious bike route for tourists.

This street was near VanDusen Botanical Garden. I love the way these trees jump straight from green to red. There were a few green trees with just red tips, and others like these two that were halfway through their transformation.

I also want to share this photo because the shadow of one of the leafs looks like a cat. Can you see it?

The sun was starting to fade just as I reached Queen Elizabeth Park. I took a bush shadow selfie:

And, as I was already near the top of the hill, I had one last detour into Queen Elizabeth Park. I  shared this lovely view with a few busloads of tourists.

This is one of my favorite views in Vancouver (I already mentioned it here). So it was really nice to see the same view, but with the bright red leaves on display.

Two weeks ago, Marc and I walked up here at dusk (just to get out of the flat one evening.) So, I have seen the change in seasons here is incredibly quick! Vancouver only needs a couple of weeks to go from summery weather and green trees, to cold breezes and full-on autumnal views!

On my last walk here, I almost stumbled into an owl. She had been perching on a road sign halfway down the road at dusk. I had never been so close to an owl before and she was truly beautiful! I was really hoping to see her again, so even though the hill from Queen Elizabeth park is really steep, I rolled down slowly on owl watch. *Sigh.* I didn’t spot her. BUT I did find a bush that is celebrating 150 years of Canada!

So, that was my commute home along Vancouver’s pretty ridgeway bike lanes yesterday. I hope it makes you want to pop outside and enjoy a bit of autumnal sunshine too!

Cycling in Vancouver

44 thoughts on “Cycling in Vancouver – the best autumn views

  1. Everything is so picturesque! The trees are still very full still. It’s been rainy all week so a lot of leaves have blown off the trees at this point. I love the photo with the cat it looks like it has its mouth open! There’s some other animal shapes in there too. How’s the weather like over there these days?

    1. Thanks Hanna!

      Today it’s gross again, but it looks like it might be lovely again later this week. It was really gross last week, but I took far fewer photos in the rain, so you’d never know if you judge these things by photos alone!

    1. Thanks giggle-chan!
      I saw that shadow as I cycled past, then did a u-turn to go past again so I could take a photo! I don’t *think* anyone saw me as the road was empty, but if there was anyone watching they must have thought I am loopy!

  2. Love it, the autumn colours, your shadow on the tree and your cycling around Vancouver!! I love Autumn though we haven’t positioned ourselves to get a good full blast of it, might have re-tune our planning 🙂 Have a fun weekend, Josy.

    1. Nah! You can have autumn another year! The spring flowers are just as lovely. I think you timed your return perfectly!

  3. “This is the tree that changed my evening.”

    Don’t you just wish there was a tree like that every day of your life? I love nature. You’re pictures, as usual, are beautiful! Sounds like an absolutely lovely commute. 🙂

    1. There should be trees like that everyday! But I guess you have to be in the right mood to pay attention to them!

      Sometimes I am too tired or hungry and want to zoom straight home!

  4. Gorgeous! So glad you took the time to enjoy it. Mother Nature is so fickle, it’s quite possible a nasty storm will blow up and ruin the beauty in a matter of a few gusty minutes.

    Awesome photos!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. It’s a shame that this beautiful season is already over with here in Cornwall, UK, the recent storms dispatched the remaining hangers-on to the trees into mushy piles on the roadsides. Glad you are still enjoying yours and sharing it though.

    1. Oh no! Not only did storm Brian have a rubbish name, he’s spoilt the prettiest time of year for you. I hope you get some nice weather once he’s finished blowing through!

    1. I think I just got lucky with that bush selfie! Golden hour had made the bush look ridiculously bright, so my shadow stood out more than it normally would have!

  6. What a picture perfect and beautiful Vancouver! I just love this time of the year, and sort of the same thing this morning when I had to run errands. Stopped here and there to take some pictures with my Iphone. Just could not stop myself from clicking away.
    Thank you for sharing all these awesome pictures with us

          1. Josy, for some or other reason, I am unable to respond to your comments unless I come direct to your post. Not that’s a problem, but just wanted to mention it to you.
            Another stunning day in Vancouver

            1. Oooh, thank you for letting me know. I’ve had the same problem with a few blogs. I’ll try to work out what is wrong…

              1. No problem dear – I can respond as long as I go directly to your site, but just wanted to bring it to you attention. I am now aware of this ‘gremlin’ and can work around it. Have a wonderful week.

    1. I do love the summer as well, so it is sad when it ends BUT pretty leaves really help ease me into winter-mode!

    1. It was like this yesterday too. I wasn’t expecting Vancouver to have SUCH brightly coloured leaves as the mountains are all evergreens. It’s just the city has been planted with soooo many pretty trees.

  7. Wow! The colors on the day you were out were absolutely stunning. I felt like I was with you on your bike ride, enjoying the brilliant display, on the way home from work. Wonderful piece! Oh and I loved your bush selfie 😉

    1. Thank you for popping by and for leaving such a sweet comment. 🙂

      I love looking at shadows, but it’s not often that photos of them turn out that good! I am really chuffed that you like it.

  8. Well we all know how MY cycling in Vancouver ended up…I’m glad this one didn’t end in someone lying flat on their back! We must have missed the fall colours in Vancouver by just a week or so – we noticed the difference in Stanley Park when we drove back through on the way to the airport!

    1. Yep, it changed really quickly after you had flown home. It’s funny, it started to change, and then the trees just kept getting redder!

      Most of the leaves have dropped now. It didn’t take long.

  9. Taking a break from the heat here in Pennsylvania. Watching Roseanne and just happened on your site. Beautiful photos makes me want to visit there probably never will but I felt like I was there with your photography thank you

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