by Rebecca Slaven | Friends often ask me what the most approachable summer bike ride is and I think the right answer is always Deer Lake. Known to most as an outdoor summer concert venue, it’s also a lovely spot for a daytime picnic. Most importantly, the relatively short round trip’s route is almost entirely on separate paths off the road.
Make your way to the Central Valley Greenway and continue along until Gilmore, by the conspicuous Dick’s Lumber. Then turn right and follow the signs for the Sea to River bikeway. Continue until you hit the Willingdon Urban Trail and take a right.
When you reach Deer Lake Parkway, take a left on the sidewalk, which is the Deer Lake Parkway Urban Trail, though there are no signs to indicate this. There are multiple entrances to the lake. One option is to hang a right on Deer Lake Avenue and make another right at the driveway just before Hart House.
Stops & Eats | For picnic supplies, stop at La Grotta Del Formaggio on Commercial Drive on your way. A full focaccia sandwich easily and cheaply feeds two people. Plus, it has all the candied almonds you could desire. Happy snacking!
Rebecca Slaven is a librarian, writer, and cyclist. Her subject specialities include law, beauty, and croquet. Her format specialty is the how-to guide. She mostly rides her bike to work but has cycled as far as San Francisco. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.