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“Great for families with small kids, excellent quality for reasonable price.”
Review of Island Joy Rides

Island Joy Rides
Ranked #1 of 12 Tours in Courtenay
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Island Joy Rides is a boutique Vancouver Island bicycle touring company offering premium day and multi-day guided and self-guided cycling experiences. We offer unique vacation packages featuring West Coast culture, seaside routes, wineries, farms, the local food scene, and the natural beauty of our area. Our commitment to small groups and a providing personal, behind the scenes tour guarantees a valued and memorable experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great for families with small kids, excellent quality for reasonable price.”
Reviewed 30 August 2014

We had a cycling tour of about a week along the coast of Vancouver Island with a family of four, including two kids. We had a self guided tour: you do not need a guide for directions, Island Joy Rides provides a map and good instructions and Vancouver Island is pretty easy cycling.

Island Joy Rides has done a great job. The best thing about them is that their friendly service does not stop after handing over the bikes: they continously try to make your experience even better. They are very good at organizing a custom made tour which suits your requirements. Communication is relaxed, friendly and to the point.

For us they arranged two trailers (for the kids), replaced our bikes after the first day with almost brand new Giant-bikes (we needed larger bikes), prepared a custommade tour which included a whalewatching tour and gave us extra routeoptions. They also really try to find the best routes and spots you can find on Vancouver Island,

It only was a slight disappointment that we sometimes had to cycle along quite busy roads.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank JohandeVries0349
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IslandJoyRides, Owner at Island Joy Rides, responded to this review, 2 September 2014
Thank you so much for allowing us to put together your self-guided family cycling adventure. I was so impressed that you cycled with a 1 and 3 year old! I am pleased that you enjoyed your itinerary and our special touches. We sincerely try to make every guests experience unforgettable. In addition, we endeavour whenever possible to keep our routes to quiet back country roads and trails but unfortunately due to the children's trailers you were towing we were unable to utilize some of the narrower trails that avoid the busier roads. If you join us again when the kids are riding on their own we can show you some of the secluded routes you missed out on.
Cheers and happy riding!

Laurel Cronk
Island Joy Rides
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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75 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Velbert, Germany
2 reviews
“Our favorite day on Vancouver Island!”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

My husband and I can't say enough about this bike tour. It was just the 2 of us, and when we arrived we thought there would be a group because Sonja and Laurel had jars out on a nice table with lots of goodies that we could pick and choose from to make a snack bag. Sonja took us all around Comox the first part of the day, and when we stopped for a break on the beach, we enjoyed homemade brownies from Laurel. Then we had a wonderful gourmet lunch to end the first part of the tour. After lunch we vistited an amazing organic farm and did some wine tasting. It was such a fun day, Sonja was also so open and friendly, we just absolutley loved this tour and will always remember it.

Visited July 2014
Thank jaybug85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
“Amazing 4 days by bicycle”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

We enjoyed our 4 day bicycle tour with Island Joy Rides, every aspect was perfect! The days were well organized, the routes were amazing, the bicycles were excellent and brand new, the food was delicious, the accommodations were very nice, the snack offerings during the day were yummy and nutritious, our guides were kind & caring and very knowledgeable about the area and its history…..it was an amazing 4 days!

Visited June 2014
Thank Tina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
America, The Netherlands
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“Our Best Family Vacation Ever...”
Reviewed 9 July 2014 via mobile

...and we've been to air of great places and are tough critics.

Our family of three, including our mature 18 year old, just completed the 5-day West Coast Foodie tour. We were so fortunate to be paired with the most kind and engaging travel companion--a gentleman from Toronto. The four of us had a superb experience with the IJR crew.

Let's begin with owner, Laurel Cronk. She is magic. She makes a million pieces come together to make every day perfect. She lays out tablecloths with flowers for morning snacks or breakfast, has blankets and a giant umbrella for a picnic lunch. If plans need to adjust or change, she makes it happen...like magic. Our new travel companion was an afternoon coffee drinker. A thermos appeared in his water bottle holder on the second day. I said I love dark chocolate, and gourmet chocolate began appearing with regularity. We were almost afraid to express any random desire out loud, lest Laurel overhear and feel she ought to make it happen.

She was also so encouraging and nurturing. When I had some concerns about whether I could handle the riding before the trip, she was patient with every neurotic question. Though she is a serious athlete herself, she made us feel like our biking accomplishments were huge victories. When my daughter got sick and could not ride one afternoon, Laurel drove her back to her own house so she could sleep for a few hours!

The other guides, from Sonia who is so sweet, warm, and positive that we want to adopt her (her husband, children, and parents might object) to John and Chris who are fun, fascinating, and so engaging, to the low-key Steve who seems like who exudes calm, like the Buddha, only fitter, made every mile (km) of riding a joy.

The scenery was breathtaking. That's not an overstatement. We are now thinking we should retire to the Comox Valley. Bald eagle sightings almost became dull by day 5. Our daughter and our travel buddy saw an orca. Every day of riding seemed better than the last. At home I sometimes got bored on my training rides and worried I'd feel that after 5 days of riding. I didn't. Not for one single minute.

As far as the food, let's just say it isn't easy to gain weight biking 30-ish miles a day. I did. Laurel arranged for chefs to speak with us and for us to eat at all the best restaurants in the region. Growing up and living sithin easy distance of the US eastern seaboard most of my life, ive always had a cess to fresh seafood.The seafood on the tour was so much better than on the east coast. I miss it already. Highlights were our dinner at Gowlland Harbour Resort and dinner on the beach at Dolphins Resort. Each night either Laurel or one of the other guides joined us for dinner. Again, they are truly a treat. At our beach dinner, Laurel's husband also joined us and they are so much fun together. We all had a blast.

The inns are the best in the area. I wrote separate reviews for all of them. They were all great in different ways.

I'll end by revealing a few secrets about myself in relation to this tour that may help anyone thinking of signing up. #1. I am in reasonable physical shape, but no fitness goddess.
I had a lot of fears about my ability to be able to keep up with the biking. I knew I'd be okay the first day, but what about day 5? Well, I did it and feel so proud. They tailor their pace, Nd even distances to the desires and abilities of the tour members. One day my husband was the only one who wanted to ride 19k extra, mostly uphill to see some falls. He went with John and Laurel ride the rest of us on flat ground 7k to the hotel to relax. If you are having any concerns that you will be able to do this, just know that they make it work for everyone...and they stop to rest whenever needed. I rode up some of the hills and felt proud and pushed my bike up others and didn't feel ashamed. The encouragement you get along the way let's you feel like you can do anything and whatever you did was just the best.

#2. I was reluctant to come on a bike trip. I did it for my husband and daughter because I thought it would be a good family experience. I had been on 2 before that I did not enjoy for various reasons. I kept my misgivings and self-doubts to myself, and tried to assuage my fears and doubts with thoughts of oysters, salmon and wine. I'm so glad I did because I'd be heartbroken if I missed this experience. There is something about seeing the beauty of a region from a bike, eating after you've worked hard, and being pampered at a lovely inn at night after a day of riding that looks, tastes, and feels better than they ever could otherwise.

#3. I am not a huge fan of organized meals. The idea that I'd have to make conversation with relative strangers meal after meal for 5 days was a little daunting. I didn't really realize beforehand that every dinner would be a group dinner and was sure we'd run out of conversational topics by Day 5. Well, from the guides to are newfound travel friend, we were fortunate to have happened upon such a smart, well-traveled, hilarious, interesting cluster of folks that we easily could have spent another ten days with them.

I'm not sure what questions or concerns you might have before you book your trip, but please know that all of mine were put to rest forever by our trip experience. And call and talk to Laurel because she will help too.

We are trying to figure out how to get Laurel to lead us on bike trips all over the world now...Island Joy Rides Aboad :-). We are also figuring out how to get back from DC all the way to Vancouver Island...that's how good this was.

I recommend IJR with the highest praise and confidence. I don't give this out easily. Read some of my other reviews if you need reassurance of that.

Visited July 2014
3 Thank ReviewerMaryland1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canmore, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great Cycling Tour”
Reviewed 2 June 2014

Our Wine and Chocolate Tour with Island Joy Rides was the perfect way to kick off a girls reunion weekend. 6 of us were pampered by Laurel, Sonya and Ron as we explored the Courtnay area. Great riding on paved pathways, quiet roads and gentle trails. We stopped to visit an artist who makes wonderful glass art, a fruit wine farm and a chocolate shop. The tour was about 35 km but no problem for any of us, even those who haven't been on a bike for a few years. Our guides were very friendly and we all enjoyed their company. Highly recommend this tour!

Visited May 2014
Thank Pam J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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