We were intrigued with the idea of touring Victoria by bicycle and stopping by local microbreweries in the area. So we signed up for the 3 hour "Hoppy Hour Ride" with The Pedaler. Our guide was Rod, who excelled as our tour leader. Initially, he got us fitted for the bicycles, helped adjust our helmet straps, and stressed his focus on safety. He mentioned that his prime job responsibility was to get us out and back safely - which he did. The bicycles were geared, very new, and well maintained. The helmets were clean and looked like they have never been used. He took us on the streets of Victoria, which have wide bicycle lanes and at no time was traffic an issue (although we went on this tour on Sunday).
We visited three microbreweries - each serving a "flight" (or sampler) of local beers. Two of the three also served food, but a special mentioned should be made of Spinnaker's, who served chocolate truffles. Beer and chocolate does not necessarily sound appealing, but they went very well together. At all stops, Rod was a wealth of information - from the various tastes of the beers, how they were brewed, information on the owners, and other local history of the breweries. On the rides between the breweries, Rod gave a wonderful overview of the history of the area - information we could not get either on our own or on a typical large tour of the city. He was pleasant, engaged, knowledgeable and easy to be with......in other words, the perfect tour guide.
On this particular day, it was raining in Victoria. We were lucky in that the heavy rain seemed to fall while we were in the microbreweries - although we did get wet on one short segment. While we left the shop with no specific rain gear, Paul (the owner) offered to bring us rain poncho's at the end of our first stop - a very nice offer which we declined. In other words, they are prepared to ride in the rain and this should not discourage one from taking this tour.
We had a thoroughly wonderful time on this ride and, one our next visit to Victoria, we are going to be looking him up for the Castles, Hoods, and Legends tour.
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