The Vancouver Island Badass 200 – Eiry Bartlett

The Vancouver Island Badass 200
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett

The plan: 6 women, 6 bikes, 2 days, fully self-supported bike-camping trip around southern Vancouver Island, covering 200km+ and completing the Rapha Women’s 100 in true Pacific Northwest style. Confirmations were sent, gear lists made, training rides were organized. Really, the most important thing was that our kits looked good together.

Well, apparently life can really get in the way of fun. My girls were picked off like ripe cherries on a summer day and by time the trip rolled around we were down to three, but we were three totally stoked, badass ladies ready for whatever was thrown our way. A smaller group meant a smaller vehicle and the addition of our dutiful camp commander – soon to be known as Captain Sparkles – who was willing to transport our food and gear to the campsite while we made our way across the wilds of the Cowichan Valley.

Weird weather happened, kooky locals, drivers – speeding like bats out of hell, and all the benefits you’d expect cycling a route that starts in a logging zone and ends in a gorgeous temperate rainforest.

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  • Maxwell Merkle

    That looks rad. What’s the route?

  • Maxwell Merkle

    Oh, I was just looking for a “this road/that road-ish” description. I don’t speak Garmin anyway.

    • Katie Gibson

      On Vancouver Island, similiar to Vancouver but more isolated and a denser cougar population. Cowichan Bay -> Port Renfrew (Pacific Marine Road) then Port Renfrew -> Victoria. Many view point stops and side trips to small fishing towns. Ended up being just over 230km between the 2 days.

      • Maxwell Merkle


      • brennandy

        Wicked pictures. Love the attitude you three n sparkles convey too.
        I did part of this route for the doppio last month. My favourite sections were the remote cowichan to port renfrew. Youse all got a sqeel downhill too.
        Riding on the mainlands not the same….

        • slowlyblack

          Thanks! We had a lot of fun out there, it’s a beautiful route and I couldn’t have asked for a better team.

  • mywynne

    Damn I miss riding on the island! Still haven’t found my groove on the mainland…

  • barry mcwilliams

    Stellar photos. Great attitude in the writing. Thanks for sharing.

  • rmdub

    Killed it like I knew you would, Eiry!

  • Kevin Ehman

    so good to finally see Van Isle on these pages! great photos and storytelling Eiry

  • Ray Penrod

    Awesome job, Eiry! It was great meeting and working with you last weekend.

    • slowlyblack

      Great to meet you too, Ray! I’m sure there will be a next time.

  • theboucher

    So much fun.

  • Justin Scoltock

    This rules! Looks like such a beautiful place to ride and all the food shots actually look appetizing. Well done!

  • leeon

    one of my favorite sets

    • slowlyblack


  • jim jones


  • Franz Obermeier

    Good to see Vic getting recognition for our beautiful roads and trails, not to mention our ladies! Sweet bike Mical!

  • Richard Smith

    Great set. Looks like a blast! Thanks for documenting