girl on a bike on bowen island

The Best Way to Get Around Bowen Island

Bowen Island is an idyllic destination nestled in British Columbia’s Howe Sound. A twenty-minute ferry from Vancouver makes Bowen an accessible yet secluded escape. But with no taxis or Ubers available, what is the best way to get around Bowen Island? Less than four miles wide, Bowen Island is just too small to hassle with renting a car and ferrying it over just for a visit. But at eight miles long it is a bit too far to walk. Renting an electronic bike is not only a great fit for transport, biking the island offers an experience in itself. Here’s why riding Bowen eBikes is the best way to get around Bowen Island.

Exploring Bowen Island with Bowen eBikes

The moment you step off the Queen of Capilano and onto the dock at Snug Cove a sense of adventure sets in. With seagulls circling the harbor and the smell of fresh cedar enveloping you, beautiful Bowen beckons you to explore her- you just have to figure out how. Luckily, one of the first things you come across mere feet from the ferry terminal is Bowen eBikes. Brendan and his team are more than accommodating. It is apparent that they have not only heard Bowen’s call but are eager to share her secrets with all who are interested.

Checking bikes out is a simple process. Brendan gave us an easy-to-follow map, circled some of his top recommendations, and explained battery life as it related to the map. After our helmet fitting, he demonstrated the battery assist. When it comes to gadgets I am always wary that the learning curve will be too steep to be worth the assistance. However, using the eBike really is as simple as riding a bike. On the right handlebar is a regular bicycle gearshift. On the left is a screen with up and down arrows to control the level of battery assistance. That’s it! Brendan walked me through the process so well that I was ready, confident, and excited to bike the island. After a spin around the dock to ensure our bikes were good to go, Bowen was ours to discover.

bowen ebikes

Biking Bowen should be on everyone’s bucket list. Part of the beckoning is the connection to the outdoors, and leaving the shelter of motorized vehicles truly enhances that. I love to unplug as much as possible, and an ebike felt like the best fit for what I was hoping to experience. It is the perfect speed to really take everything in as you traverse the island. The fresh air revitalizes you. Even when climbing hills, the battery assist ensures that you are never distracted from the surrounding beauty.

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Do You Need a Car to Get Around Bowen Island?

No! However, plan accordingly. Be sure to check Bowen eBike’s hours and make a reservation ahead of time to ensure bike availability. There are no taxis, Ubers, or car rental services on the island. I arrived after Bowen eBike’s closing hours on my first day. The only other form of transport I used was the shuttle bus. While the shuttle is a good option, I preferred having the schedule and location freedom that came with my own eBike.

Another important thing to plan ahead is your baggage. I stayed for a short weekend and was able to only bring a backpack and a small purse carry-on. I could ride the bike wearing my backpack and my purse fit into the bike bag. This way I didn’t have to plan extra trips on the shuttle to drop off my luggage and pick up the bike.

Bowen eBike FAQs

Can I bring things with me on my ride?

Yes, and there is more room than I thought! As I mentioned I brought a backpack to wear while riding. However, each eBike comes with a detachable bike bag that sits over the back tire. We went to the general store one day and it easily fit our full grocery bag.

How is the battery life?

Because Bowen Island is quite hilly, I was skeptical that the battery would last. However, our bike batteries never went below 50% and we traversed the island from east to west several times. Charging the battery at our Airbnb overnight was plenty to give us what we needed each day. I will say that you need some base of fitness if you plan on navigating the hills. But between changing gears and using the battery assist, I never broke a sweat.

Did you feel safe biking around the island?

Yes. Snug Cove is bike-friendly. Although the rest of the island does not have bike lanes, speed limits were low enough and bikes are common enough that I felt safe even in the instances when traffic passed. Of course, I followed traffic laws and used common sense when navigating the roadway.

Where do you park the bikes?

There are not a ton of bike racks around Bowen Island. However, the eBikes come with a bike lock which we used to lock the back wheels together as a precaution. Overall the island felt safe enough that we could leave the bikes without worrying about theft.

What else should I bring?

It’s no surprise that Canada can get cold! Check the weather and bring bikeable clothing. Even though the days and mornings were a bit chilly when we visited, the heat generated from exercising kept us comfortable. Due to the windchill from riding the bike, I was glad I brought gloves and a headband that could fit under a helmet.

What if something happens?

Bowen eBikes really did think everything through. In the case of any mechanical event (dead battery, flat tire, etc) the number to call is listed right on the eBike, and Brendan and the team have a van ready to assist.

bowen island ebikes with a view

For video footage, you can preview my trip on my Bowen Island Instagram Highlights! And if you ever have a question, you can always DM me @cassiescompass or drop it in the comments below. If you’ve visited Bowen, I’d love to know your favorite things to do in the comments.

For this post, I partnered with Bowen eBikes for a discounted experience. However, you can count on me to be a good steward of this opportunity. All thoughts and opinions are completely honest and completely my own.

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For Cassie, every destination deepens her love for God. Her mission is to inspire that same love in others. Hang around and find something to inspire your next adventure!

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