During #BikeToShop Week (Aug. 13 to 21), make sure you have Coquitlam as a stop for a day trip or longer. With more than 100 kilometers of bike routes, including neighbourhood bikeways, bike lanes and multi-use pathways, there’s so much to explore.

(King Albert Greenway)

Register to participate for free and make sure to stop by our Knowledge HUB in Austin Heights on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick up a reusable shopping bag donated by the Austin Heights BIA that includes a $10 gift card to an Austin Heights business, while supply lasts. You can also pick up cycling maps, free snacks and HUB swag, find out about HUB’s Streetwise cycling course, and get details on local bike parking facilities near participating businesses. The full calendar of events across Metro Vancouver can be found online at HUB Cycling.

During the Shop Local Challenge, HUB will also award prizes up to $200 per neighbourhood to anyone who bikes to shop locally during the event.

The Translink Bike Map can help get you there, and our Tri-Cities Cycling Map is your go-to resource for local bike routes and connections.

Austin Heights Neighbourhood

Visiting by bike is easy for newbies to cycling or families as the terrain is flat and accessible outdoor and indoor recreation options.

Before you head out to explore the area by bike, put some time aside for shopping, dining or grabbing take out from one of the many businesses along Austin Avenue. The options are many in this diverse shopping district.

One city block north from the west end of Austin sits Blue Mountain Park, an urban forest of tall Douglas Fir, Red Cedar, North Red Oak and even a few Redwoods providing a sheltered canopy and community gathering place. There’s lots to do here — watch a ball game, play tennis, let the kids cool off in the summer months at the wading pool and spray park or burn off some energy at the accessible playground. Looking to unwind? You can also enjoy a lovely picnic with your fresh local purchases and a peaceful moment among the striking stone sculptures and water feature.

How about a visit to a peaceful lake? Just three city blocks north of Austin Avenue, on Gatensbury Street, lies popular Como Lake, headwater of the Como Creek Watershed. This ecologically-sensitive habitat supports a variety of birds and other species. The lake is bordered by a one-km loop walking trail with adjacent benches, picnic and grassy areas, as well as a fenced playground. Stocked annually with catchable-size rainbow trout, anglers can cast their lines and enjoy a day of fishing to unwind after a day on the bike.

If indoor recreation and activity is more what you have in mind, you can visit the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex just one city block north of Austin Avenue (two blocks east of Gatensbury). This recreation complex has ice skating, swimming, drop-in fitness, the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame and the Main Arena, which is home to Junior A hockey with the Coquitlam Express and Junior and Senior lacrosse games with the Coquitlam Adanacs.

You can also explore Burquitlam and City Centre, and check out Let’s Go Biking for information on cycling routes and events. Check out TORCA and Trailforks for trail maps for those who want to get off the beaten path for more adventure with mountain biking.

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