Burnt Bridge Creek Trail
Named after the creek it runs parallel to, where there was, until recently, a giant-ass railway bridge that enterprising artistic idiots used to scale to hang art on, the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is an 8-mile, multiuse route that cuts right through the middle of Vancouver, passing through forest, farmland, creeks and even Vancouver's oldest public park. Ride it up and down for a brisk 16-mile jaunt, and feel your mind and body captured by the wonder of standing in the shadow of power lines the likes of which you can't even imagine in the big city.
Salmon Creek Greenway Trail
Salmon Creek might seem a ways to go for a 3-mile greenway ride, but there's no finer short pedal in the whole metro area. Starting at Klineline Pond and rolling alongside Salmon Creek, you'll pass through scenic wooded areas, see some houses and drop your jaw at the massive valley the creek has carved out over the years. And hey, if you're looking for a big-boy ride, you can augment the end of the trail by climbing the hill into Salmon Creek Park proper. Be forewarned—the trail is prone to occasional flooding, especially during the summer melt-off, and smells terrible.
Think greenways are for kids? There's a road ride or two waiting for you in Vancouver as well. A hard left off the Interstate Bridge will eventually guide you into Fruit Valley, the home of Firestone Farms, and riding just a bit beyond that will take you to Lower River Road, a scraggly, blighted route that takes you past recycling collection points, a steel mill and a power plant—and, eventually, out to scenic Vancouver Lake Park.
If you've managed to come this far, you should probably know—Vancouver Lake is for wimps, and real heads keep rolling down Lower River Road, past the signs of civilization and into the emptiness of farms, past even that, and eventually into the strangest park in Vancouver: Frenchman's Bar, an honest-to-God river beach where you can let the bike fall to the ground, collapse onto the sand, and just sit and chill and look at the barge that usually moors around there.