Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea
(Bicycle tour of Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island)
(a.k.a. Sbubi Lithlal Ti Swatixwtud)

(Note: Sbubi is a traditional Salish "rolling the hoop" game. When Captain Vancouver first visited, the children tried rolling hard tack they got from his ship's crew. For our purpose, we will be rolling bicycle wheels. Swatixwtud is the Lushootseed word for "earth".  Lushootseed is the indigenous language of the Salish, the original people of the inland waters the Northwest USA and Southwest Canada.)

USA / CANADA - Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea: Bicycle Tour of Puget Sound and Environs

Description, Schedule and Fact Sheet

For bicyclists who already love the northwest USA and southwest Canada, or for those who are willing to fall in love with this region, your imaginings will come to life on Ibike’s “Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea” (Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island).  This tour is very different from any other in the area.  It is a fascinating two-week journey into the heart and soul of the magical homeland of the Coastal Salish Native American (Indian) people, and the proud adopted home of other people from around the world.  With a carefully selected route, interpretive programs, and a variety of off-bike activities, we bike and eat our way across eight islands from Seattle to Victoria exploring the rich history and heritage, the geographical and environmental diversity, and the economic, geological and cultural complexity of the Salish Sea. Program participants have opportunities to: meet Suquamish, Swinomish and other indigenous people; learn how Hawaiians were early foreign trappers and traders here, Chinese built the infrastructure, Japanese fed the people, Blacks and Jews outfitted the gold rushers and other ethnic groups transformed the land, culture and economy. We visit local markets; wander in historic towns, examine art and architecture, identify flora and fauna and enjoy the extraordinary friendliness of the people and inspirational beauty of the Salish Sea.  Dinner menus include Japanese, Greek, Thai, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and more. The rich cultural heritage of the Northwest is a virtually undiscovered treasure and the quality of the bicycling is legendary.  The program is more than a bicycle trip; in addition to the physical activity you can enrich your mind and nourish you spirit.

Ibike sponsors immersion, people-to-people, educational programs for those who want to learn more about the people of the world, as well as see the beautiful sights. The primary mode of travel is bicycle. The cycling varies from program to program but is generally easy to moderate. Side trips are available for those with extra energy. Accommodations are a mix from western-style hotels to hostels and local housing. All participants receive comprehensive pre-departure materials with detailed instructions on setting up their bicycle, packing, training and other information for program preparation. The program is ideal for the realist who appreciates the world and the wonderful rewards gained for the modest rigors of bicycle touring.

Sbubi begins in Seattle. The price includes accommodations, two meals a day and variety of activities along the way. The group is limited to 8 people so early registration is recommended.

Photo Essay: USA/Canada: Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea
Slideshows of Salish Sea Tour by Eli Baron (download app on the page to view slideshows)
Comments and Testimonials from Past Participants
Registration Information
Regional Background Information and Links
Getting There: Multi-modal Options for Seattle, King County & the Northwest
Seattle Heritage Bicycle Tours (custom day bike tour programs)

FACT SHEET: Rolling the Islands of the Salish Sea: Bicycle Tour of Puget Sound and Environs *

Schedule: Scheduled departure July-September (see schedule and status). With sufficient advanced notice, custom departures are available year around..
Program Price (lodging, two meals/day, guide, museum fees and more): US$2590 (less than six people add $100) (airfare is not included). Average out of pocket expenses per program $150 plus or minus $50.
Description: Day 1-2: orientation and cultural and historic exploration of Seattle. Day 3-6: visit several islands in Puget Sound, the sovereign nations of the Suquamish and Swinomish people and several historic towns. Day 7-9: activities in the San Juan Islands; sea kayaking, historic sites, cycling. Day 10-11: visit the Canadian Gulf Islands and explore significant sites in Victoria. Day 12-13: return to Seattle and celebrate with a grand meal. (route map PDF)
Features: Small group exploration of the fascinating cultural and ethnic diversity (Native American, Asian, Black, Pacific Islander and European) and natural and social history of Swatixwtud. Enjoy the extraordinary natural beauty of the mountains, San Juan Islands, inland waterways and forest, six ferry boat rides, a sea kayak trip, museums, public art, architecture, historic sites, visits with unique local people and beautiful back roads bicycling.

Skill Level: Suitable for fit Beginners/Intermediate/Experts
Mileage Daily / Total: 50-100km, 31-62 miles per day, starts with lower mileage / 450km, 280 miles total.
Cycling Conditions: paved roads, mostly rolling and small hills, occasional big hills
Accommodations: Modest hotels and motels, heritage hotels, no camping.
Van Support: no support vehicle.
Meals Included: Two meals per day, generally breakfast and dinner (often ethnic cuisines).
Other Activities: Discussions, visits, walk tours, ferryboats and other activities
Bike: Touring bikes are recommended.
Bike Rental: limited availability at local bike shop.

* Itineraries, fares and dates are subject to change.  20% of the land portion is U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, for those registering directly with IBF.

Registration: It is easiest, and saves paper, if you register online. Or, you can register by mail by downloading and printing the Registration Packet (PDF file). Or, you can begin the registration process by sending your name, address, phone number, name of the program(s) and a deposit of $300 (of which $300 is a non­refundable registration fee) to Ibike. Deposit and payment may be made by check, money order, credit card or PayPal. Upon receipt of your this information a the registration packet will be forwarded to you.  It must be completed, signed and returned before your registration is considered complete. Registrations submitted less than 60 days prior to departure should include the full fee. Registrations received less than 30 days prior to departure will be accepted subject to availability and a late fee of $50. Payments within 30 days of departure must be by cashier's check, credit card or electronic transfer. Early registration is encouraged. Due to limits on group size and the advisability of starting the reading list, registrations at least 90 days prior to the departure date is suggested.

Full Payment: Due 60 days prior to departure. If payment has not been received and no special arrangements have been made, we reserve the right to assume withdrawal and fill the space.

Withdrawals: To receive a refund if withdrawing, submit a letter of withdrawal in writing to Ibike. Our policy is as follows: (1) A $300 registration fee is forfeited for all withdrawals. (2) A fee of 50% is assessed for withdrawals within 60-30 days prior to departure. (3) The full price of the land costs is assessed for withdrawals initiated less than 30 days prior to departure. Changes in medical circumstances are not considered as exceptions to our normal refund policy. Insurance coverage for trip cancellation/interruption is available from several companies.

Ibike Tours Registration Information


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