Graeme Owsianski is a photographer and student living on the beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. 

Having lived on the west coast of Vancouver Island for 10 years now, I have seen my fair share of visitors to the Tofino and Ucluelet area. Every year thousands of people come to experience the wild west coast and everything it has to offer. Ask anyone that has been there and they'll tell you firsthand that it is amongst the the most beautiful places to visit in British Columbia (and Canada for that matter!)

Most people come for the surf and the beaches, temperate rain forest hikes, whales, and tacos. With boards and camping gear stacked high on their cars they drive the twists and turns out to the Pacific. My advice to you, is grab a bit more rope and a couple more bungees and cinch down a bike on that car of yours too.

The truth is, you're gonna want a bike. Sure a car is helpful to get around from place to place, but pedal power is the way to go. You'll see people riding with boards under arm in their wetsuits on the way to the beach, people breaking a sweat hustling to work on two wheels and others cruising the bike paths in both towns. Wanna go off road? You can take that whip on the beach too!

Chances are if you visit Tofino, you're probably going to stop at the brewery, it's a given. At which point you're most likely going to sample the suds and most likely get some to go. This is where driving a vehicle is out of the question. Having a few responsible beverages and cruising the dedicated bike path, that's the way to travel! And if you're thinking…. oh who needs bikes? We'll just take a cab...good luck with that. There's one cab, literally each town has one (singular) cab. So again, bicycles are the optimal mode of transportation.

When it comes to watching the sun dip past the horizon of the Pacific, what greater place to watch than at the beach. To make it even better, why not strap some firewood to the back of that bike and pedal away from the crowds with some friends. It's not hard to find your own little cove to enjoy that sunset, it is a Long Beach after all.

Sidenotes: Be safe. Use the bike paths. Be even safer if you're riding on the almost non-existent shoulder of the highway- (a bike path from Tofino to Ucluelet is in the works, but isn’t quite there yet). Clean up at the beach when you’re finished. Wear a headlamp or light on the bike path at night, seriously, I can't stress this enough, it's claimed many-a-cyclist. You can even try the drink attributed to it, "The Tofino Bike Crash" at Shelter in Tofino.

See more west coast life from Graeme //

Photography and words by: Graeme Owsianski