Cycling West - East Across the States or Canada

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by Ragini, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Ragini

    Ragini New Member

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Has anyone casually cycled across America from West to East?

    Or has anyone done that same thing across Canada?

    What is the best route to take?

    I am a lone female planning on going from Vancouver to NY, then fly to London and bike from London to home, NZ.

    I put a message on this site a few months ago as my original plan was to bike from London to NZ (this year) but I have now changed it from Canada to NZ around mid 2006 (gives me more planning time). I will be raising money for a charity on the way.

    I am not putting a time limit on the bike ride. I will take it as it comes, so I am not too worried about the time it will take to bike from W-E of USA or Canada (or the rest of the world).

    ....maybe keen cyclists can join me on part of my journey. I will regularly update the progress of bike ride planning and route.

  2. byfred

    byfred New Member

    Oct 25, 2003
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    It is generally considered that the prevalent winds in North America are from west to east, so you are doing it in the right direction. You will get your share of headwinds too, though.
    As for map routes across America, go to <> and pick a route. I would suggest the "northern route" if you are departing from Vancouver.
    Maps for Trans-Canada, I would suggest you purchase the book "The Canadian Cycling Association's Complete Guide To Bicycle Touring In Canada" by Elliott Katz. Go to a site called <> for a possible location of a copy of that book.
    Also, and especially in Canada, don't be too relaxed in your rate of travel.
    It is about 5000 miles across Canada and 90 days is a pretty average travel time for a crossing. July and August are our most desirable months and any time over the 90 days provides you with some cooler days. The scenery in the spring & autumn can be spectactular but it can also be hard to enjoy when your teeth are chattering.........byfred
  3. Norsman

    Norsman New Member

    Feb 11, 2004
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    I can't tell you anything about much of the route but I have cycled from the BC coast to Calgary.

    If you plan to leave Vancouver you will probably want to take the Lougheed Hwy. Check the following site for routes in the Vancouver area Once you get to Hope (160 km from Vancouver) you have three choices, Hwy 1, 3 or 5.

    All three have great views and their pros and cons but I chose Hwy 5. It is quite steep out of Hope but it has very wide shoulders and at least three short cuts to avoid some of the hills (if you have the type of bike that can handle some minor dirt roads). One is at Hope through the Othello Tunnels. Great views at the tunnels and a gradual climb out of Hope on an old rail bed. It also bypasses a 7km climb out of Hope. A second is at the Coldwater exit which gives a back route into Merritt thus avoiding some serious climbs. The third is Hwy 5A out of Merritt past Nicola Lake towards Kamloops. Near the end of this route there is a 10 km dirt road detour to the right along Campbell Creek (just past Shumway Lake). This avoids a very steep 5km+ hill leading to the hills above Kamloops.

    The Campbell Creek route comes out at a junction near Barnhartvale. You can go left to Kamloops or right to bypass the city all together. If you take the route to the right, about five km from the junction there is wide dirt road on your left that leads to a short steep hill down to the Trans Canada Hwy. You come out about 10km east of Kamloops. From there you follow the Trans Canada to Alberta.

    There are few short cuts after Kamloops but you have already done the one of the toughest climbs to get out of Hope. The rest is no worse. The Trans Canada is not perfect for touring through BC but it generally has decent shoulders and some great views.

    If you are thinking about taking this route write back if you want more information or someone to ride along with you for a bit of the way.