Trans-Canada

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by berzins, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. berzins

    berzins New Member

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    Any suggestions as to where I could get recommended routes for a Trans-Canada trip?
     
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  2. byfred

    byfred New Member

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    Hi berzins:
    There is a book by Elliott Katz called "the Canadian Cycling Association's Complete Guide to Bicycle Touring in Canada" A great web site for locating books is at <www.abebooks.com> .
    In addition to that, I have found that the touring is excellent across the western Provinces, (ie British Colombia, Alberta & Saskatchewan). They have a wide (4 to 10 foot paved shoulder) on all the main highways and you are quite safe on the Trans-Canada. However, shortly after you enter Ontario, the shoulder is no longer there and I would strongly suggest that you head south just past Kenora and go to Duluth, Minn. and head east along the south shore of Lake Superior. A lot of this is covered in Elliott Katz's book that I have mentioned. The north shore of Lake Superior is just far too dangerous for any recreational cycling as there is just far too much truck traffic. At the east end of Lake Superior, you can go north up into Sault Ste. Marie or continue south into Lower Michigan and cross back into Ontario at Sarnia/Port Huron.
    There are a tonne of paved roads to travel in Southern Ontario and Quebec and while the paved shoulder is very narrow, or for the most part non-existant, you should be just fine.
    When you get to New Brunswick, your paved shoulder returns and is there for the rest of your trip.
    It is a wonderful tour and I'm sure you will have a great summer, if and when you decide to go.............byfred
     
  3. velomane

    velomane New Member

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    Further to byfred's post,

    There are also parts of the Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba that do not have a paved shoulder. As I used to drive some of these parts regularly, I've seen dozens of cyclotourists claim their tiny portion of the highway. Something I would certainly not be seen doing nor do I recommend you do it.
    If you decide to proceed with your trip, I'll be happy to help you find a route away from these areas.

    Mike
     
  4. berzins

    berzins New Member

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    Thank you to Byfred and Velomane for your insights. That brings up the age-old question, West-to-East or East-to-West.

    Byfred, you seem to suggest West-to-East? I have read that the prevailing westerlies in central Canada are much more intense than in the US. Any thoughts on this?
     
  5. byfred

    byfred New Member

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    I know that the general feeling is that in Canada the prevailing winds are from the west, but my wife and I have done that route 3 times now, and we have found that wind direction is about 50/50. One thing you can count on though is that there will be a wind, and it will be significant. We have also found that the weather, for the most part, is very nice. Plenty of sunshine, to the point that with that road being so straight, you will have your "tan lines" concentrated on one side of your body. You can ALMOST meet a fellow cyclist and tell which direction he is travelling by which side of his nose has taken the most sun.
    Also, don't be overly concerned about your physical preparations for a trip like that. As long as you are able to sit on a bike and ride for several hours, without too much difficulty, you will be just fine. Don't make it a race, take in the sights and talk to the people. Take advantage of good weather and conditions and rest when your body tells you it is time.
    Just make sure that you are mentally prepared for the trip. I have always felt that that is more important than being in top physical condition. You have to really want to do it and be prepared for the "grinder days" that are sure to appear, every so often.........byfred
     
  6. rogerthek

    rogerthek New Member

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    Have you taken a look at the Tour du Canada site? The link to that is http://www.tourducanada.com/. It is operated by Cycle Canada, The Veloforce Corp., and it is an organized cross-Canada tour. I have not done it, but I have done a weeklong ride with this company, and the crew there does an excellent job with running a ride.
     
  7. izella

    izella New Member

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    Let me just say "you're nuts!" if you plan on riding the Trans Canada Highway. It is the fastest way across Canada, but as a general rule, also the most boring. Get yourself maps of each province and travel on the small roads through small town. I have toured through BC, Alberta, Sask, Manitoba and around Ontario. (Ontario, you will need to buy area maps because the provincial map does not include the small roads.) Travel from West to East as this is the direction of the predominant winds in the summer. When you hit Ontario, you will have to travel on the TransCanada to go past the Great Lakes, unless you drop into the States. Lake Superior region is amazingly beautiful, but the highway is deadly. There is very little shoulder and the it is only 2 lane for the most part.....because of the rock walls. Let me know if you want suggestions for the provinces I've rode through.
     
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