Cycling Across Canada (or lend a cyclist a hand)

If you ever make it down my way, it would be an honor.

Hell, come on down anyway. We’ll do the Comet and Stone Mountain!


Muffin is right about #11 being boring, and #17 beautiful. I have driven both routes, and I can tell you, Ontario is HUGE! It takes as long to get through as Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta combined. Any way you go through the north, it’s going to be remote, so a support crew is a good idea, plus I’m sure your Dad would love to come and hang out with you for a week or two.

Are you going to go through Ottawa way? Southern Ontario highways are not very bike friendly.

Haha! I was only bugging you, you really can look at only so many damn grain fields…

But you do need to watch for moose, I find they like my salad and carrots. Make sure you stash them high in the trees, those bastards are big!

About esitmating you distance per day - Have you tried a fully loaded ride? Because biking 100km (even a hilly 100km) mostly empty (just tools and a spare inner tube) was harder for me than biking 85km mostly flat fully loaded (pulling a bob trailer).


Unless you go to Cape Spear, NL, you are not cycling across Canada.

Rodd Hill, thanks for that link! That is the exact route through B.C. that we are doing.

We went 45 km fully loaded in under two hours, so I’m not too worried about falsely estimating our average distance per day. Regardless, if I am we will have to abandon the trip. Our route is 7000 km long; if we aren’t doing 100+km/day we’ll be cycling forever.

We aren’t starting at the Westernmost point so why does Cape Spear matter?!

Definitions of what counts as “cycling across Canada” are many and irrelevant to anybody not attempting the feat. We’re going from sea to sea, park to park. That is our definition of what counts as cycling across Canada. It is unique and it is ours.

Sorry, I really didn’t mean to belittle your wonderful and courageous honeymoon. It just seemed like another instance of mainland Canadians who are of the mindset that Canada ends in Halifax.

Congrats on being married a week! :smiley:

Since I am a Yank, in southern Canada ( Michigan, the mitten part) I would be a bit out of your ride to be able to offer housing, so no help there.

I’m thinking OW! MY BALLS HURT!

You’ll notice I said nothing about the grain fields! :smiley:

I don’t think 100km/day is at all unreasonable going from west to east, and there’s an excellent chance of some really long distance tailwind assists through southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. I would suggest looking at Highway 2 through southern Manitoba if you’re sick of the #1 by that point.

I’ll share the lesson I learned during my one and only loaded bike tour. Make sure you have really good rim strips - that tape around the rim between the top of the spokes and the inner tube. I suffered numerous flats from spokes poking up into the tubes (I didn’t have a really proper setup, and all my pack weight was on the rear wheel) all of which could have been avoided if I hadn’t just had the default cheap rubber strip. Maybe all serious bike tourers know this, but I found out the hard way. :stuck_out_tongue:

This Scottish woman’s cross-Canada cycle was the subject of a recent documentary, which was pretty interesting.
One hurdle she overcame was having to break her journey to have a pacemaker fitted so she could continue!
BBC article

Are you going to cycle over the Confederation Bridge to hit PEI?

Have you looked into a satellite phone in case of emergencies?

I’m a little off your route but I will offer a place to sleep regardless. I’m 98 kms north of Hwy 17 straight up from White River, Ontario. If you plan a stop in White River area, I will come down and pick you up and you can crash at our place for a night. Then I can drive you back down to White River in the morning so you can go from there again.

You’d have to like cats though. We have a lot of them.

I haven’t done the detail day to day plan into Ontario yet, though now I will keep White River in mind. Thank you, and you may hear from me in the future. (ps. we love cats!)

Keep your eyes on GQ in the near future. I’ll be asking about a phone to cover the length of Canada. (Not that it’ll really matter as 911 isn’t accessible for much of the area where, if we do get into trouble, we’ll really need it.)

Yes. Well, no. They won’t let anybody cycle over the bridge. Instead they load you up onto a truck and drive you across. But yes, we will be in PEI for a day or two.

Gorsnak, I thought about Highway 2 in Manitoba, but it is a little out of the way and I’m not sure the extra distance is worth it. Also, although I haven’t had to learn the hard way, I do know rim tape is extremely important. A symbol of its importance is how freaking much it costs in a cycle shop. $5 for enough to cover a single rim!

Actually, its already been named. ABCs: Alice and Brad Cycle Cross Canada. (Names have been changed to protect the stupid couple who decided to Honeymoon while cycling 7000 km.)

Stupid is relative. I have a couple of friends who spent their honeymoon sleeping in a snow cave eating their way through a huge tub of margerine.

Wishing you both a safe and enjoyable ride. Would like to see pictures of the sights, if you are so inclined.


The distance is trivial if you cut south on Highway 21 between Virden and Brandon. According to Google maps, 21 and 2 rejoining the 1 at Oak Bluff on Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway is exactly the same distance as staying on 1 the whole way. You can save 10km using the 1, but only if you go straight through Winnipeg on Portage/St. Mary’s/Fermor. If you were going to take the Perimeter, 21 and 2 won’t add any distance. Much narrower roads, but much less traffic as well. My one and only bike tour was actually Winnipeg to Spruce Woods via 2, then north on 5 to Riding Mountain, and back to Winnipeg via 5 & 1. My last day I made it from Neepawa to Winnipeg (215km) with the aid of a potent west wind.

There is still a ferry service running between Caribou NS and Wood Island PEI that you might want to look into. If I was on a bicycle, I think I’d prefer riding on the ferryboat, having lunch in the caf or enjoying the sunshine and sea air out on deck, to being loaded in a truck.

I’ve taken both the ferry and the bridge. The bridge is a marvel of engineering, is open 24 hours in all but the worst weather, and no doubt is a boon to the Island. But if you’re not in a great rush, I’d suggest taking the ferry. I liked it.

The Fundy Coastal Drivein New Brunswick (my neck of the woods) is really beautiful and the weather’s a lot cooler in summer than central NB, but it’s probably further south than you want to go. That link will give you some tourist attractions for the Fundy Coast and the other Drives as well as the towns and amenities along the way. I’m in St. Andrews (a cute tourist trap right on the bay) and if you do visit, you’d be welcome for a meal at my house.

Gorsnak, since you’ve cycled both, if you were in my saddle which route would you take? Would you drop down at Griswold and take the 21 down to Highway 2?

I’m mostly wondering about highway conditions? Obviously Highway 1 is busier, but is the narrowness of Highway 2 worth the decrease in traffic? Or, more precisely phrased, does Highway 1 have a paved shoulder? And does Highway 2 have any shoulder?

Spoons, we’re going to take the Confederation Bridge over (the wife has never been on it) and then cycle down to Woods Island and take the ferry back over to Nova Scotia.

Queen of Town, you are right. First, you are right it is too far south for us. Second, you are correct that it is a beautiful drive along there and she will be missing out (I’ve driven that before). I’ve tried to figure out a way to get us at least to see the Hopewell Rocks but it is a big detour on a bicycle (especially if we want to do PEI). Depending on time and finances we might take a day off and rent a car to get to the Hopewell Rocks.