Travel Tips

Thinking of hitting the road with two wheels this summer? Try these tips to plan a memorable bike trip

Thinking of hitting the road with two wheels this summer? Try these tips to plan a memorable bike trip
Written by Publishing Team

A cyclist goes for a bike ride on a gravel road in the Kootenays area of ​​British ColumbiaGibson Pictures/iStockPhoto/Getty Images

I was driving along Montreal’s southern edge recently when something magical happened. When I came to St. Lawrence, I had a vivid, full-body memory of a two-week bike trip I took around the Gaspi Peninsula nearly a decade ago. I watched the sun rise over the riverside campgrounds again, and remembered the freedom of cycling along St. Lawrence Beach, heard the sounds of seabirds, and smelled the currents in the air. I was there, even after all these years.

Seeing a place at the speed of a bicycle will do that for you. It impresses your senses in a way that makes you refreshed and full of memories.

“A bike trip adventure, even if it’s local like an overnight, really changes your perspective and rhythm. Longtime bike traveler and co-creator of Waltz bikepacking new Waltz bikepacking Luger Driver, Jane Adams, a multi-day bike route in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, says Jane Adams, a multi-day bike route in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, Completely edited command.

Adams is one of many Canadians who are taking advantage of a slowing world to slow their travel, too. If you’re looking for a way to recapture your sense of adventure, discovery, and appreciation of what’s in your own backyard, a bike trip is everything.

RV professionals offer tips for getting started on the road for the first time

before you hit the road

The 800-kilometer bike route meanders through Quebec’s Outaouais region and the Ottawa Valley on trails, railroad tracks, and along long-forgotten back roads.Michel Aubry Photo/iStockPhoto/Getty Images

Planning a bike trip doesn’t have to be hard. There are so many ways to travel and a growing number of destinations.

If you want to relax, choose a place to stay and take daily walks from there. It will allow you to get to know an area in depth while keeping layout easy. Bring your own bike or rent one – many bike shops now rent e-bikes as well as a handy assortment.

Do you need a big break? Load up your gear and go on a multi-day bike ride. You can camp—be sure to check camp availability and rules ahead of time—stay in motels, or check out the Warmshowers.org website, which matches cyclists and hosts. If you prefer to be off-road, strap a small bag and other essentials to your mountain bike and hit the trails for an off-the-track adventure.

Do you want some support? In areas popular for bike tours, like Le P’tit Train du Nord in Quebec, outfitters move your bags from hotel to hotel every night so you can ride unobstructed. Or find a planned tour – Many cycling tour companies offer group tours and self-guided options.

“We’re offering self-guided rides for the first time this year,” says John Bowden, founder of Kootenay Cycling Adventures, which leads bike tours at BC Interior. “We try to respond to what people are looking for by giving them maximum flexibility, space and independence.”

Plan your route

This mid-range three-day tour of the Kootenay region of British Columbia will take you from Nelson to Caslow, around New Denver and Nacoset and back, with a mix of lakeshore, towering peaks, mountain towns, and hot springs along the way.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

First, consider the number of hours you want to ride per day – use an average of 23 kilometers per hour as a guide. Then check your terrain. Hills and unexpected road conditions are inevitable on a bike trip, but if you’re not in the mood for an uphill adventure, chart your route accordingly. Rail tracks like the 160-kilometre Simcoe County Loop near Barrie, or Ont. , or the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island, low-altitude off-road options.

Regional tourism associations can be a great source for itineraries, maps, and road quality information. Apps like RideWithGPS and Strava can provide ideas and inspiration for the road. If you’re headed out for a cycling adventure, you can use bikepacking.com and Mesquite Magazine It contains great detailed descriptions of the routes. There are also plenty of regional Facebook groups – Bikepack Canada is a good place to start.

get ready

Many travel cyclists have strong opinions about the equipment they use, but here’s a secret: It doesn’t have to be complicated. Certainly, having the right equipment and tools is essential for long trips. But if you have a bike, water bottles, and a backpack, you can plan a few day trips that will make your wheels buzz.

ways to discover

Campobello Island, noteKen R Morris Jr./iStockPhoto/Getty Images

Below are trips of different types, lengths, and terrains that will inspire you to seek adventures near you.

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Day Trip

Make Owen Sound, Ont., your home base and plan day trips along the rocky shores of the Gulf of Georgia and the quieter Lake Huron. County Road 1 between Owen Sound and Wiarton will take your breath away. The terrain on the peninsula is rolling on the bay side and flat on the lake side, and the boardwalk is well-signed. Marilyn Koehler, executive director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, the organization that supports the Trail, also recommends hiking in Indian Falls, and a beach vacation in Hibou Conservation Area.

Self-guided adventure in West Koot Loop

Seeing a place at the speed of a bike impresses on your senses in a way that leaves you refreshed and full of memories.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

This mid-range three-day tour of the Kootenay region of British Columbia will take you from Nelson to Caslow, around New Denver and Nacoset and back, with a mix of lakeshore, towering peaks, mountain towns, and hot springs along the way. Get ready for some slow mountain climbs and quick descents. “It’s just out of this world,” says John Bowden, Head Riders at Kootenay Cycling Adventures. “Almost Patagonia, but in our own backyard.”

Pick Back the driver waltz record

The 800-kilometer bike path meanders through Quebec’s Outaouais region and the Ottawa Valley on trails, railroad tracks, and along long-forgotten back roads. It’ll introduce you to the beauty of the Canadian Shield – and some great bakeries. Bike everything by bike, or choose a section. Either way, check the website for planning tips. “It was exciting to think about what people would feel when they saw this view over the Gatineau Hills, or as they approached from this angle,” says Log Driver Eric Peterridge, co-founder of Log Driver.

Hope Island on the Bay of Fundy

“This trip will take you back in time about 20 years,” says Gary Conrod, founder of east coast bike tour company Atlantic Canada Cycling. Take a ride on Saint Stephen, NB, and head east along the coast, hopping off to three islands: Deer, Campobello, and Grand Manan. “The Bay of Fundy is this amazing creature,” says Conrod. “And this is an area that not many New Brunswickers have explored. Lords Cove on Deer Island is the most beautiful village in the county.”

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