AUGUST 24 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2019
Gaspe Bicycle Tour
TOUR OUTLINE
National Geographic lists the Gaspé Peninsula as one of the top 20 worldwide destinations. Where the Appalachian Mountain range reaches the sea, Quebec’s Gaspé (Gaspésie) Peninsula is a coastline of dizzying cliffs, small coves, rocky capes and fine sand beaches. An enormous territory where picturesque scenery reigns, it is one of the top bike touring routes in Canada. 

For this tour we are taking on both sides of the Gaspé – this is a big tour.   We will begin our trip on the more gentle Bay of Chaleur side and work our way eastward  At the far end, between Perce and Forillon National Park, we will enjoy incredible ocean panoramas.  At Percé we have a day to visit the famed summer town, nesting home of 250,000 birds and site of legendary Rocher-Percé, the haunting limestone arch that rises from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.   

Now we have reached the hills.  We will face some serious cycling along the St. Lawrence River side of the Gaspe.  Having about as much elevation climb as our comparable Cape Breton Island Bicycle Tour, the Gaspé hills will not be as high or steep, but more constant. While certainly a big challenge, moderate cyclists who realize what they will be in for will get through.  As on all tours we will be offering the help of our support crew.  After three days on the more quiet and rugged side of the Gaspe Peninsula we reach our end point at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

ITINERARY
Saturday, August 24 – Carleton to Bonaventure 
Sunday, August 25 – Bonaventure to Pabos
Monday, August 26 – Pabos to  Percé
Tuesday, August 27 –  Activity Day at Percé
Wednesday, August 28 – Percé to Gaspe
Thursday, August 29 – Gaspe to Forillon National Park
Friday, August 30 – Forillon National Park to Rivière-au-Renard
Saturday, August 31 – Rivière-au-Renard to Grande-Valléee
Sunday, September 1 – Grande-Valléee to Mont-Saint-Pierre
Monday, September 2 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

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Saturday, August 24 – Carleton to Bonaventure  65 km (41 mi.)  We have our tour meeting and reception breakfast at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.  We will then take a shuttle to Carleton.  With the time remaining, winds permitting,  our first day should be easy.  Our first night in on the beach at Bonaventure.

Sunday, August 25 – Bonaventure to Pabos 82 km (51 mi.)  We follow the southern side of the Gaspe, along the Bay of Chaleur.  We pass several small towns, ending with another great seaside camp at Pabos.

Monday, August 26 – Pabos to Percé 47 km (29 mi.)  We follow the southern side of the Gaspe, along the Bay of Chaleur.  We pass several small towns, ending with another great seaside camp at Pabos.

Tuesday, August 27 – Activity Day at Percé  There is no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful town at the end of the Gaspesie peninsula.  In is bay sits Percé Rock, the haunting limestone arch rising from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of the most recognizable of all Canada’s natural wonders. The Percé area is ideal for hiking, bird watching, sea kayaking and many other outdoor activities.  We will be be doing an option for an area tour for those wishing to cycle.  There are many good restaurants and interesting shops. An excursion to Bonaventure Island offers a chance to visit the most accessible northern gannet colony in the world.  There are also seals and whales.  Bonaventure Island also offers four hiking trails and a historic heritage trail that reflects the island’s prosperous past.  We will also pick a gathering place in town for the evening.

Wednesday, August 28 – Percé to Gaspe  85 km (53 mi.)  After the steep hill getting out of Percé we can relax at Haldimand Beach is located  from town, in a fabulous setting, with Parc Forillon in the background.  After our break a paved cycling path takes us into the town of Gaspé.  There are several good coffee shops and places to rest before the final push to camp. We will do a shuttle for riders into town for a restaurant gathering.

Thursday, August 29 – Gaspe to Forillon National Park  59 km (37 mi.)  Under the ground of a picnic rest-stop we find Fort Penouille, an interesting and explorable WW2 gun emplacement built to defend Gaspe from U-boats. Nearby, Presqu’ile de Penouille Peninsula offers interpretations of vegetation among the sand dunes.  An option is to go to the very end of the Gaspé Peninsula, the Cap-Gaspé. An historic farming and fishing area, Parks Canada has preserved some buildings from past times and has interesting interpretation areas. The Grande-Grave National Heritage Site outlines the way of life of the pioneering fishing families. There is an optional 4 km walking trail out to a lighthouse overlooking a rocky cliff. There is a fair amount of wildlife in this area, including cormorants, gannets, eiders, seals, whales, and other marine animals.

A narrow, mountainous peninsula that extends into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Forillon National Park marks the eastern end of the Appalachian mountain chain. Among the mountains are meadows, filled with wildflowers. These create a habitat, perhaps more than most national parks, for black bears. There are also moose, deer, beaver, and other wildlife. In the park’s waters are seals and different whale species, such as fin whales, minke whales, and Atlantic white-sided dolphins. Important colonies of seabirds include the double-crested cormorant, the black-legged kittiwake gull, and the razorbill. There are also rare artic-alpine plants for this far south, which give this park its unique character. Here at the end point of the Gaspé Peninsula we will have the rest of the day to explore. We can walk along the pebble beaches, and take photography of the steep cliffs overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A hike to the Mont Saint-Alban Tower at 283 metres high offers views to the Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, Canada’s tallest, as well as the Bay of Gaspé, the Forillon Peninsula and as far as Percé Rock. 

Friday, August 30 – Forillon National Park to Rivière-au-Renard  35 km (22 mi.)  An easy day, we will have time to do some exploring before leaving Forillon National Park.  We can visit Cap-des-Rosiers lighthouse, Canada’s tallest.  Rivière-au-Renard is the fishing capital of the Gaspe Peninsula. Fish and seafood of all kinds are landed, unloaded and processed here. Riders can explore around taking photos.  Tonight will be our picnic social.

Saturday, August 31 – Rivière-au-Renard to Grande Vallée  70 km (43 mi.)  This will be the most challenging day of our tour, with 1,100 metres of climbing.  There  are not a lot of overly steep climbs, but a lot of up and down over   As usual, we will have our support team offering assistance.  We end at Grande Vallée, overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

Sunday, September 1 – Grande Vallée to Mont-Saint-Pierre  64 km (40 mi.)   Still in the hills, we will have a couple of big climbs before they level off at Rivière Madeleine.  Mont-St. Pierre is our stopping point, a cozy village of under 200 people nestled in a tiny valley, with cliffs on either side.

Monday, September 2 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts  57 km (35 mi.)   Our last day of cycling offers rolling terrain along the Saint Lawrence River to where we all met at  Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.

TOUR DETAILS
 What We Provide: – Comprehensive ride guide; all about what you will experience on route, history, culture, trivia -camping facilities -luggage transfer; we will carry your gear, just bike and enjoy the ride! -bike mechanic assistance -sag wagon service –support vehicle available for breakdowns or drives to shorten your day -daily route maps -tour escort; Gary Conrod will be along the route, he has 179,000 kilometres cycling experience including thousands of kilometers of riding in Quebec -shuttle to our ride start point at Careleton.

About Our Tours: 
Our tours are different!  We run friendly and fun bicycle-camping trips.  There are not many groups left like us out there doing this. Running inexpensive tours by camping and not doing inns is now a rarity. We have done it this way since way back in 1987.  It gets a little bit harder each year to crawl in and out of tents - we are not getting any younger, but we would still rather be doing it our way - under the stars.

Our events usually have between 18 and 35 people, the majority older adults.  Since our camping groups are a bit larger compared to inn to inn tours, there are far greater chances of finding others with the same interests. During a week to 10 day tour everyone gets to know pretty well everyone else.   Rather than a tour with just a handful of people, possibly none you have things in common with, our size allows a wide range of personalities, interests, and similar riding speeds. We feel our trips are just the right size for fitting in.  Lots of friendships are made on our tours.

We run our tours in prime natural settings in Eastern and Atlantic Canada.  Our tours are a bit harder to get to - they will need more planning.   Running events in remoter regions with limited options raises costs a bit more than if we did them in busier places.  We feel getting away from the heat, humidity, cities, stress, tension, and traffic makes the experiences we offer completely worth it.  Our return rate is among the highest of any cycling organization - as high as 90% on some tours, so overall people seem to love what we are doing and value their experiences.

Accommodation:
Our trip will be a tent camping adventure, but for some  who say their camping days are behind them can join in on our journeys. A limited number of Bed and Breakfasts and motels are along our route. Upon request, a listing of motels and Bed and Breakfasts will be sent with confirmation. Due to the small places we go to, early reservations are strongly recommended.

Meals:
Each cyclist can have their own choice of dining. Some prepare meals at our campsites. Participants buy food daily at designated spots and we transport it to the end point. We have a large amount of cooking stoves, equipment, and cutlery – no need to bring any of that gear to our tour. Others prefer to enjoy as many restaurants as the route allows. We will provide a list each day of what you will find along our route.

Baggage System:
Each morning you will bring your baggage to our truck. You are then free to ride at your own pace. Your bags will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the next campground or indoor selection.

Tour Support:
During the ride, our support vehicle will be at your service if you need a lift or other assistance. Maps and information materials will help guide you along the way.

Preparation and Equipment:
We will carry whatever you feel you need to enjoy the tour. You must supply your own bicycle, tent and sleeping bag.

JOIN US ON OUR TOUR!
Entry Fee: $1348 CAD (Canadian Dollars)

Returning Participants Appreciation:
We are proud of having among highest the return rates of all bicycle touring organizations. In appreciation, we wish to offer returning riders $100 off before March 31, 2019 and $50 off after.

Entry Options:
*Credit Card - (Visa and MasterCard) - We put cards through by phone to avoid sensitive information passing through our web site.  Please call us at 888-800-2498; or 902-423-2453.  Please also for security reasons, do not send credit card numbers by email or text.  American and foreign participants have the Canadian amount converted to their currency at the current exchange rate.

*PayPal - we can send you an email with a link that goes to our PayPal page. American and foreign participants have the Canadian amount converted to their currency at the current exchange rate.

*Personal Cheque or Money Order - Postal mail:  PO Box 1555 Stn CRO Halifax NS B3J 2Y3 Canada. Note that the bank rate is different than the "paper" rate.  Use this link on the day you send payment   Exchange Rates  Use the column (Client Sells - Receives Canadian). If the math gets complicated contact us and we will help sort it out.   Note that the postage rate to Canada is higher than U.S. domestic rate, ask what it currently is, mail can be turned back.

*Interac - send payment link to [email protected]

*Wire Transfer - please contact us and we will check if this can set up without unreasonable charge from your area.

Youth and Child Rates:
We have rates for youth and children, please contact us for details.

Taxes:
All taxes are included.

Deposits – Getting on Board:
To secure a spot on one of our trips a $300 deposit is required. Full payment is due 60 days prior to the day of departure. If we do not receive your final balance on time, we will consider your reservation cancelled. We will attempt to remind you as the date nears.

Cancellations and Change to Later Trip Charges:
We understand things happen in life and sometimes you have to cancel or defer your bike tour.  A fair amount of work and arrangements are involved with each registration ACC receives and the cancellation timeline outlined below is strictly adhered to.  Exceptions will not be made for any reason. This includes weather or personal emergencies.  We highly suggest that you purchase travel insurance. There are many companies that offer inexpensive trip insurance, and we recommend you look into it.

Your cancellation fee will be determined based on the day the written notice is received. There is no refund if you arrive late or must leave a tour early.

Change to later Trip Option - Registrations may be forwarded to a future event within 3 years with the timeline outlined below. Moving your tour ahead is a better deal than the costs of cancelling outright.

Cancellation Fee
Over 60 Days refund minus $200
31-60 Daysrefund minus $400
16-30 Days50% of trip price
15 Days or lessno refund
Change to Later Trip Fee
Over 60 Days $100 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years
31-60 Days$200 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years
16-30 Days$300 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years
15 Days or less$400 fee; remaining credit may be used within 3 years

 

Travel Insurance:
Since there are no exceptions to the cancellation policy outlined above, unfortunately including personal emergencies, we highly recommend that each participant have cancellation and travel insurance.  This type of insurance covers illness, accident, loss of luggage, or other unforeseen occurrences. In addition, we also recommend travelers health insurance to supplement your own medical insurance. Atlantic Canada Cycling does not provide travel insurance or health/accident insurance. This is strictly the participant’s responsibility.

Cancellation of Event:
Atlantic Canada Cycling has never had a cancelled event in its twenty-seven years. We do, however, reserve the right to cancel any scheduled tour. In this event you will receive a full refund of any money paid (for tour operation only).  In this event ACC is not responsible for expenses incurred by individuals in preparation for the trip such as non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, equipment etc.

ACC Registration Form:
Our Participant Form is below. It should open in a new page in your browser. If not, try to right click and “save target as”, "file as" or "linked content as", depending on your browser to download. The form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is on most computers but if not you can download from Adobe. If you have problems, please contact us, we can email or fax a form to you. [email protected] Call us at 888-800-2498

ACC Registration Form:  Click Here!
ACC Registration Form

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