Gaspe Bicycle Tour

AUGUST 18-26, 2017
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 all Canada. 
 

For this tour we have selected the best part of the Gaspé for bicycle touring. We will begin our trip by following eastward along the St. Lawrence River. Once we reach the hills we will face some serious cycling, experiencing incredible panoramas. 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 with the help of our support crew and vans.
 
 With most of the major hills behind us, we will reward ourselves an easy-going day exploring the sea, mountains, and forests of the colourful end of the peninsula. We will take a day to discover Forillon National Park, linger for an afternoon in the town of Gaspé, and ride a pleasant bicycle path to a beach. Our final day is a breath-taking ride into Percé, summer nesting home of 250,000 birds and site of legendary Rocher-Percé, the haunting limestone arch that rises from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
ITINERARY
Friday, August 18 – Matane to Cap-Chat
Saturday, August 19 – Cap-Chat to Mont-Saint-Pierre
Sunday, August 20 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Grande-Vallée
Monday, August 21 – Grande-Valléee to  Anse-au-Griffon
Tuesday, August 22 –  Anse-au-Griffon to Forillon National Park
Wednesday, August 23 – Forillon National Park to Gaspe
Thursday, August 24 – Gaspe to Douglastown
Friday, August 25 – Douglastown to Percé
Saturday, August 26 – Return Transportation to Matane

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 Friday, August 18 – Matane to Cap-Chat  77 km (47 mi.) Our tour begins with a rolling route through coastal villages. This being our longest day, some may wish to take in the nearby pub and restaurants once we reach Cap-Chat. Everything that there is to know about wind power may be learned at Cap-Chat’s Nordais wind farm, home of Éole, the world’s tallest vertical wind turbine.

Saturday, August 19 – Cap-Chat to Mont-Saint-Pierre  70 km (44 mi.) We now reach the hills of the Gaspé Peninsula. There will be ups and downs. Mont-St. Pierre is our stopping point, a cozy village of under 200 people nestled in a tiny valley, with cliffs on either side.

Sunday, August 20 – Mont-Saint-Pierre to Grande-Vallée  64 km (40 mi.) We will have a relatively easy ride until about 40 km (24 miles) in, at Rivière Madeleine. Once there, the following 23 km (13 miles) will offer what perhaps could perhaps be the hardest two hours of the tour. We end at Grande Vallée, overlooking the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Monday, August 21 –Grande-Vallée to Anse-au-Griffon  70 km (44 mi.) Now well into the hills, this will be the most challenging day of our tour. We face fewer steep climbs than yesterday, but a lot of up and down over the day, creating a fair amount of elevation change. As usual, we will have our support team offering assistance. Rivière-au-Renard is the fishing capital of the Gaspe Peninsula. Fish and seafood of all kinds are landed, unloaded and processed here.

Tuesday, August 22 – Anse-au-Griffon to Forillon National Park  25 km (16 mi.) We have just completed several hilly days of cycling – it is now time to reward ourselves with a day at Forillon National Park. 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 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.

Wednesday, August 23 – Forillon National Park to Gaspe  59 km (37 mi.) Another day allowing room for exploring. 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. 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. We should arrive at the town of Gaspé with plenty of time to explore. We plan to shuttle everyone to a restaurant we like in the evening.

Thursday, August 24 – Gaspe to Douglastown  31 or 50 km (19 or 31 mi.) Taking a paved cycling path from the town of Gaspé, Haldimand Beach is located 8 km (5 mi.) from town, in a fabulous setting, with Parc Forillon in the background.  Cyclists have a choice of going slow on the paved bike trail and stopping at the beach, or doing a longer route.  For those wanting extra cycling for this easier day they can ride the trail both directions or circle around the Bassin du Sud-Ouest.

Friday, August 25 – Douglastown to Percé  54 km (33 mi.) Our last day of cycling includes four steep hills before reaching our ending point at Percé.   There is no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful town at the end of the Gaspesie peninsula.  We will urge everyone to get started early.   There are attractions, such as a visit to Bonaventure Island and the world’s largest gannet colony or Percé Rock, the haunting limestone arch rising from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, one of the most recognizable of all Canada’s natural wonders. It also has interesting shops and numerous good restaurants. We will gather at a spot in town for our last night together.

Saturday, August 26 – Return Transportation to Matane We wind our way back to our starting point and our farewells.

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 177,000 kilometres cycling experience including thousands of kilometers of riding in Quebec -return transportation from tour end point to Matane.

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: $1112 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, 2018 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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