The Globe and Mail, Canada’s most respected newspaper, selected the “Top Ten Cycling Trips in Canada”. It was a very special day for us when we learned that Atlantic Canada Cycling was selected for two of the top ten tours in the country – Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island!
Top Ten Cycling Trips in Canada
Not all bike tours involve plunging down mountainsides at full tilt (although we’ve got the details on that kind of trip, too.) If you’re in the mood to pedal this summer, Canada offers a range of organized adventures from a summer-long cross-country odyssey to a leisurely spin near Quebec City that doesn’t skimp on gourmet food and luxury hotels.
Tour Du Canada
If you have lots of time and saddlebags of grit, this is the acme of Canadian bike adventures. Started in 1987 by Bud Jorgensen, Tour du Canada is a non-profit corporation that offers the longest annual bike ride in the world — from Vancouver to St. John’s, beginning June 26 and ending Sept. 5. It’s a no-frills trip and fees cover food, a support vehicle with a driver, cooking equipment, accommodation (mostly camping), route maps and administrative support. The best part is that the ride is not a race and participants don’t need to be athletes. They just need to be reasonably fit and determined. For more information, call (705) 434-1100 or 1-800-214-7798
Around the Great Lakes
Cycle Canada, organizers of the Tour du Canada, above, also offers a 42- day, 4,700-kilometre bike tour around the Great Lakes, beginning and ending in Aliston, Ont. Dates and fees for 2004 are yet to be announced. For more information, call (705) 434-1100 or 1-800-214-7789 .
Fat-tire adventures Fernie Fat-Tire Adventures offers a host of challenging mountain-bike adventures, but its Gravity-fed Downhill Tour, new for 2004, promises to be memorable. The first trip of its kind in North America, the six-day summer tour will feature lift-accessed riding down the slopes of major ski resorts in Alberta and B.C., as well as an afternoon of heli-biking. This is strictly for advanced riders. For more information, call 1-888-423-7849
Vancouver Island odyssey
Winnipeg-based Canadian Trails Adventure Tours offers a wide range of bicycle tours across Canada, including two seven-day trips in May from Tofino to Victoria on Vancouver Island. For more information, call 1-800-668-2453
Blue Moose Tours offer a three-day mountain bike tour of Alberta’s Kananaskis Country from Calgary. For strong beginners and intermediate riders who don’t mind camping at night, this is a great introduction to some of the best and most beautiful biking terrain in the country. For more information, call (403) 275-2440 or 1-866-744-2440
One of the more rugged bike trips on offer is the 10-day July journey around Newfoundland’s great northern peninsula organized by Halifax- based Atlantic Canada Cycling. A caution on the company’s website says it all: “Best suited for people who understand that they will be exploring an area with frontier-like conditions and unpredictable climate.” For more information, call 1-888-800-2498; (902) 423-2453 Atlantic Canada Cycling
A gentler, six-day summer outing through Quebec’s Eastern Townships is offered by Freewheeling Adventures. The landscape is rolling and undemanding, and accommodations are in charming inns. For more information, call 1-800-672-0775
Prince Edward Island ramble
Prince Edward Island is ideal for tours by casual bikers or for family outings. The landscape is gentle and rolling and you’re almost always close to a beach and a cooling dip. Atlantic Canada Cycling offers two seven-day camping/biking tours in August. For more information, call 1-888-800-2498; (902) 423-2453 Atlantic Canada Cycling
Quebec in style
It’s nothing but the best on three six-day bike tours in Quebec offered by luxury tour operator Butterfield & Robinson. Beginning and ending in Quebec City, the tour passes through the rural charm of Charlevoix and promise a mix of gourmet cuisine, luxury hotels and pampering along the way. For more information, call 1-800-678-1147
Niagara to Grand River
From the Niagara Peninsula to the historic towns along Ontario’s Grand River, two six-day biking tours offered by Steve Bauer Bike Tours feature rolling, relatively undemanding terrain, upscale accommodation and meals at some of the region’s best restaurants. For more information, call (905) 563-8687