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Old 02-07-12, 09:32 AM   #1
rjpartner
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Southern Ontario to St John's

I've planned my route out pretty well on the map. But i was just wondering if there's any tricks to avoiding big cities, Ottawa and Montreal mostly.

Also, is it best to go through main to new brunswick or to stay in Canada? (boarder crossing, places to stay, etc)

i'll be leaving in late may so just wondering what the weather is like as well. Hopefully There isn't too many rain days.

If anyone wants to join me you're more than welcome.
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Old 02-08-12, 03:23 PM   #2
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I rode in Ottawa and Montreal and found both cities fairly easy to navigate on the bike. They both have a good network of bike lanes, Montreal even have separated lanes which were amazing.
Here are some maps for Ottawa: http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/things-to-do/cycling
I used to have a link to the Montreal one but can't find it. I know there's an app for purchase.

If you're going to be riding from Ottawa to Montreal along Ottawa river, I found Ontario side to be much quieter than the Quebec one, but you can go back and forth on the ferry, if you want to check it out. Very nice route, we rode it last summer.
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Old 02-08-12, 05:07 PM   #3
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great tips. thanks man!
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Old 02-16-12, 12:38 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd agree that Ottawa definitely is quite easy to cycle through - I'd recommend going through it in fact. Last summer I rode Ottawa to Halifax, and really enjoyed the stretch along the St. Lawrence north of Quebec City along the 132. Really beautiful cycling, nice scenery, quite easy (we also had a sizeable tailwind which helped my perception a lot). Nice little towns sprinkled throughout Quebec - I'd say it's a good route. Between Riviere du Loup and Edmundston Quebec is the Petit Temis trail - not sure if you're looking to stay on pavement the whole time, but it's a pretty good option to get off the highway for 130 km or so. It's an old railway line so it's easy grades (that section is quite hilly on the highway) up and then back down into NB. There's a few nice little towns along the way along Lake Temiscouata.

In New Brunswick if you follow the Saint John River down to Fredericton you can use the old Trans Canada, it's highway 130 now in most places, and it's a pretty quiet highway with a decent shoulder - most traffic takes the number 2 which runs more or less parallel to is, making it a pretty great cycling route. From Fredericton the 102 keeps going along the SJ River through Gagetown and some other small places - it's really scenic on the way down to Saint John, from where you could follow the Fundy coastline back up to Moncton. (You'd have to cut in from Saint Martins to Sussex and then back down to Alma through Fundy National Park, which is very hilly, but nice). Or for New Brunswick, back in the north you could cut across from Saint Leonard to Campbellton and follow the Bay des Chaleurs, which is very nice in places. After Bathurst it's really nice following it over to Caraquet, but that might be a bit out of your way. Down the Acadian Coast you can hug the coastline on some of the smaller highways that have pretty light traffic.

I'd recommend going up through Quebec and New Brunswick rather than cutting through Maine, but I haven't done the Maine route yet, so that's easy for me to say. I just know I was really happy with our route. Quebec's got great roads that they designate for cycling - check out the Route Verte (www.routeverte.com) and for the Petit Temis trail you can check out http://www.petit-temis.com/ - they've got a pretty detailed map on there showing everything you'd need to know.

Hope that helps, let me know if there's anything else I can do!
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Old 02-20-12, 08:42 AM   #5
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Go to Google Maps and plan out a trip. They have a bicycle option so it skips highways.

Ian
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Old 03-10-12, 11:56 AM   #6
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Cycling across Maine is tough -- you're going up and down short (and not-so-short!) rollers all the time. Lots of logging trucks, narrow roads, blind curves, really kind of creepy backwoodsy, not many towns. It's actually almost the same distance from Montreal to Moncton whether you go through Maine or through Rivière-du-Loup, believe it or not.

I rode from Halifax to Québec City a few years ago using pretty much the route Keenancook describes and loved it (used the ferry from Digby to Saint John.) My favourite part was the south shore of the St. Lawrence River into Lévis -- beautiful land- and sea- scapes, with a tailwind you'd really fly. Saw more salt water on that stretch than on the whole ride through N.S. & N.B. Be sure to stay at Le Martinet motel/restaurant in La Pocatière.

Instead of the rail trail over the "hump" between Edmunston and the river I used Quebec Highway 299 that runs roughly parallel to the TCH about 20 km west. Very quiet, fall colours were just beginning (mid Sept.), a few log trucks but they invariably gave me lots of room, slowing down elaborately to ensure clearance when, as per Murphy's law, two were coming in opposite directions with me in the middle. Actually all the drivers I encountered in that part of Québec were just great.
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Old 05-14-12, 07:59 PM   #7
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if you hit up "The Valley" in NS let me know
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Old 06-25-12, 10:07 AM   #8
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out of curiosity, how much training do you need for these long distance rides? are you doing about 200k a day?

I'd LOVE to do a long ride now that I'm out of work but I don't think i'm even close to prepared for that.
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Old 10-15-12, 10:07 AM   #9
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Im from Thunder Bay, Ontario and want to bike to east in may of 2013. Im 21, male. I have biked Queensland, Aus. and did about 70-100k a day. This would be my 2nd tour. Maybe we can meet somewhere or I can fly to southern Ontario. Let me know by e-mail or this forum and discuss more info!
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