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  1. #1
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Cross Canada Route Wanted

    I was spoiled by the route maps for the Trans-America by Adventure Cycling on my 2004 trip and would like to be spoiled for my upcomming cross Canada trip. Does anyone know of such a resource for a cross Canada route? I have found several routes on CGoaB, but none give the kind of detail that AC maps do, suggestions?

  2. #2
    Hooked on Touring
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    I don't know of any.
    How about doing your own planning?
    You know what you need - -
    There a plenty of online resources.

    There are two major highways across western Canada - the Trans Canada and the Yellowhead.
    The TC - usually Hwy 1 - runs from Winnipeg thru Regina and Calgary to Vancouver.
    The YH - usually Hwy 16 - runs from Winnipeg thru Saskatoon and Edmonton to Prince Rupert with a leg to Vancouver.

    I've only been on short stretches of the TC as part of a zig or zag. Although the shoulders are wide, the traffic is heavy. There are better ways. The Yellowhead is pretty busy on either side of Edmonton, but otherwise has less traffic than the TC. Another option is to take provincial highways midway between the two to Rocky Mountain House in Alberta then catch the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper. That way you miss Banff but get 2/3s of the parkway. Banff is a little over the top for me. Jasper is perfect. The YH in British Columbia is pretty remote at times - especially between McBride and Prince George and west of Terrace. The connector to Vancouver - Hwy 5 - is a gorgeous ride along the Thompson River connecting with the TC in Kamloops. Many people take Hwy 99 thru Whistler rather than the TC. The TC thru the Fraser Canyon can be almost-scary narrow with a bunch of tunnels. Hwy 99 gets a lot of traffic after Whistler.

    Or - - if you are REALLY crazy, you can take Hwy 20 from Williams Lake out to Bella Coola. There is a dirt section and Heckman Pass. Google Heckman Pass. But it's an incredible ride with a wonderful BC ferry connection to Vancouver Island.

    I'll leave the east to someone else.

    PS - The Crowsnest Highway - Hwy 3 - runs south of the TC and is another option. It has an easy crossing of the Continental Divide, but you don't get much in the way of Canadian Rockies.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Do you want to travel fast or scenic?

    If you want to travel fast, you can go Hwy 1 (the TransCanada) ... but I'll warn you ... between Calgary and the Manitoba/Ontario border it is NOT scenic!

    If you want to travel scenic, there are a whole bunch of other roads you could use.

    Contact the Canadian Automobile Association (or perhaps the AAA) for maps, campground guides, etc.

  4. #4
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    I guess I won't be spoiled, oh well, you never know unless you ask.

    Right Machka, should have been more specific, scenic is the word and really the route need only come as far east as the Great Lakes. My tentative, ever changing, route is north from my home in Kentucky through the Great lakes region into Canada, then west to the coast, do some exploring there and return using the Northern Tier to the Great Rivers, to TransAm right back into Kentucky. A meandering loop to avoid planes.

    Mapping the non-AC portions is the easy part, finding out where the camp grounds, motels, grocery stores on those roads is the hard part. The great thing about the AC maps is that every town is marked, this gives you such great flexibility in the day to day planning while on tour. (like I said, spoiled)

    I guess if there is campground info on the AAA maps, that is a great start, the next thing would be town population information. Towns there in name only (ie. population 50) usually have nothing, towns with a population of about 500 have a grocery and restaurant, 1000 gets you a post office, and above 2000 usually has a motel. although as long as I have a place to camp, all is well.

    Machka, jamawani, if you were cycling a scenic route from the great lakes west to the coast, what would it be? I know from your posts that I would love your route! I'll mark it on the AAA maps and start the rest of the research from there. If you are so inclined of course, again, you never know unless you ask, so I'm asking.

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    Hey Greg, I used the AAA maps and trip books and local info to cross the US a couple of years ago. Yeah, the AC maps have a lot of great info, but you can do without it.

    - Accept that you will not have this information for the whole route before you start. That's a GOOD thing, not a bad one. You will have unexpected (mostly good, some bad) experiences because of this.
    - Check the AAA map for the little campground symbol. But that symbol is placed at the nearest town to the campground, so you look that up in the camp book. Often the campground is miles from the town, sometimes on a remote dirt road, often not where you want to be.
    - Pick up local maps and info at the state border info place (if you are on a big road) or at local chambers of commerce / tourist information places. You can often get books put out for RV'ers that have the RV parks in them - you can stay at those.
    - Stop at Forest Service / BLM / National Park ranger stations, and get campground maps
    - Talk to locals about routes and camping opportunities. Sometimes someone will invite you to stay in their house, yard, etc. I usually start the question with something like "Have you ever been to <name of town>" otherwise, people tend to just make stuff up.
    - If you are really stumped, call ahead to the local police department or library, and ask if there is a local/city/county park you can camp in. Librarians rule.

    This works just fine. The only real drawback, I find, is that I spend too much time thinking about where I'm going to sleep/get water, and it detracts from my in-the-now mindsset while I'm riding. One nice thing about the AC style maps is you pretty much know where the services are, so once you do your shopping and plan your next stop, you don't have to worry about it.

    Your tour plan sounds fantastic. Have a great time wandering around. The best part about not using AC maps is that you can re-route at any time, and you don't feel like you are "off route"

    have fun!
    anna

    p.s., are you avoiding planes or plains? I tend to avoid plains... ;>
    ...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    ...
    Mapping the non-AC portions is the easy part, finding out where the camp grounds, motels, grocery stores on those roads is the hard part. The great thing about the AC maps is that every town is marked, this gives you such great flexibility in the day to day planning while on tour. ...
    I planned a tour through western Canada for the summer of 2005 for my wife and me. I had the same questions you did before we started. Touring is a combination of planning and off-the-cuff flexibility; they're both necessary, but the latter gets out of hand unless you've done a lot of preparation up front. I mean, flexibility is a lot easier when you have camping and food re-stocking options for the next couple days.

    We cycled Portland OR to Calgary and back (through Idaho/Montana/Kootenay on the way, and Banff/Kelowna/Seattle coming back). A combination of ACA maps and my own printed maps from DeLorme's Topo USA software made the US part easy. Towns, campgrounds, sights, RV parks, route options -- all laid out.

    For Canada, there weren't many options. Before the trip I wrote to the tourism depts for Alberta and BC. Alberta sent a thick package of camping and tourism brochures; BC sent nothing. But I had an old BC provincial map that lists all Provincial and Nat'l Parks. I also spent a couple days at the local bookstore with Canadian Rockies tourbooks, taking notes and choosing a couple to buy. In the end, I had a list of campgrounds and sightseeing must-sees.

    Cycling maps for Canada were more of a problem.... I need more detail than state/provincial automobile maps, preferrably with countour lines and topographical landmarks. I found a Canadian topo mapsite online (here). The site is hard to use, the maps of poor quality (looks like third-grade crayon work), but it was much better than nothing. I printed panels from these maps, added my own campsites and landmarks. In the end, they were almost as good as the Delorme maps I used for the States.

    So: decide on your general route. Use Alberta provincial brochures, the official BC provincial automobile map, and bookstore tour books to gather info on camping and layover spots. If you need detailed maps, you don't have many options.... Some of the major routes (the AlCan highway, for instance) are covered by books, and there are a few medium-resolution road maps (all for sale in Canadian bookstores).

    Main reason I wanted to map my camping options in Alberta/BC was: this is bear country. Otherwise we would have been fine with staking a claim in the trees. Bears are rarely a problem, but choosing an established campground or RV park minimizes the risk.

    -- Mark

  7. #7
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    There is a thing in theory, called the trans-canada trail. A guy cycled it a few years back, and they had his day to day log on the TCTrail.ca website. He was a pretty good writer. so that it was a fun read. I went back to look for it, and it was gone. However, the part I read that he had done in fall was the east coast to Manitoba. When I covered the same territory myself, I found the TCT was the last place I wanted to bike, in most cases, because the road surface was so slow. I don't know what if anything the TCT amounts to out west.

    The only web vestige I could find for Tom Couture's TCT trip was in German:

    http://www.trans-canada-trail.de/tom/tom_info.html

    I did have an email adress for him for a while, but it no longer seems to work.

  8. #8
    Hooked on Touring
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    Greg - -

    Have you considered a small Alaska/Yukon loop?
    From Prince Rupert - the western terminus of the Yellowhead - you can take the Alaska ferry up to Haines - loop up to Kluane, Whitehorse - then down to Skagway and catch the ferry back to Bellingham, Washington. The ferry usually runs 4 times a week from Prince Rupert (36 hours) and twice a week to Washington (72 hours).
    http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs
    The summer schedules are not ready yet - but should be in a week or two.

    There's also a ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island - - but since the "Queen of the North" sank last spring, the replacement ferry is much slower and the departure and arrival times are tough for cyclists (6 a.m. & past midnight).
    http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/i...p-current.html
    (Looks like they plan to have a replacement ferry by 2007)
    *They have - they bought a ship in Europe which will most likely be named "Spirit of Hartley Bay" in honour of the First Nations community that rescued to passengers from the "Queen".

    There's also a ferry between Bella Coola and Port Hardy (daytime once a week, overnight twice a week).
    http://www.bcferries.com/schedules/d...p-current.html
    Either one of these and you can bike down Vancouver Island and over to the San Juan Islands and Anacortes, Washington - the start of the Northern Tier.

    All of these ferry rides are spectacular and, although not cheap, are a lot less expensive than Princess Cruises. It would be a good way to celebrate making it to the Pacific Coast - unwind - watch whales and eagles along the jagged coastline.

    My pick -

    Loop south of Winnipeg thru Metis country -
    Then hit Riding Mountain Natoinal Park -
    Cut over to Saskatoon, SK either above or below Hwy 16 -
    Head straight west to Red Deer, AB -
    Then hit the Icefields Parkway at Saskatchewan Crossing -
    North to Jasper - take you time here!!! -
    Then take the Yellowhead all the way to Prince Rupert.

    From Prince Rupert??
    The short Alaska/Yukon Loop - clockwise.
    Then down to Bellingham and the Northern Tier.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Loop south of Winnipeg thru Metis country -
    Then hit Riding Mountain Natoinal Park -
    Cut over to Saskatoon, SK either above or below Hwy 16 -
    Head straight west to Red Deer, AB -
    Then hit the Icefields Parkway at Saskatchewan Crossing -
    North to Jasper - take you time here!!! -
    Then take the Yellowhead all the way to Prince Rupert.

    From Prince Rupert??
    The short Alaska/Yukon Loop - clockwise.
    Then down to Bellingham and the Northern Tier.

    13 years in Winnipeg and cycling all over Manitoba, and I have no idea what you're talking about when you refer to "Metis country".

    If you head south from Winnipeg you end up in Mennonite country!!


    I'd have to have a look at a map to give the OP a more precise route through Manitoba that would take in various scenic areas there, but the rest of the route outlined above sounds pretty good. I think though, that I'd dip into Drumheller before heading to Red Deer.

  10. #10
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    Historically Metis -

    From the Louis Riel House across the river from UM all the way up (up is south) the Red River Valley - the area was first settled by Metis and the focus of the Metis Revolt. Yesterday, by the way, was Louis Riel Day. After the revolt, not only did many Metis lose their land (one of the reasons for the revolt in the first place) but waves of immigration made the Metis a tiny minority.

    http://www.southeastmmf.com/locals.htm

    St Malo has one of the larger remaining communities. Generally, if it starts with a St. or a Ste. or sounds French - the original settlers were Metis. A word of caution - many Metis communities face a range of issues from poverty to substance abuse. It is always prudent to avoid judging on first impressions.

    There are Metis communities throughout the Prairie Provinces - all the way up to the Peace River District. A friend of mine did her dissertation on post-Riel Metis culture. She got me interested.

    PS - Even though the Riel House was in the countryside a century ago - it is now in Winnipeg proper. If you want to go into Winnipeg, Machka can give you the best way to get into the city from the south and out heading west.

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    just 5 more miles 5 more's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Historically Metis -

    From the Louis Riel House across the river from UM all the way up (up is south) the Red River Valley - the area was first settled by Metis and the focus of the Metis Revolt. Yesterday, by the way, was Louis Riel Day. After the revolt, not only did many Metis lose their land (one of the reasons for the revolt in the first place) but waves of immigration made the Metis a tiny minority.

    http://www.southeastmmf.com/locals.htm

    St Malo has one of the larger remaining communities. Generally, if it starts with a St. or a Ste. or sounds French - the original settlers were Metis. A word of caution - many Metis communities face a range of issues from poverty to substance abuse. It is always prudent to avoid judging on first impressions.

    There are Metis communities throughout the Prairie Provinces - all the way up to the Peace River District. A friend of mine did her dissertation on post-Riel Metis culture. She got me interested.

    PS - Even though the Riel House was in the countryside a century ago - it is now in Winnipeg proper. If you want to go into Winnipeg, Machka can give you the best way to get into the city from the south and out heading west.



    Just some history ... Metis are French Aboriginals. They didn't exactly "settle" an area ... one half of their parental units were already there. Then the French came along ... the French and Aboriginals coupled ... and produced Metis offspring. Metis may have loose "communities" across the prairies, but they generally intermingle with the rest of the populations across the prairies (the mennonites, ukrainians, germans, english, icelandic, etc. etc. etc. etc.). In fact, in many cases, you can't even tell by looking if someone is Metis or not ... they may have dark hair and eyes, but so do a lot of other people. And they don't live on reservations or anything like that, in fact, in Manitoba, there are no lands set aside for Metis settlements. In order to qualify as a Metis to receive any special benefits from the government, you have to prove that you are of aboriginal ancestry, and sometimes, for some of them, that is quite a task because it might have been their great-great-great-grandmother or father ... someone way, way back. I knew a few going through the process of proving their ancestry.

    In areas that start with a St or Ste, the settlers who came in and named them were French (Francophone). There is quite a large French community in various places Manitoba such as St. Malo, St. Boniface, and St. Jean Baptiste. And Manitoban French has its own particular acent, just like how Quebec French differs from France French. These people are not Metis ... they are French. However, in some areas there is (naturally) a combination of Aboriginals, Metis, and French.

    When Louis Riel was born near Winnipeg, that area was fairly heavily populated by aboriginals, French, and of course Metis, but even during his lifetime, there was quite an influx of other cultures into the area. At the moment only about 5% of the population of Manitoba is Metis (approx. 40,000 Metis), and most of them are either intermingled with everyone else within Winnipeg. Winnipeg has the largest population of Metis - 52% of them live in Winnipeg (approx. 20800). There are about 7500 or so in Northern Manitoba, leaving only about 13300 in southern Manitoba. A lot of those live up around St. Laurent and Lundar, next to Lake Manitoba ... in the Interlake area.

    Incidentally, his rebellion etc. happened in and around Fort Garry (just outside Winnipeg, north of Winnipeg) and Upper Fort Garry (downtown Winnipeg ... if the one remaining bit of it still exists ... just before I left they were talking about putting up a mall there or widening the street or something). Fort Garry, however, is definitely worth seeing. They've done it up quite well.

    I had several Metis friends when I lived in Winnipeg, and I can say that none of them were what I would call poor - they were about the same economic level as me, attended the same school as me, got the same types of jobs as me, etc. There wasn't any evidence of substance abuse either.

    I've been to St. Malo several times, and it is a lovely, cute little town ... and it has a GREAT campground!! http://www.debonaircampground.com/ and http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/pa...alo/index.html You might need reservations, especially on long weekends, but also on other weekends, because it is very popular. Oh, also, there is actually a hill in the St. Malo area, if you happen to be bored with the flatness around there ... note: I didn't say "big" hill!

    I've also been to St. Jean Baptiste several times ... we used to do Crits there. That's another cute little very french town. Everyone speaks French and few speak English. I didn't know much French back then, and had trouble finding things around the town when I asked directions.

    However, the area surrounding St. Malo, and St. Jean Baptiste is Mennonite ... very, very Mennonite. So Mennonite, you'll find Wareneke (perogies) and Holopschi (cabbage rolls) in practically every restaurant. Perogies used to be my staple food on randonneuring brevets down there!! Mmmmmm!!!! There's a great place in Vita that sells a nice plate of boiled perogies. So Mennonite that if you know Low German, you'll be in with the people there ... if you don't, they'll regard you a little bit suspiciously. Steinbach is known for two things ... its car dealerships, and its churches (mostly Mennonite churches, of course) ... there are local jokes about that!

    That whole area south of Winnipeg is quite nice for cycling. I've done centuries, brevets, and training rides through there. It gets a little flat in places, but the roads are fairly quiet as long as you stay off Hwy 75 and Hwy 59. The towns are small, but the people are friendly and will likely ask you a lot of questions about what you are doing.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    As for other areas around Manitoba ... I'd come in on Hwy 1 (you haven't got much other choice) from Kenora. The highway between Kenora and Falcon Lake is pretty good - I've ridden it a couple times. You can find some good camping around Falcon Lake and West Hawk Lake near the Manitoba/Ontario border.

    From Falcon Lake to Winnipeg is a bit of a problem. You can stay on Hwy 1, but you'll lose the shoulder and the road is fairly busy. You could go north onto Hwy 44, but in the summer that road can also be quite busy with RV traffic. I've never cycled either for those reasons so I'm not sure which to suggest.

    However, once into Manitoba a little ways, you could either head northish to Elma (corner of Hwy 15 and 11) and then along Hwy 44 (the one mentioned above) to Beausejour, and then into Winnipeg from Lockport. If you opt to do that, if I were you, I'd stop at Bird's Hill Park to camp. That's a lovely park. From Winnipeg, if you are going to do this northish route, I'd head out Hwy 26, through St. Francois Xavier, to Portage La Prairie. Hwy 26 is one of my old "usual" routes. It can be a bit rough in places, but is nicer to ride than Hwy 1. From Portage, I'd head north to Gladstone and Neepawa. From Neepawa, you could keep going to Minnedosa, and then turn north onto Hwy 10 into Riding Mountain National Park. There, you would camp at Wasagaming. Or you could head north at Neepawa on Hwy 5, and turn west onto Hwy 357 (Mountain Road). Mountain Road is a nice route - I've cycled it several times ... then turn north into Riding Mountain National Park. I really like Riding Mountain National Park. IMO it is one of the best parts of Manitoba. You could return and do Hwy 45 into Saskatchewan (I haven't ridden that one) or keep going north into Dauphin and then west on Hwy 5 toward Roblin. I've been in that area, and driven it, and I think it would be OK for cycling. If you go south from Roblin, just before crossing into Saskatchewan, you could stop at the Asessippi Provincial Park.

    Now, if you decide to go south from Ste. Anne to Steinbach, you could make your way down to St. Malo, and over to Winkler and Morden ... alond Hwy 3, down into the La Riviere valley and back up again. Keep going, and you could pop in at the Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, and see the International Peace Gardens (they are quite nice - I went there once) ... I'd head back over to Ninette and the Pelican Lake area - that's nice too. One of our 600K routes went through there, and I stayed in a cabin on Pelican Lake one weekend. Keep going north to Glenboro and up to the Spruce Woods Provincial Park. I can't count the number of times I've camped there!! It's a real desert ... one of the few in Canada! You can take horse and buggy rides out into it and hike, etc. From there you could head north into Riding Mountain National Park (note: Hwy 10 is quite rough - you'll feel like you are riding on a railway track) but Hwy 5 to Neepawa isn't too bad. If you opt to keep going west though, Souris has an interesting bridge which I never did get to see but will one day, and then you could enter Saskatchewan on Hwy 2. Oh, you could stop into Brandon (brace yourself for a few more hills) if you needed some supplies by then.

    If you go south from Winnipeg, take Hwy 200 down through St. Adolphe, then make your way down to Morris, and then to Morden and Winkler, etc. You could go down Hwy 3 to Carmen, and Carmen is nice ... it has a great pool/park area ... but Hwy 3 does get a little bit on the boring side.


    There are some options for you!!

  14. #14
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    I don't get it Machka. You have been belligerant towards me more than once about Canada. Although I may not be a Canadian, I have spent part of every year for the past 12 years in Canada. I speak French - increasingly with a Quebecois accent. I am a professional historian. I also consider that I have a relatively good understanding of Canadian history (especially for an American) and the ability to place local history into larger historical and ideological constructs.

    I'm glad you are back in college, but you will have difficulty at more advanced levels with such an attitude. First you claim you have no idea what I'm talking about when I refer to Metis in Southern Manitoba, then you offer a sarcastic history lesson. I don't know whether you feel threatened or whether you cannot brook any alternative interpretations of cultures and histories.

    The most pointed example of this is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I had several Metis friends when I lived in Winnipeg, and I can say that none of them were what I would call poor - they were about the same economic level as me, attended the same school as me, got the same types of jobs as me, etc.
    This is what is called anecdoctal evidence. A quick check of the Manitoba Department of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs website verifies that 51% of Metis in Winnipeg live below the poverty line. http://www.gov.mb.ca/ana/apm2000/6/g.html I think that qualifies as "many". You just didn't happen to know them, I guess.

    I apologize to the original poster that the discussion has gone so off-topic from a comment about Southern Manitoba. I know from reading many journals posted at Crazyguy that few people riding the TransAm through Wyoming look beyond what is immediately apparent. This in understandable since we are often tired and hungry and may only be looking for a place to camp, to get a shower, and to get a nice meal. But one of the joys of touring is to go beyond the physical aspect of bicycling and to gain a deeper understanding of the people we meet and places through which we ride.

    I admire women who tour. The dangers that women face are many times greater than those faced by men. It is wrong - but it is the way it is. Perhaps as a man I have had the opportunity to venture off into places and casual relationships that a woman would not be wise to attempt. I don't know. I also tour solo, which few women do for good reason. There are different dynamics when you are by yourself and when you are with others. Obviously, being by yourself forces you to make more contacts.

    I believe that I have experienced Canadian communities differently that Machka has. She is a Canadian, I am an American. She travels fast. I travel slow. Even if I didn't have advanced degrees, I believe that my experiences have merit. At this point, I have to let it go. Greg - if you wish to ask me about my experiences and routes - feel free to e-mail by clicking on my name and sending a private message.

    I wish you a great trip.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    I don't get it Machka. You have been belligerant towards me more than once about Canada. Although I may not be a Canadian, I have spent part of every year for the past 12 years in Canada.

    I admire women who tour. The dangers that women face are many times greater than those faced by men. It is wrong - but it is the way it is. Perhaps as a man I have had the opportunity to venture off into places and casual relationships that a woman would not be wise to attempt. I don't know. I also tour solo, which few women do for good reason. There are different dynamics when you are by yourself and when you are with others. Obviously, being by yourself forces you to make more contacts.

    I believe that I have experienced Canadian communities differently that Machka has. She is a Canadian, I am an American. She travels fast. I travel slow.

    I'm sorry you took my comments as belligerant and sarcastic ... they were not meant to be. My comments are based on nearly 40 years of almost constant living, cycling, interacting, and observing in various western Canadian communities.

    Yes, I believe I have experienced Canadian communities differently than you have ... I see them on a day to day basis, not as a tourist. Companies I work for do business in these communities. I have friends, acquaintences, and many relatives in these communities. I read what's going on in the newspaper, I hear it on the news every day, I see what's going on with my own eyes, and talk about it with the people I associate with. And BTW for the first 7 years I lived in Manitoba, my income was below the poverty line too. My experience isn't out of books or brief encounters ... it's my life.

    And no, I'm not all that fast when I cycle!! Most of my cycling in Manitoba, with the exception of my brevets, has been done quite slowly and casually ... and solo. Even many of my brevets have been slow and solo. I haven't just passed through these communities without interacting with the people ... I've stopped in at the grocery stores and talked to the people. I've camped with them, ate with them, visited with them, and lived through the 1997 flood of the century with them ... and in the case of the Manitoba Mennonites, I married one of them. When you marry a Mennonite, you marry into a family of several hundred people ... you basically marry into southern Manitoba!


    Anyway, from "I've been to St. Malo several times" down, the post wasn't directed at you ... it was directed at the OP, or whoever else wanted to read it. I meant that part to be some descriptions of the towns and areas around southern Manitoba. I should have made that clearer. There are some lovely areas down there. I could describe many of them in quite a bit of detail, still (or should I say, as the Manitobans do "yet"), from memory. I've got photos of the St. Malo campground, and the International Peace Gardens, and several other places which I mentioned, but they are not electronic. But, for the OP, and anyone else who is interested in cycling through Manitoba, let's see what I can come up with ...

    The first photo is of Hwy 1 between about Austin and Portage La Prairie. I think you can see why we suggest you avoid Hwy 1 in Manitoba.

    The second photo is along Hwy 26 - the one I mentioned as my "usual" route. On the one side of the highway it looks like it does in the photo. On the other side of the highway is a smallish field, and then a whole bank of trees. That's where the Assiniboine River is. Once in a while Hwy 26 comes quite close to the river .... like it does in the third photo.

    The third photo was take in St. Francois Xavier. Behind me is their little grocery store. That's a nice place to stop and get some cookies or an ice cream or something, and then sit on the bench outside, rest, and eat while looking out on the river. Many fond memories for me!!

    The next one, of a hill in the distance, is on Hwy 34 between La Riviere and Swan Lake (roughly). That was taken on a ride I did with the Winnipeg CycleTouring Club ... I joined them in 2003 and they did rides in various places in southern Manitoba. Before then, I'd never been up Hwy 34, so I didn't realize there was a hill. However, on the 1000K brevet I did the next year, we came down that road ... and I rediscovered that road is actually more hilly than I would have expected of southern Manitoba.

    The next one with all the green is along the Red River, along Hwy 200, south of Winnipeg. That was one route I suggested as well. I like it because it is so green and forested along the river ... and you get to see the river once in a while.

    And here's a link to the Manitoba 1000K ... there's a map of the route and the photos should be in order and labelled. There are some of Riding Mountain National Park, and other areas that I've mentioned. http://www.machka.net/1000/1000km.htm

    In addition I've got even more photos of Manitoba in my albums:
    This one is more from that 1000K ride: http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mac...=/cf5e&.src=ph
    And Manitoba in general: http://ca.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mac...=/1917&.src=ph

    Greg, I hope this gives you an idea of what you're getting into!! BTW - although the people in Winnipeg tend to be anti-cyclist, the people outside Winnipeg live up to the slogan on their licence plate: "Friendly Manitoba".
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks for all the GREAT information (and History lessons)!!

    It looks like my only option from the upper Peninsula is hwy 17 west to Winnipeg and all the great options through Manitoba (Thanks Machka).

    Saskatchewan is probably all the Yellowhead 16 or it's parallel cousin's 5 or 15. (Should I avoid 16?) to Saskatoon, then due west (into Alberta) to Red Deer or slightly more South through Calgary to get all of Banff and Jasper.

    Then I really like the idea of ending up in Prince Rupert and taking a ferry or cruise to Port Hardy to cycle Vancouver Island and then the San Juan islands. (Thanks jamawani)

    This brings me to Anacortes and the beginning of the Northern Tier and the wonderful Hwy 20 over the Cascades WOW. From there it's just a hop / skip / and about a 3500 mile jump back home.

    Rough numbers put it at about 8000 miles @ 333 miles/week = 24weeks = 6 months +2 weeks fluff =6.5 months. Leave home on tax day (April 15) and get home in time to vote (November 7). Not a a bad way to spend half a year!

    Yes, valygrl I do try to avoid both planes and plains, but in this case to avoid planes, one must endure plains. On my cross country I was looking forward to the flatness of the plains, but they ended up being the worst part of my trip (read wind).

    It looks like this adventure will have to wait till 2008, my offer on a building lot was taken, so this summer's adventure will be home construction, better get out my tool belt. The lot is on one of my favorite cycling roads, Rose Island Rd. named after the ferry that took passengers across the Ohio river to the Rose Island amusement park in the 1920's and 30's, the park was washed away by the great 1937 flood. (Just trying to keep in the history lesson theme of this thread)

    I have a future bike tour folder that I keep all the information I find, so if you have route ideas, please keep them coming. Everyone needs a good bike tour dream to keep them warm through the cold winter months.

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    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    After a little city population research, it seems that if a city or town is shown on my Rand McNally map, it has a population of 1000 or more. I'm not sure if this is absolutely true, but for the several towns that I looked-up, it appears to be true. This map also gives mileage between towns and or intersections. With this information one can feel pretty sure that a destination town should have either a campground, park that they will let you camp in or motel if necessary. Do you think that is a reasonable assumption?

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    Jam dude I think your letting the "I'm a history expert" get the better of you. I thought Machka's sumary was non-sacastic and accurate as far as my knowledge goes, which is somewhat limited. Tone was mostly normal. For satire check out Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans", though I can't really recomend it.

    It's lame to talk about government statistics. They create statistical poverty so that the people that feed off it will have stuff to do and disertations to write. I know one guy who lives below the poverty level. Is eligible for various forms of government relief. Has two homes, but no mortage. One is within easy comuting distance of the Toronto financial district (35 min) where he used to work. The other is 135 acres with a mile of beach on the watershed Bill Buckley once refered to as the most beautiful in the world for cruising. Has deepwater anchorage and depth right out to the Atlantic. Owns too many bikes to count, a yacht, a dozen small boats, etc... etc...

    I rode my bike through another famously poor reservation outside Montreal proper last year (not Metis of course). Largest collection of megahomes and all the toys in the back yard I have seen anywhere, everyone seemed to be adding another story. Since the main income appeared to be cigarette smuggling one wonders where they would rank in terms of poverty level.

    In the ealy 90s 160 000 of the 220 000 people who worked in Newfoundland were on government Unemployment Insurance. Of course the majoriyy of Canadians work reasonable hard for all of this.

    Looked at another way, the people living below the poverty level in Winnnipeg that you site, still have access to the same health care in the public system that all but the super wealthy have access to. They probably face a few additional barriers, but their ambulance ride to the emergencey and month's stay in the hospital are probably going to be remarkably similar to that of a millionaire, and neither will pay anything out of their pocket unless they want a private room..

    Just random thoughts, but I wouldn't pay any attention to Stats Can

  19. #19
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    Jam dude - for sure!

    I don't think I've ever seen such racist and intolerant screed on this website before.
    I assume you agree also with the view that the people from New Orleans made homeless by hurricane Katrina never had it so good as when they were living in the Astrodome. You demonstrate the classic close-mindedness characteristic of bigots of all stripes - racists, sexists, jihadists. You only consider you own limited experience from within your own prejudices.

    It's clear that you are extremely anti-intellectual. Granted, statistics can be abused - but by and large they offer much useful information. Diabetics - for example - depend on their own personal statistics and research which compiles the data of millions of other people. Only a fool would make such dismissive statements. Maybe you should just spin in a gym rather than tour. It has obviously done you little good.

    Better yet - sign up for a course or two at your local community college.
    My suggestions - statistics and/or native studies.

    PS - I will grant you that Canada's heathcare system is far superior to the United States'.
    Almost every study indicates that - despite its aggravations - it provides better care to more people for less cost.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Hmmmm ... perhaps Jam dude needs to put down the books and go for a tour!

    I don't want to get into a huge political discussion, because this is not the place for it, but the things that Peterpan1 referred to are ongoing issues here in Canada. Everyone knows about them! Stories just like those are frequently published in newspapers all across the country! In fact, he only scratched the surface of all the articles and news stories I've heard in my lifetime. And hardly anyone pays much attention to Stats Can!!

    It's not racism ... far from it ... it's just a natural result of Canada's generous welfare, employment insurance, and native "benefits" packages. One person gets a handout from the government, the next person, who is diligently earning his/her own income, wonders how come the person with the handout from the government can suddenly afford more "stuff", or why that person qualified and he/she didn't ... and it appears in Letters to the Editor in newspapers, and often, if the issue is noticed by enough people, in main articles in the newspapers. Then there can be inquiries and things, etc. etc. I'm sure the same sort of thing must happen in the US too.


    BTW, Peterpan1, when the government cracked down on the EI laws a bit back in ... I think it was about 1998 or so ... tons of Newfies came to Alberta to look for work. They currently make up quite a large percentage of Alberta's population

    Therefore, gregw, when you come to Alberta, if you go into a store, and you cannot understand the person behind the counter, or if it sounds like the people at the next table in a restaurant are speaking a foreign language, chances are they are from Newfoundland and really are speaking English, but just Newfie English. In talking to a few of them, apparently if they came from St. John's, their accent is easier to understand ... some of them almost sound American or European ... it's one of those accents that you think you sort of recognize, but is really hard to place. However, if they came from a small town, they might as well be speaking a different language ... and in a way it is a different language, I believe it is a lot like Celtic.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Jam dude - for sure!

    I don't think I've ever seen such racist and intolerant screed on this website before.
    I assume you agree also with the view that the people from New Orleans made homeless by hurricane Katrina never had it so good as when they were living in the Astrodome. You demonstrate the classic close-mindedness characteristic of bigots of all stripes - racists, sexists, jihadists. You only consider you own limited experience from within your own prejudices.

    It's clear that you are extremely anti-intellectual. Granted, statistics can be abused - but by and large they offer much useful information. Diabetics - for example - depend on their own personal statistics and research which compiles the data of millions of other people. Only a fool would make such dismissive statements. Maybe you should just spin in a gym rather than tour. It has obviously done you little good.

    Better yet - sign up for a course or two at your local community college.
    My suggestions - statistics and/or native studies.

    PS - I will grant you that Canada's heathcare system is far superior to the United States'.
    Almost every study indicates that - despite its aggravations - it provides better care to more people for less cost.
    Gee, Jim Jam, you seem like another American trying to impose his will on the citizens of another country. It's become an all too common assault across the world.

    These people LIVE in the country you are talking about, and are intimately aware of their issues. But you, as an outsider, choose to abuse them (yes, abuse) with outlandish descriptions that just don't bear belief.

    Climb down from the ivory tower, for heaven's sake. You don't do yourself or academia any service at all.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  22. #22
    just 5 more miles 5 more's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    Gee, Jim Jam, you seem like another American trying to impose his will on the citizens of another country. It's become an all too common assault across the world.

    These people LIVE in the country you are talking about, and are intimately aware of their issues. But you, as an outsider, choose to abuse them (yes, abuse) with outlandish descriptions that just don't bear belief.

    Climb down from the ivory tower, for heaven's sake. You don't do yourself or academia any service at all.
    +1 Rowan. And thank you.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani
    Jam dude - for sure!

    I don't think I've ever seen such racist and intolerant screed on this website before.
    I assume you agree also with the view that the people from New Orleans made homeless by hurricane Katrina never had it so good as when they were living in the Astrodome. You demonstrate the classic close-mindedness characteristic of bigots of all stripes - racists, sexists, jihadists. You only consider you own limited experience from within your own prejudices.

    It's clear that you are extremely anti-intellectual. Granted, statistics can be abused - but by and large they offer much useful information. Diabetics - for example - depend on their own personal statistics and research which compiles the data of millions of other people. Only a fool would make such dismissive statements. Maybe you should just spin in a gym rather than tour. It has obviously done you little good.

    Better yet - sign up for a course or two at your local community college.
    My suggestions - statistics and/or native studies.

    PS - I will grant you that Canada's heathcare system is far superior to the United States'.
    Almost every study indicates that - despite its aggravations - it provides better care to more people for less cost.
    Although I don't always agree with Machka, she has responded to messages in this thread with honesty, much personal, first-hand knowledge and total respect for others. I agree with other posters that you have gone way too far on this Jambo and with each message you send, the hole gets deeper...

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    gregw - another place in Manitoba that you might want to consider visiting is Gimli, and possibly up as far as Hecla. That area was settled by Icelandic people. Gimli, in particular, is an interesting little town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. Of particular interest is the dock where there is a whole wall of paintings done by local artists. There are lots of little shops and things there too with an Icelandic theme.

    Hecla is a campground area ... I only made it to the park gates once before I got completely rained out. I was planning to cycle through the park, but it was getting late and more storms were threatening so I opted to return to Winnipeg. However I've been told it is very nice.

    The first photo below is of the Gimli dock ... it was taken in the middle of January ... if you went in the summer, there would be a bit less ice and snow around.

    The second is of the entrance to Hecla.
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    Jam dude,

    It's not statistcs that are the problem it's liars. My sister has a Phd in stats from Carnegie Melon, she isn't the problem. While I used to produce the debt equity ratios that were used by the canadian and prov governments to push stock savings plans. I'll give you a short sumary of the process. Use US Debt equity ratios as the target, remove (with good sounding arguments) all the industries that have good debt equity ratios in Canada, because, for some reason, they don't count. Keep hamering home the the resulting bad looking numbers. End results; lots of stock savings plans and diversion of government cash to our wealthy clients and brokers. Good night's sleep. Now if you can tell me how that would be better with a few courses at a comunity college I'm all ears.

    Stats Can has a pretty good rep, but there are some numbers that while (unless they are idiots) are correct, they support a political adgenda. Someone has to define poverty level, the problem is not the numbers thereafter collected.

    As far as racism is concerned, what's racist about saying all the roadside houses in Kanasatake show great wealth. I'd say the same thing in Forest Hills. Last time I checked neither houses, nor skidoos, nor 4 wheelers, nor big pick-ups, nor fancy land yachts etc... were subdivided by race, but hey, you're the professor, professor. The residents loudly proclaim their rights to sell cigarettes without paying tax. I take them at their word.

    You have to be a racist to see racists everywhere, it's all about skin colour, right? (Or some other racial marker).

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