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Old 01-09-07, 10:41 AM   #1
FlowerBlossom
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touring bike rental in US or Canada

I am looking for bike-touring destinations where I can rent a touring bike for 2 or 3 days for a long-weekend tour, preferably in the US or Canada. Since this will be such a short trip, it seems unnecessary to risk my bike getting crunched by the airlines if I could rent a bike instead.

However, from my travels in the US, it's rare to find a decent bike-rental shop, and one that will have a bike with pannier racks. Thus, this posting in the Touring Forum.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-09-07, 11:20 AM   #2
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Maybe you could try supported bike touring companies, I don't think I've ever seen such a thing in a bike shop. Contact Adventure Cycling, www.adventurecycling.org, maybe they will know or have something.
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Old 01-09-07, 07:54 PM   #3
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Go to Banff or Jasper ..... TONS of bicycle rental companies there ... plus great scenery and lots of places to go and things to do.


For example:

http://www.canadianrockies.net/conve...tractions.html

http://www.explorejasper.com/recreation/biking.htm
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Old 01-09-07, 08:23 PM   #4
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Machka and a couple others were just talking about Banff/Jasper the other day in another thread. And she's right about there being a ton of rentals there. And I'm pretty sure in Canmore, just east of Banff outside the park. Its fabulous touring around there, either along the Columbia Icefields Parkway, or in the eastern foothills and prairies, which you can access both from Canmore easily.
Machka, what number is that Cowboy Trail highway in Alberta? 20 or 22, going north and south. And it seems to me there must be a shop in Calgary that should be able to set you up with rentals, then head into the foothills of the Rockies.
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Old 01-09-07, 08:34 PM   #5
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Interesting about the Banff idea. Just so happens some friends are packing as I type, to move to Calgary at the end of the month. Hmmm.

Getting there from the east coast might be a pain, but, for me it would be a cinch (Seattle area).
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Old 01-09-07, 09:44 PM   #6
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Icefields parkway is a beautiful tour.
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Old 01-10-07, 12:55 AM   #7
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Both Canmore and Calgary would very likely also have bicycles for rent. The whole 'touring the mountains' thing is big business in those areas.

A person could fly into Calgary and check around there for bicycle rentals. If a person managed to find a suitable one there, it is not a long trip out Hwy 1A (or even Hwy 1) to the mountains ... and Calgary to Banff is 126 kms. The route there is hilly, but nothing overwhelming. From Banff, a person could take the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise and, if a person were feeling particularly ambitious, a person could cycle up to the lake ... and then possibly hike to the Tea House there!! Or a person could do a ride around Lake Minnewanka. Or head out toward Radium, or Field, or Golden. Or cycle right up the Icefield Parkway to Jasper. So many options, so little time!!

Or a person could fly into Calgary and take the Greyhound (or possibly a shuttle van) out to Banff. I believe there are several such shuttles, like this one: http://www.banffairportshuttle.com/ , this one: http://www.banffairporter.com/ , or this one: http://www.rockymountainskyshuttle.com/ ... a Google search will give you a whole list of them. Then a person could rent a bicycle in Banff ... and go from there.


I've been fortunate for the last two years ... I live right next to the mountains now, and have had the opportunity to ride the roads I've just mentioned -- some of them several times.
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Old 01-10-07, 01:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
I am looking for bike-touring destinations where I can rent a touring bike for 2 or 3 days for a long-weekend tour, preferably in the US or Canada. Since this will be such a short trip, it seems unnecessary to risk my bike getting crunched by the airlines if I could rent a bike instead.
Fly Westjet and bring your bike. My experience with them has been very positive. The advantage is that you fit your bike (sorry, your bike fits you), you know its maintenance history, and know what load and how to load it, and you will save money -- Westjet, when I flew with them six months ago, didn't charge, and I don't think they will this weekend, either.

Then get hire a vehicle to Banff with the bike hire money you save, and go from there. Calgary to Banff is not brilliant biking compared with the rest of the mountains -- they are superb. Banff seems to be a good base to work from, and you can do the old highway (1A -- the Bow Valley Parkway) down to Castle Junction, then go back up the Trans-Canada Highway (1). Neat parks along the way to stay in such as Johnson's Canyon, just near Castle Junction.
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Old 01-10-07, 10:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom
Interesting about the Banff idea. Just so happens some friends are packing as I type, to move to Calgary at the end of the month. Hmmm.

Getting there from the east coast might be a pain, but, for me it would be a cinch (Seattle area).
Seattle to Banff is just a one day, albeit very long day, drive. About 14 hours if you follow the Coquihalla toll highway. It costs $20, but less traffic, better scenery and takes a couple of hours off the total drive time.
What time of year are you thinking of going?
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Old 01-10-07, 11:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by chromedome
Seattle to Banff is just a one day, albeit very long day, drive. About 14 hours if you follow the Coquihalla toll highway. It costs $20, but less traffic, better scenery and takes a couple of hours off the total drive time.
What time of year are you thinking of going?
We're thinking about going this summer.
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Old 01-10-07, 11:56 AM   #11
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So... um... Just a question here, don't take this the wrong way.

Are you sure you want to pick your destination based on the availability of a rental bike? For such a short trip, the added logistics of pickup/dropoff, bike fitting, messing around with equipment that may not work perfectly for you, and the added expense of the bike rental, might it just be more time-efficient (and maybe about the same $) just to use the bike you already have, and then you can pick a destination that you are truly interested in? If you box carefully, your bike should be fine on the plane. I mean... if you really only have a 3 day weekend, do you want to spend saturday morning picking up your rental bike, then have to be back in town on Monday night before the bike shop closes, so you can catch your flight that evening...

Or, you live somewhere pretty nice... drive to Bannf, or Portland, or just east somewhere, park your car, get on your bike and ride. If you add the 3 hours at each end for the flight to the flight time, even for a short flight, that's 7 hours of driving. I know there's somewhere worth touring within 7 hours of where you live. Maybe even Bannf.

my $.02, FWIW.

I really like riding in the rockies, both canadian and US. Look up the Golden Triangle tour - I think that's a 3 day loop in the candian rockies. Also Lolo Pass in ID is great. The terrain in eastern OR/WA around WallaWall might be nice. What about Glacier/Waterton?

Or... for only three days... do a supported trip, they provide the bike & carry your junk. Seems like the beauty of self contained touring is flexibility... and on a tight time schedule with lots of travel connections that have to be met, you don't have the flexibility, so you might as well not carry all that weight on your bike.

Ok, that was more than $0.02 sorry. Much more interesting to think about this than the work I'm supposed to be doing right now. ;>
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Old 01-10-07, 12:10 PM   #12
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Yeah the worst bit could be just having to go to some place to pick up a bike. overall that might waste a day having to be at that store twice, compared to stepping off your plane and being underway.

I doubt you would have to do too much of this before you ended up having paid the freight for a Bike Friday, or similar folder. Resale on those is pretty good so you probably could justify it for just a few trips, on a see if you like it basis.
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