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  1. #1
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    Cross Canada routes?

    Is there a Canadian equivalent of the Adventure Cycling Association that exists in America? I like the look of the trans American route they have plotted, but was hoping there was a trans Canadian route as I am extremely lazy when it comes to planning..

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Up here in Canada, we make our own routes. Just get maps for each province, pick roads that are not the TransCanada, and go. At the end of each day you could look over a map and decide where you want to go the next day.

    The only organization that might provide the service that you're looking for, that I know of, is Cycle Canada: http://www.cyclecanada.com/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Just get maps for each province, pick roads that are not the TransCanada
    What is TransCanada? I had a look at CycleCanada and they do the Tour du Canada, is this what you meant? Why would I want to avoid TransCanada roads?

  4. #4
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    It's not fully completed, nor is it a completely efficient route, but there's always the Trans-Canada Trail.

    http://www.tctrail.ca/home.php

    Quote Originally Posted by philip041 View Post
    What is TransCanada? I had a look at CycleCanada and they do the Tour du Canada, is this what you meant? Why would I want to avoid TransCanada roads?
    Likely referring to the Trans-Canada highway. It's good to avoid roads classified as that because they're likely to carry heavy amounts of traffic.
    Last edited by firequall; 01-05-09 at 06:15 AM.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philip041 View Post
    What is TransCanada? I had a look at CycleCanada and they do the Tour du Canada, is this what you meant? Why would I want to avoid TransCanada roads?
    The TransCanada Highway ... Hwy 1 (or Hwy 17, I believe, in Ontario). Some parts of it, like the bit across Alberta, would be all right, but I wouldn't recommend much more of it for cycling.

    It's generally boring, outside of Alberta there isn't much in the way of paved shoulders, and the traffic is very heavy. Nothing like cycling inches away from the wheels of a semi! I've been there ... and didn't like it at all.

    A man, on a ride for diabetes, was killed last summer on the TransCanada highway in Manitoba. What puzzled me was what he was doing on that highway when Hwy 2 or 3 run parallel to it, and are much nicer highways in terms of traffic - a lot less traffic.

    So whenever possible, stay off the TransCanada highway.

  6. #6
    Gordon P
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    The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara on the Lake to the Quebec border along the shore of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Quebec has the Route Verte which covers much of the province and connects with the Waterfront Trail and with routes in America.

    http://www.routeverte.com/rv/index_e.php

    http://www.waterfronttrail.org/index.html

  7. #7
    Barfin' Round the World
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    Philip, if you are starting on the west coast (which I would recommend because of the prevailing westerly winds in the summer) I have a Crazyguyonabike article on which routes to take from Vancouver, along with some general comments about routes across Canada:

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/3036

    You can do the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier from Manitoba to Minneapolis to avoid the Trans-Canada highway in Ontario.


    Photo: That's me on the cycling route leaving Vancouver going directly east on Highway 7 to the Coast Mountains (in the background).
    Last edited by Randobarf; 01-05-09 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    If you're heading east from Vancouver, I'd strongly suggest Highway 3 in the south. The highway begins near Hope and continues in the south to the Alberta border.

    This is a two-lane highway with narrow shoulders and it gets a fair amount of traffic, including truck traffic. But that doesn't seem to matter. The drivers are seldom if ever in a hurry and they'll give you lots of clearance. The scenery along this highway is simply amazing.

    If you're going to take this route, you will have a good climb ahead of you from Hope. You'll climb from 48 metres above sea level in Hope to 1,342 metres at the Allison Pass summit, a distance of around 60 kilometres. There are some other good climbs on this highway including Anarchist Mountain coming out of Osoyoos and Blueberry Paulsen between Christina Lake and Castlegar. (If you've got good tires, there's a rail trail that will take you around this pass.)
    Life is good.

  9. #9
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    If you're heading east from Vancouver, I'd strongly suggest Highway 3 in the south. The highway begins near Hope and continues in the south to the Alberta border.
    I'll second that route. Definitely harder, but less traffic and very, very scenic.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

  10. #10
    cyclotourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinninwheels View Post
    I'll second that route. Definitely harder, but less traffic and very, very scenic.
    I think the Trans Canada is more scenic than #3, but three is more interesting riding,with less traffic.

  11. #11
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Between Winnipeg and Kenora you don't much much choice but the TransCanada Highway. It's incredible to contemplate, but only one through road crosses the Ontario Manitoba border, connecting one half of the country with the other. When it washed out a few years ago, people had to detour through Minnesota for a couple of days.

    I did a week of consulting in Kenora in August 2007, and rode around on the highway on my Bike Friday every afternoon, and there was a steady stream of tourers coming through.

    The TransCanada Trail is a fiction.
    Last edited by cooker; 01-07-09 at 03:47 PM.

  12. #12
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    East of Kenora, you can head south on #71 to the alternate TransCanada Highway, #11, which is much quieter than the main branch, but as you approach Thunder Bay you need to get back on the main TCH (#17, as Machka pointed out) and stick with it from there all along the north shore of Superior and part of Georgian Bay to Espanola. At that point you have the option of heading south and taking the ferry across part of Lake Huron/Georgian Bay to southern Ontario, or continuing east through Sudbury to Ottawa on #17, depending on your preference.

  13. #13
    aspiring island dweller spinninwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skookum View Post
    I think the Trans Canada is more scenic than #3, but three is more interesting riding,with less traffic.
    Two years ago I cycled to Calgary and back and I think the most scenic pass, between the TCH and the Crow's Nest, was Roger's Pass. So I will partially concede that point to you. However, one can alter their route and shoot up through the Kootenays and rejoin the TCH at Revelstoke.
    Life is either a wild adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

  14. #14
    Gordon P
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    Between Winnipeg and Kenora you don't much much choice but the TransCanada Highway.

    Actually you can take Dugald Road from Winnipeg to West Hawk Lake which is located in the beautiful Whiteshell Provincial Park. Another option is to head south into America and reconnect with hwy 11 and on to Thunder Bay.

  15. #15
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon P View Post
    Actually you can take Dugald Road from Winnipeg to West Hawk Lake which is located in the beautiful Whiteshell Provincial Park. Another option is to head south into America and reconnect with hwy 11 and on to Thunder Bay.
    West Hawk Lake - one of my favourite places. I'm originally from Winnipeg.

    You're correct - you initially have a few choices east of Winnipeg, but ultimately you have to funnel down to the TCH as your only Canadian option at the Ontario border.

    If you go via Dugald you eventually have to transfer to Hwy #1 or Hwy #44. The last time I drove in a car on the eastern section of Hwy #44 (about 5 years ago) it was in terrible shape - has it been fixed?

  16. #16
    Gordon P
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooker View Post
    If you go via Dugald you eventually have to transfer to Hwy #1 or Hwy #44. The last time I drove in a car on the eastern section of Hwy #44 (about 5 years ago) it was in terrible shape - has it been fixed?
    I'm also originally from Winnipeg and havenít lived there for many years and the last time I cycled that route was 6 or 7 years ago. At that time it was in bad shape with lots of repair work being done on it. The eastern region of Manitoba is nice to explore as the landscape changes between the prairies and the Canadian Shield and between farmland and parkland. I hope to return to Manitoba to cycle tour but it may have to wait for about a decade before I get back there.

  17. #17
    Hooked on Touring
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    I really think you need an entire Saturday afternoon with a Canadian Geographic map of the entire country - plus CAA/AAA maps of each province.

    Lazy? I agree.
    I mean - you aren't even familiar with the TransCanada. Did you even Google it?
    Which way were you planning of riding? - Eastbound, westbound?
    How much touring experience do you have?
    Solo, with others, supported, motels, camping?

    You know, there are people were lots of experience here.
    I am certainly not going to say what other should or should not do -
    But I am loathe to spend time and effort far in excess of what you have put in.

    What good is it comparing the advantages of the Crowsnest over the Yellowhead -
    if you haven't a clue about either?
    I have spent many hours happily offering advice and personal experience to others.
    But I feel that there needs to be some reciprocity.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    I really think you need an entire Saturday afternoon with a Canadian Geographic map of the entire country - plus CAA/AAA maps of each province.

    Lazy? I agree.
    I mean - you aren't even familiar with the TransCanada. Did you even Google it?
    Which way were you planning of riding? - Eastbound, westbound?
    How much touring experience do you have?
    Solo, with others, supported, motels, camping?

    You know, there are people were lots of experience here.
    I am certainly not going to say what other should or should not do -
    But I am loathe to spend time and effort far in excess of what you have put in.

    What good is it comparing the advantages of the Crowsnest over the Yellowhead -
    if you haven't a clue about either?
    I have spent many hours happily offering advice and personal experience to others.
    But I feel that there needs to be some reciprocity.
    Get bent. The whole point of a forum is to direct people so that they don't spend days researching/preparing for the wrong thing.

    Cheers everyone else for the advice. Very useful indeed. I had no idea this thread was still going as the update only seems to send very erratically, but there is a wealth of material here, I look forward to putting it all into practice, for the time being I have university exams so touring will have to wait.

  19. #19
    Hooked on Touring
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    Quote Originally Posted by philip041 View Post
    Get bent.
    What a lovely sentiment!
    I know exactly what it means.

    You know, for someone who is just coming to the forum, you are rather arrogant.
    And part of that arrogance is not even doing the least investigation beforehand.

    It would have taken you 12 keystrokes to do a search on "TransCanada" -
    Instead, you would rather have someone else spent 5 minutes telling you.
    Such is your attitude.

  20. #20
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Chill, both of you.

    iamawani - he acknowledged he was doing it the lazy way in his first post: if that offends you, no one forced you to respond.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
    It would have taken you 12 keystrokes to do a search on "TransCanada" -
    Instead, you would rather have someone else spent 5 minutes telling you.
    Such is your attitude.
    Such is your attitude; that you count the letters in 'TransCanada' and then include an extra for a return key press.

    Yawn...

  22. #22
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    I'm doing this. Got to Banff today, am going to head to Saskatoon via Calgary... I went north out of Vancouver, Mt Currie was hard! (North of Whistler)

  23. #23
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    And they said you were lazy!!! Keep the updates coming!

  24. #24
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    oh dear, not much of an update.. I finished! Apparently this year, (and also the last) was the best for going east to west. The prevailing westerlys never actually went east at all. I had shocking headwinds across the whole prairie, truly awful. But the rest was super cool.

    To anyone reading this, if you have no qualms about 'not doing the whole thing' when you get to calgary or edmonton, (the beginning of the prairie if you start in the west), fly at least to winnipeg, better still fly to montreal, ontario is pretty but once youve seen one lake and forest in the middle of nowhere youve seen them all, and ontario goes on for ages.... St laurent gulf in quebec however is worth cycling around a million times; gorgeous, the best thing ever, probably better than the mountains. nova scotia and NL were beautiful as well, and new brunswick was like a slightly more (t/l)ame ontario.

    if i ever return i will try and do the gaspe penisula loop, then get a ferry over to tadoussac north shore quebec on Rte138 get the 3 day ferry up to the northern penisula of NL go all the way down NL to st johns then to argentia, then do a leisurey cycle around cape breton and then back to halifax, nova scotia.

    laterz

  25. #25
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    starting in quebec city

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