The Canada C2C trip is finished and we have all been going over our route maps, trip info, pictures, and trip statistics in order to prepare a trip overview. It has been fun looking back and preparing this overview. It makes me, for one, wish we were back out on a long ride into the wide blue yonder!
Looking back also brings to mind of all the people who helped make this trip so wonderful. To all of our friends and family - thank you so much for hosting and supporting us throughout this trip. Our success is due to you!
A special thank you to those who we met on the road. You took us in, put us up, fed us, made us feel like family, and got us back on our way. Or, maybe, we met and rode together for a little while, sharing campsites, conversations, and a lot of fun. Together you all showed us how big-hearted and generous Canadians are. It is people like you that do Canada proud and have us recommending this country as one of the premier bicycle touring destinations in the world!
Overview of the route
If you can't see the above map, click the View Larger Map link. It should open in a new window.
Looking for more detail? Check out the links below.
Province by province route maps
Ontario Cottage Country
Quebec This map has more than one screen. Use the button at the lower left to move between pages.
New Brunswick and PEI
Mike and Mary's Western Newfoundland
Mike and Mary's Eastern Newfoundland
Mark's Newfoundland tour
Mark's NS tour (Eastern side)
Mark & Cathy in PEI
We took lots and lots of pictures along the way.
Mark: Mark's Pictures
Mike and Mary's Pictures:
"Best Of" pictures
Charlie: We met Charlie in Weyburn SK and rode with him for almost 2000 km. He has some great pics too. Charlie's Pictures
Mark has already compiled some interesting statistics (See the Sept. entry in the blog). Here is a recap of some of his, and some new ones from Mike and Mary:
Total mileage: 9178.7 km for Mark; approx. 9450 km for Mike and Mary.
Total days away: 116 (Mark) 111 (M & M)
Total riding days: 103 (Mark) 101 (M&M)
Total riding days cross-Canada: 97 (Mark) 98 (M&M)
Average mileage per day cross-Canada (riding days only): 92.5 km (Mark) 95 km (M&M)
Longest day: 168km, from Ponteix to Weyburn, SK.
Highest elevation: 1774m, at the top of Kootenay Pass (Salmo-Creston), BC.
Highest camping spot: Blairmore, AB, just over the Crowsnest Pass, where the townsite (and campground) is at about 1350m - only a little lower than the pass itself, which is at 1396m. Three other spots came in at around 1200 metres -- the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan, Coldspring Campground in BC's Manning Park, and the Waterton Reservoir in Alberta. We needed our sweaters for these spots!
Highest single-day elevation gain: Hope (50m) up to Hope Slide (750m), down to 600m, and then up to Allison Pass (1352m) for a total day's climb of 700 + 750 = 1450m. Close to that is Christina Lake (450m) up and over Bonanza Pass (1535m), then down about 200m, and then back up over Nancy Greene Summit (1576m), for a total elevation gain of around 1100+250 = 1350m. The climb up Kootenay Pass is "only" Salmo (660m) up to 1774m for 1100m overall, but it accomplishes that in just over 20km, for a pretty steep average grade.
The Cabot Trail, in Cape Breton Nova Scotia, also gave us a day of just under 1000m of elevation "gain". On July 28 we did Cheticamp to French Mountain (455m), then approx. 50 metres net gain (150 down, 100 up) to the summit of McKenzie Mountain. From here it is down to sea level at Pleasant Bay, then up 445 metres to the summit of North Mountain. Total elevation gain: approx. 950m. At between 10 and 12% for 4.5 kilometres, North Mountain was our steepest prolonged grade of the trip.
Flats: 2 (Mark -- in addition to one tire failure); 5 (Mary); 28 (Mike).
Other bike problems: Broken kickstand (Mark); shifter cable readjustment (Mark); one front rack broken (Mark); one broken rear rack (Mike); one collapsed rear wheel (Mike); three replaced chains (one each); one replaced rear cog set (Mike); broken handlebar bag rack (Mike); five spokes replaced (2 Mary, 3 Mike); replaced middle chain ring (Mike).
Animal sightings: 5 bears in total - 1 in Manning Park, 1 outside of Princeton (Mike), 1 in Atikokan (Mark), 1 outside White River, 1 half way between Schreiber and Marathon (Mike). We also had a bear visit our camp in Wawa.
15 moose - 2 in Alberta; 4 around Atikokan (Mark), 2 around Atikokan (Mike and Mary), 1 in Cape Breton, 2 in NL (Mark), 4 in NL (M&M). We saw/smelled about the same number of dead moose in Ontario and NL.
3 foxes (Ontario and PEI); 2 caribou in NL; 3 beavers; 1 badger; lots of deer; lots of pronghorn antelope; half a dozen coyotes; 6 mountain sheep around Fernie; 2 mountain goats in the Similkameen; lots and lots of different birds. (Special mention to the Red-winged Blackbird and the White-throated Sparrow. The Red-wing was with us for the entire of Western Canada, and the White-throat was with us for the East.)
Coolest camp sites: In a teepee, at Haviland Bay on Lake Superior (Mark); in a prairie marsh at Cypress River Manitoba, at the municipal campground in Midway BC on the banks of the Kettle River, and at the Mary Ellen campground in Petit Rocher, NB (Mike and Mary).
Some of the most fun days of cycling: Coming down from MacKenzie Mountain on the Cabot Trail NS, which is crazy steep switchbacks descending about 400m down to Pleasant Harbour. A close second is the awesome switchbacks and S-turns coming down Cape Smokey, also on the Cabot Trail. Total wicked fun (Mark); The difficult up and easy ride down the Kootenay Pass in BC. Riding through the Cypress Hills and on into Eastend Saskatchewan through colourful mesas and badlands. The ups, downs, and stunning views riding through Lake Superior Provincial Park. (Mike and Mary)
Accommodations for Mike and Mary (110 nights): 68 nights camping, 24 nights with friends / family; 18 nights in motels/B&Bs
Accommodations for Mark (102 nights): 74 nights camping; 23 with friends/family; 5 nights in motels/B&Bs
There are lots of other things that could be put in here -- like the worst roads (Ontario and Manitoba), the best party provinces (Atlantic Canada), the buggiest camp sites (Cape St. Mary's, NL for Mark, Quetico Provincial Park, ON for M&M), the most cycle-friendly province (Quebec, hands down), or the best pancakes (the recreated Acadian inn in Cheticamp, NS, and Dave's East Gate diner, East Gate of Manning Park, BC). All in all, it was a great trip through a country full of stunning landscapes and wonderful, warm, welcoming people. A ride across Canada is truly one of the world's great bicycle adventures. Highly recommended!
If you are thinking about doing a trip like this, don't hesitate to get in touch -- you can reach us via the "About the team" link at the bottom of the page.
Mary, Mike, and Mark