FROM THE Blog
Canada’s diverse terrain, magnificent scenery, historical sites and cultural influences offer some of the world’s most memorable touring opportunities for cycling enthusiasts of all levels. From the east coast to the west, Canadian bicycle tours promise an exhilarating journey through beautiful countryside and majestic mountains. Many routes include traveling through charming historical villages as well as visiting exciting metropolitan areas. To begin planning the bicycle touring vacation of a lifetime, consider the following top 5 mountain bike tours in Canada.
Splendid mountain vistas and unspoiled wilderness trails make the Canadian Rockies one of the top 5 mountain bike tours in Canada. Trek Travel offers an incredible, fun-filled Canadian Rockies tour package that combines outdoor adventure with relaxing luxury. This six day and five night tour begins at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Cyclists can enjoy hiking, canoeing or a quiet ride to take advantage of some awesome photographic opportunities along the lakeside roads. Private balconies and breathtaking views at Moraine Lake Lodge provide a perfect mountain retreat. Cyclists ride to Bow Lake by way of the Icefield Parkway to spend the third night of the tour at the rustic Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park. After enjoying seasonal cuisine and local specialties in the lodge dining room, tour members can relax in front of a private wood burning fieldstone fireplace. The fourth day, travelers will venture to Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff National Park. The historic city of Banff offers plenty of shopping and sites for vacationers. The Legacy Bike Trail and the “local’s loop” await energetic riders. Fine dining, deluxe outdoor hot tubs and luxurious guest rooms provide a splendid ending to a fabulous bicycle tour.
Tour TransCanada is a 73 day, cross-nation, bicycle tour for dedicated cyclists is available through Cycle Canada. This life-changing expedition begins in Vancouver, British Columbia and ends in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Participants will travel through all ten Canadian provinces enjoying an unforgettable touring experience. Accommodations include 42 nights of camping and 30 indoor stays. This amazing journey for outdoor enthusiasts covers 4630 miles, or about 7500 kilometers.
The Tour Arctic package is another impressive touring vacation from Cycle Canada. Cyclists begin the tour in Vancouver traveling north to Inuvik, near the Arctic Ocean. This 25 day tour through the coastal mountains, the Yukon and the Arctic Circle includes 18 nights of camping, six indoor stays and two overnight ferry trips. Cyclists travel parallel to the Trail of ’98 blazed by prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush and follow the Dempster Highway through untamed wilderness. The tour ends with a celebration dinner in Inuvik.
The By-Cycle Ride is a birthday party on wheels. This “themed” bicycle tour, available through Cycle Canada, celebrates Canada’s birthday with a six day tour from Toronto to Ottawa. Ottawa, Canada’s capital was originally named Bytown after Lieutenant-Colonel John By who oversaw the construction of Rideau Canal. This educational, sight-seeing tour is named in honor of Lt.-Col. By and ends at Parliament Hill, on Canada Day, with festivities and fireworks.
The Niagara Vineyards bicycle tour is another terrific option from Cycle Canada. This six day excursion is perfect for cyclists looking for a modest tour loaded with historical and scenic sights. The route, along cliff-top roads, provides beautiful views of area vineyards and wineries. Participants will travel along the Niagara Escarpment, also. The tour includes an overnight stay at Niagara-on-the-Lake, home of the Shaw Festival Theatre and concludes at Niagara Falls. In addition to the falls, the area offers many other sights and tourists activities.
Planning a successful, enjoyable bicycle touring vacation requires some preparation. There are a number of important elements to consider. Inclusions, exclusions, itineraries, accommodations, road support, fees, extra expenses and refunds are some of the most important factors to consider before choosing one of the listed top 5 mountain bike tours in Canada.
There are many types of bicycles on the market today, each with their own specific purpose. A touring bicycle is one that is specifically designed with touring and adventuring in mind. Touring bikes have been modified to handle the challenges and adventures that come along with long rides over various terrains.
A touring bicycle
has been designed with certain characteristics to ensure that the rider can embark on any journey with the utmost of comfort and performance. They are made to be specifically hearty and firm in their frame to tolerate various and changing terrains.
They typically have a longer wheel base to offer more stability and comfort for the rider.
In addition, they are built to be able to carry heavier loads and to avoid any interaction between the pedals, the rider, and the luggage.
There are several mounting points for the luggage as well, enabling riders to find the best position for their bags.
The frames on touring bikes are typically made of more flexible material to allow shock absorption, and again, increase comfort for the rider, especially over long distances.
The wheels on touring bikes are also of the heavy duty variety and capable of handling the most difficult of landscapes.
Although it is common to consider touring bikes and mountain bikes
to be similar, if not the same, there are several characteristics that differentiate the two types of bicycles.
While touring bikes are made for long distances, over various terrains, they are mostly used on pathways already forged, such as roads and trails. Mountain bikes cross all terrains and have big tires to accommodate any terrain, managed or unmanaged.
Of course, any bike, as long as it fits the rider can be used for touring and enjoyment, the different uses of these two types of bicycles has afforded them subtle differences in design.
For example, touring bikes have curved, drop handle bars like those that are on racing bikes. Mountain bikes, in contrast have handle bars that stretch strait out. Drop handle bars, while being excellent for comfort and position over long trips, do not always provide the precision handling those straight out as on the mountain bikes.
Wheels are another difference in the two bikes. Touring bikes, while having heavy duty frames on the wheels, do not usually have as big of wheels or as knobby of tires as mountain bikes have as they are usually kept on managed surfaces.
Another difference is when using both bikes for touring; mountain bikes will often feel slower than touring bikes due to their heavier suspension, big tires, and the ability to lock the suspension over managed roadways and trails.
Each type of bicycle, touring and mountain, have pluses and minuses that make them appealing for riders.
Touring bikes are usually lighter in frame, yet able to carry additional loads, fitted to various mounts, for rider comfort.
Their frame, while longer and leaner provides more stability over long rides. In addition they have tires that have heavy build, but are also smoother and able to roll easily over roadways and trails. They are not, however, ideal for off road adventures and lack the added handling offered by the straightened handle bars of the mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are excellent for off road treks.
They are built with heavy frames and suspension to absorb trails that are managed and those that are not. They have large knobby tires to take the wildest of terrains and handle bars to offer the best in handling and steering.
These bikes, while being capable of also being used for touring, often can feel slower than a touring bike on the road and don’t usually offer the mounts for additional luggage.
A touring bicycle is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to embark on a long, adventurous ride. They are built for the journey, with long, lightweight frames and mounts for luggage. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are built for the wilderness with big tires, heavy suspension, and shock absorbers.
A rider has many choices to help ensure they find the perfect bike for their dreams, passions, and adventures.
Mountain biking is an exhilarating sport not for the weak at heart. Mountain biking can be done almost anywhere, but is especially popular in the western United States.
There are several mountain biking touring companies that cater to small group tours for beginner and intermediate riders. Here is a brief summary of the small group tours available in the US.
Solfun Mountain Bike Tours
The tours available from Solfun
are based in the Moab Desert of southern Utah. They offer small group tours for half-day and full-day. The cost does include the rental of mountain bikes.
Solfun prides itself on having a flexible itinerary that can accommodate their customer’s needs from a beginner level to the more advanced. Along with the bikes, the touring company supplies helmets and water bottles.
San Juan Hut Systems
This is the only hut system in the United States. There are two different trails, one originating in Telluride, Colorado and the other more difficult trail starting in Durango, Colorado. Both 215 mile long trails end in Moab, Utah.
The manmade wooden huts sleep up to eight people comfortable. The huts contain padded bunks, sleeping bags, propane cook stoves and there is also composting toilets available.
There are two mountain biking packages to choose from in a 7 day package or a 5 day package.
Cog Wild Bicycle Tours
This touring company is based in central Oregon with trails that start in Bend and Sunriver going through the Cascade Mountains and ending up in the high desert.
Cog Wild has trips available for single people, but there is a 2-4 person minimum so riders are paired up with others at the same experience level.
There are dozens of vacation packages available from Cog Wild. A 50% deposit is due at the time of reservation with the balance due 60 days before the first day of the tour.
This is a large bike touring company with multiple trails in 14 different states. Escape Adventures prides itself on being eco-friendly and being the first carbon neutral outfitter in the world. The company offers guided and self-guided tours. Within the guided tours there are three subcategories: Mountain Bike Trips, Road Cycling and Ultra-Cross Tours.
The self-guided tours are a cheaper alternative to the guided tours. The riders are given a detailed trail map and directions, but have the freedom to go at their own pace. The riders must be able to fix their own bikes while on the trail. Escape does provide extra gear, cooking supplies, tools and a first-aid kit at the riders designated campsites.
Utah Mountain Bike Tours
This bike touring company offers group tours from 2 to 6 people. The trails cover the St. George area of Utah and expand to northern Arizona.
Utah Mountain Bike Tours prides itself on providing a unique experience for couples, friends and coworkers. They guarantee customers will not be paired with strangers.