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Adventure, Canada, Cycle Touring, Cycling Across Canada

Cycling Across Canada – Getting Started

Long before the first pedal stoke…..I was planning and getting started on a dream come true – cycling across Canada!

Planning a Round the World trip can be a daunting endeavour – but if it is in your cards, I highly recommend it.  It may just be the best thing you ever do – it certainly was for me!

Half the battle is getting started…what do you want out of the trip?  how much time do you have?  and of course, the dollars and cents of it all!  There are plenty of posts out there about financing a RTW trip.  (Nomadic MattGo Backpacking and Everything-Everywhere have good tips on planning, budget travel options and gear.)   I won’t cover that aspect of my adventures here.  This series is more about the voyage – from getting started and planning to dunking that tire into the Atlantic in Halifax at the end!  It has been a number of years since I cycled across Canada – but it still remains one of my proudest accomplishments.

How it started?

As suggested in my previous post, it started when a friend from my Australian cycling club proposed a trip to South America.  Ever willing to travel, I jumped at the chance.  I looked into airfare and quickly determined that a short trip to South America just wasn’t feasible – a Round the World ticket would only be a few hundred dollars more.  The hitch – I had to quit my job.  I could not go around the world in 4 weeks and really accomplish what I wanted.  Heavy duty research and planning underway, and my adventure was starting to take shape.

Goals

One year – what did I want to do?  I didn’t want to waste a moment, and having to put my career on hold and rent out my house – I owed it to myself to make the most of it!  Questions floated in my head – what did I want to achieve?  Learn Spanish in a Spanish speaking country, do a major cycling expedition and explore the world and different cultures were top of mind.  Lofty enough goals.  How would I handle the diversity of countries, climate and gear requirements.  Afterall, hiking and backpacking had significantly different needs to cycling and cycle touring.

Logistics

Packing my touring bike and gear through South America wasn’t an option.  We would be hiking to Machu Picchu and exploring museums and cultures – the bike just wasn’t part of that itinerary.  Buying a new bike in Canada also not an option.  I had already invested too much money and time in my setup in Australia, having tested out the gear on a long weekend tour (see post Lessons from Sofala about cycling in Gold and Wine Country).  Thank goodness for family – I shipped my bike and touring gear to my father’s attention in Canada and set out on my South American adventure, knowing that my bike would be ready and waiting for me when I needed it.  All up, I shipped 90 pounds of bike, camping equipment and cycling clothing.  In retrospect, I could have used less – but sometimes there are lessons that you just have to learn for yourself.

Good morning! Camping at Mudgee. Lessons from Sofala.

I was travelling solo and had objectives beyond Canada to consider.  Weather was also a factor – I had no intentions of cycling in the snow.  I was in for a summer of cycling bliss, plain and simple.

Fast forward through South America, bike and gear collected from home, I flew to Vancouver.  Took a little diversion to Salt Spring Island for some kayak camping and Canada Day festivities in Vancouver and then it was time to get started….trans Canada – here I come.

Join me in my “Cycling Across Canada” series.  I hope you will enjoy the ride.  Share your comments or ask questions.  Love to hear about it if you are heading out on your own cycling adventures.

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

17 thoughts on “Cycling Across Canada – Getting Started

  1. Amazing journey ahead for you and so excited to hear and follow your travels!

    Posted by kalima123 | February 12, 2012, 1:09 pm
  2. Oh dear here you are traveling far and wide and I am here in my country town…. I feel so small… Looking forward to your blogs… this is one way to get you motivated for Spain. :) V

    Posted by realme07 | February 12, 2012, 1:46 pm
    • Don’t feel so small – the travel bug is not for everyone! Hope you are able to continue to enjoy my tales of travel! No worries on lack of motivation for Spain – I can hardly wait! Will no doubt have a number of stories and pictures to share! Thanks for popping round.

      Posted by Anita Mac | February 12, 2012, 5:05 pm
  3. I can only dream of the places you’d been, the goals that you made, the adventures you experienced in you cycling and more. You are an inspiration. Your story motivates me to pursue my dreams further. Thank you. Beautiful photos with an exciting narration. Stay blessed and be safe….

    Posted by island traveler | February 12, 2012, 4:37 pm
    • Thank you – very kind words indeed! I am glad that you have been inspired. I hope you are able to pursue your dreams – we are so lucky when we can follow our dreams and our heart. Happy trails to you too…

      Posted by Anita Mac | February 12, 2012, 5:03 pm
  4. I love long distance street cycling, and I’ve dreamed of cycling across Canada. The closest I’ve come is taking a train from Prince George to Toronto, and that wasn’t half bad either. Maybe someday I’ll do it the best way; you’re way.

    Posted by themofman | February 12, 2012, 5:52 pm
  5. Sounds interesting! I love the alternative ways of traveling rather than the normal train/bus/flying trips!

    Posted by Mina Mahrous | February 12, 2012, 5:55 pm
  6. I only got to see a small part of Canada as a child, but remember how awesome it was. You are a smart lady (and lucky to be able to) to have quit your job, taking a year off to enjoy life. So many people focus on retirement and forget to live life in the meantime. Congrats and thanks for sharing your adventures.

    Posted by orples | February 13, 2012, 11:42 am
  7. Anita, thanks for posting about cycling across Canada. That is far out of my ability and comfort zone. Good luck with all your journeys.

    Posted by Randall St. Germain | February 13, 2012, 2:32 pm
  8. Anita, wonderful to hear of your aspirations and plans, as well as your amazing experiences thus far. Thanks for sharing!
    I was wondering what you know about the Giro D’Italia in May. I have no experience in the cycling industry but am very eager to start getting some experience writing and doing social media in that industry. I know the Giro would be a tough one to break into, however I can be pretty persistent and determined. Would you have any recommendations or tips on that particular tour that I can keep in mind for approaching teams/organizations about joining them to write about the tour this year?
    Thanks so much for any insight!

    Posted by Amalia | February 13, 2012, 3:44 pm
  9. That’s an incredible journey you have planned. I’m from Canada, yet there are so many places I’ve yet to visit.

    Posted by Nomadic Samuel | February 14, 2012, 2:18 am
  10. I am looking forward to reading all of your adventures…

    Posted by Maggie L R | February 26, 2012, 1:43 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Cycling Across Canada – the gear | traveldestinationbucketlist - February 17, 2012

  2. Pingback: Cycling Across Canada | traveldestinationbucketlist - May 6, 2012

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