Frequently Asked Questions

These are a few of the most common things we are asked. If you need more, reach out to us!

 

The most common questions are in the tabs below. Additional questions are listed at the bottom of the page. 

Other Frequently Asked Questions

A group of Canadian adventurers will travel from sea to sea on bicycles in the summer of 2021 in a nation-building exercise aimed at reconnecting, restoring and rebuilding our communities as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left us questioning our assumptions about what community is and what we want from ourselves and our society. Canadians are reeling from this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Travel has the power to connect us, to enrich our lives and to inspire us. Traveling fundamentally transforms us. A bike tour across Canada at the speed of life is a way to encourage all of us to, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

  • ConnecTour will create opportunities for us to share, express and appreciate our Canadian identity.
  • ConnecTour will contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada.

We recognize the uncertainty of making travel plans with this rapidly evolving situation. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we will follow government health protocols, and will monitor developments closely. Our top priority is to safeguard the health and safety of the group and the communities we visit. We will be smart, be kind, and be healthy – and we will also be optimistic that by May 2021 responsible travel will be allowed. If  travel restrictions prevent us from doing the tour as planned, we will adjust our efforts for more localized bike trip experiences. In the event of a cancellation, we have you covered. 

This is not a race! We truly mean to travel at the speed of life. Traveling by bicycle is a lot of fun, but let’s be real – not every day will be amazing. There will be difficult and challenging days because of the weather, road conditions, terrain and/or group dynamics.  For this cross Canada ride, you should be relatively fit and comfortable with riding 65 km/day and up to 115 km/day on a long day. We would also expect that you be cooperative and attentive even in difficult situations.

​You can go at your own speed – the important part is communicating with the group about your speed and expectations. As a group, we will have regular check-ins to talk about the daily plans and to manage healthy group dynamics. Each member of the ride team will be expected to participate in activities to support the well-being of the group, e.g., route planning, safety, grocery shopping, meal preparation, camp set-up, bike mechanics, and fun and games.

From past experiences with groups on bike trips, most people end up riding together with others at their own speed. Faster riders can enjoy riding faster; slower riders can enjoy riding slower. Depending on the weather and terrain, an average day will be about 80 km at an average speed of around 15 km/hour. Our goal is to be in the saddle no more than about five hours a day – taking breaks about every hour for snacks, sightseeing and letting our bodies get some rest.

No. The beauty of this is that, although we’d love to have you along for the entire ride, that may not be feasible for you. So, you can join us for a few hours, a day or three or five. Or, if you have the time, you can ride with us for a week or a month. A pre-determined route with planned stages and events is set up for the ride across Canada. See our Route page for a description of each stage.

We’re keeping costs to a minimum so this trip is affordable for anyone. We have a pricing structure for joining the entire trip across Canada or specific stages. You may join us along the way as an overnighter or weekly rider if that fits your schedule better. Please contact us to work out when and where you want to join the group and we will customize your tour experience to fit your schedule.

Route stages and tentative dates:
Please note: Due to the nature of bike travel, we will confirm the exact dates for these stages closer to the actual date. Please allow a few days on either end of the date range when making plans.

Cross Canada (Entire Trip)
Victoria to St. John’s | 8275 km | 135 days | $4,800
May 15 – Sept. 25, 2021

Stages

Victoria to Calgary | 1465 km | 27 days | $1,200
May 15 – June 10, 2021

Calgary to Winnipeg | 1385 km | 20 days | $950
June 13 – July 2, 2021

Winnipeg to Sault Ste. Marie | 1573 km | 24 days | $1,000
July 5 – July 28, 2021

Sault Ste. Marie to Montreal | 1270 km | 19 days | $900
July 31 – Aug. 18, 2021

Montreal to St. John’s | 2583 km | 36 days | $1,600
Aug. 21 – Sept. 25, 2021

□ The weekly rate (7 days) is $420 per week
□ The overnight rate is $65 per day/night

Family discount rates are available. Contact us for details info@connectour.ca or (403) 402-1688

All day-to-day bike travel expenses, including:

  • All group meals
  • Daily snacks and happy hour
  • All group camping and accommodation
  • Campground and park fees
  • Reservations and coordination of activities
  • Trip leaders and basic bike mechanical service and repair

Please note:

  • Beer, wine, and alcohol and extra snacks are at your own expense.
  • Group meals are meals that we prepare together at camp or at picnics along the road.
  • Meals and snacks on rest days and event days are at your own expense.

The daily trip plan and activities are adventurous and fun. The trip is all about enjoying the bike travel experience – we will pack what we need, eat well, and connect with each other and the locals along the route.

All group members are part of the team.  Everyone will agree to participate in group activities, food preparation, shopping, camp setup/cleanup, and telling the story. Regular rotation of trip activities will include:

  • Green team – minimizing our impact on the places we visit and stay
  • Journal team – documenting and sharing our daily activities with the group and broader community
  • Hospitality team – keeping the group in good spirits
  • Cook team – meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping and cleanup

Register online here or contact us to talk about how you can join the tour. Registering for the entire tour or stages of the tour requires a $250 deposit. Once your registration and tour dates are confirmed, the deposit is non-refundable and will be applied to the full cost of your tour. The balance owing and payment schedule will be sent to you by email. All confirmed trip participants will also have to complete various personal information forms and sign a waiver. 

If you can only join us for the weekly or at the overnight rate, please contact us directly to register at info@connectour.ca or (403) 402-1688.

We can help. Do you need a bike tune-up or overhaul? Racks, panniers, new tires, new drive train? We work with a number of bicycle industry wholesalers and can offer competitive prices on bicycle touring setups. Contact us for details info@connectour.ca or (403) 402-1688. Visit our online Shop for panniers and other items.

Here is some advice from the Adventure Cycling Association. It is entirely possible to tour on nearly any bike — grab your cruiser, strap on a backpack, and go! — but there’s a whole world of bikes and gear created by passionate bicycle travelers that can make life easier and more comfortable on the road or trail (for starters, backpacks are best avoided in favor of on-bike luggage or panniers). Here are some bike options:

Classic touring bike

A classic touring bike sports a steel frame, dropbars, a wide-range drivetrain of up to 30 gears, 700c wheels with 35mm tires, and mounts for front and rear racks onto which you could mount panniers. Built with heavier tubing to accommodate big loads, these bikes are the pickup trucks of the cycling world — rugged, reliable, and able to haul nearly anything from here to there.

Hybrid touring bikes and mountain bikes, “go-anywhere bikes”

A go-anywhere bike share many traits with mountain bikes where simplicity, durability, and efficiency is preferred. They can utilize dropbars or flat bars, front suspension or rigid forks, and can come in a range of shapes and wheel sizes – 26”, 27.5”, 700c or 29er. Typical features include a wider mountain bike tire or touring tire and low gearing. There are typically frame mounts for front and rear racks onto which you could carry panniers.

Gravel Bikes

Gravel bikes range wildly, from high-performance carbon machines built for racing to relaxed adventure bikes well-suited for tours. These bikes often feature dropbars, clearance for wider tires (up to 50mm), and are suited for racks and panniers or bikepacking-style bags depending on the model. These machines are extremely versatile and can offer an excellent compromise between loaded and unloaded riding on a variety of surfaces. Compared to a classic touring bike, gravel bikes are not typically as over-built and rugged as a classic touring bike and may require more maintenance on a long trip.

eBikes

Sometimes a little assist is what it takes to get on tour, and eBikes offer an intriguing option. Premium models aren’t cheap (and cheap models aren’t as reliable for touring), but the modern era of ‘pedelec’ (pedal assist, no throttle) eBikes provide some extra oomph for any tour with reliable motors and long-range batteries. While many models are made for commuting or recreational cycling, touring eBikes are available from most major manufacturers.

Whatever bike you ride, it will be important to be comfortable. Important things to consider are, having the right saddle for you, clip or clipless pedals depending on your riding style, the right bike fit, and many other considerations. Our group leader, Rick McFerrin and his partner Tanya have done multiple around-the-world bike trips. Other members of the team have extensive experience in long-distance cycle touring. We can help you with your bike.

Your bicycle touring and camping gear should include the usual camping items, such as a sleeping bag, tent, outerwear and other essentials that you would bring on any outdoor adventure. Because this is a bike tour, you should also carry some basic bike items: helmet, tire repair kit, spare tubes and a multi-tool.

In summary, these are some essential items you should have for the trip.

□      Tent – lightweight, small when packed

□      Sleeping Pad – Self-inflatable mats are the most common choice that are usually lighter and more compact

□      Sleeping Bag

□      Panniers or bike-packing-style bags – Unlike backpacking, you don’t want to carry a lot of weight on your back. Instead, most of your gear should be placed in bike panniers or bikepacking-style bags. We carry a limited selection of panniers and bags for any length tour. Order direct from our store. Free pickup or delivery in Calgary. 

□      Headlamp

□      Multi-tool – The core group of ConnecTour trip leaders will have tools for on-the-road repairs and maintenance and a few spare components

□      Dishes and cutlery – The core group of ConnecTour trip leaders will have a basic camp kitchen, stove(s) and utensils for food preparation.  Bring your own plate, bowl, cup and cutlery

□      Rain gear and outerwear for a variety of weather conditions

A complete list of bicycle touring and camping gear will be provided prior to your trip to make sure you have the right stuff. We work with a number of bicycle industry wholesalers and can offer competitive prices on bicycle touring setups. Contact us for details info@connectour.ca or (403) 402-1688.

There is no support vehicle. This is a self contained bike tour and you will have to carry all of your own gear. 

We will be doing a mix of cooking and preparing our own food at camp or at picnics on the road. We can accommodate most diets and you will be involved in meal planning and preparation to share your favorite recipes with the group. Those who prefer to eat at restaurants or prepare their own food are free to do so at their own expense. You will have the opportunity to shop for food, snacks and drinks most days.

The fun thing about bike travel is that you can pretty much eat as much as you want. The food tastes better, the scenery will change the way you think about nature, and your mind will be clear. There is nothing better than ending a day’s ride by enjoying some snacks or a local craft beer. Sit around a table and share your daily highlights and images from the day. Wake each morning and go for a bike ride and do it all over again.

Our home on the road will be a mix of camping (sometimes not in official campsites) and home-stays as guests of friends and family or communities. As much as possible, we will choose well-maintained campgrounds and local stays with comfortable arrangements including indoor facilities and showers. In more remote backroads camping scenarios, we may have to improvise portable toilets and water features for cleaning up.

Those who prefer not to camp are free to stay in hotels or AirBnBs along the route, at your own expense. We will communicate with you each day about meeting points and other logistics. 

We will provide a detailed packing list as we get closer to the date. It is important that you have the right clothes, camping gear and essential bike components for the trip. Please contact us if you have specific questions about what to bring or not bring. We want you to be prepared. Keep in mind that you have to carry everything on your bicycle.

You will have the opportunity on the rest days to do laundry. You can always hand wash your clothes (underwear, cycling attire) in a bucket and hang to dry overnight or hang off your bike.

Yes! Yes! Yes! We welcome local volunteers along the route, as well as people with specific areas of expertise (e.g., medical or photo/videography) to join us on the ride. Contact us at info@connectour.ca.

There are many, and here’s a great one:
If your bike computer includes cadence, use it to find the gear that let’s you ride comfortably at about 80-pedal-revolutions per minute. Uphill, downhill or over a long flat, it doesn’t matter. Keep your cadence at that tempo and it will help you achieve your goals with maximum efficiency.

Join us for a day, a week or a month, on this great adventure across our vast land.  

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