Had the opportunity to speak with the godfather of coast to coast cycling today, Steve Langston. For those who don’t know, Steve cycled Canada in 2010 and wrote the best reference book Canada by Bicycle (www.canadabybicycle.com). Having talked to so many of my friends about this tour, and they all have questions from “what are the roads like” to “what about bears!”, it is great to have Steve as a resource.
So a few good tips I learned today:
I don’t have to pre-book the campsites as they will always have a piece of grass for my tent. Awesome, because that could be a scheduling nightmare. As well Steve recommended Blackhawk camping when the time is right…ie. find a nice riverside off the highway and set up camp! Can’t wait. Bring an axe as it will come in handy for tent pegs and of course firewood. An extension cord and powerbar will come in handy in the evenings at campsites. As for cooking fuel, bring the 1L canister for filling as some of the smaller rural areas aren’t keen on filling small containers? Not sure what they think a guy on a cycle is planning to do with it, not like I am making petro-bombs???
I am loading all my stuff into a Yak BOB trailer made specifically to bike touring, however it takes a bit of practice to get used to maneuvering the bike with trailer. Specifically have to be careful of mounting and dismounting the bike not to create excess torsion on the rear axle and derailer…good tip! Advised using Swalbe Marathon tires that boast being “tack proof”. Steve said he made it all the way to Thunderbay with his first set of tires.
Oh and as for bears…likely will encounter but black bears are usually not confrontational (really makes me feel very safe LOL). The basics of common sense, make sure food and clothing you cooked in are kept away from the tent. Keep pedaling if they are on the side of the road, or flag a car down to ride beside until you pass them…usually they are too interested in the dandylions than vehicles on the road! All else fails, always keep bear spray on hand 😉
Cheers and be well