Touring Canada by Bike

For those who are going to cross the border into Canada, going through customs can be easy. These days using a car licence to get through is not enough, but your passport will suffice. Be careful of what you take with you; firearms are out. You will be asked the standard questions, such as where are you going or where have you travelled. Also, no jokes about bombs or drugs. You will be arrested without hesitation. Canadians will check your criminal record; they don’t like criminals or anyone with a DUI on their careers. They can turn you back, so get matters cleared up before you leave.

Required

  • Insurance – Not all insurance is acceptable to the Canadians. Make sure your policy is acceptable or buy some that do. It may not be a problem, but then if you are involved in an accident, who knows?
  • Road Laws – Canadian towns have speed limits of 50kph (30mph), but around schools and parks, the limit drops to 30kph.

Your Trip

Plan your trip between April and October for the best riding conditions, but these months don’t guarantee dry riding. There is rain, so keep your wet weather clothes handy. There’s nothing worse than emptying your luggage onto the street in the middle of a downpour.

Roads are, in general, excellent including the bye-ways and secondary roads, but beware of road repairs. Passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, slow down to 60kph – it’s the law! And please don’t forget that the Canadians drive on the right side of the way, the same as the USA, but opposite to most English colony countries. Keep your eyes open for wild animals on the roadside, as they have the tendency to dash across the road in front of you and hitting something like a bison or a bear can put you in hospital and right off your bike. Don’t stop near these animals; they are quick off the mark and can take you by surprise.

Ice Field Parkway

Departing from Calgary on 1A Highway, the ride through the Rocky Mountains in Alberta is possibly one of the most scenic in the world. This 400km ride with its mountains, rivers, wildlife and glacial lakes changes with every bend in the road. Enjoy the towns like Banff and Jasper en route. This famous road has lots of traffic, so beware of rubberneckers and sightseers.

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