If you have never taken a vacation on your bike, this may be the year to start. It's called bicycle touring, and it can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of cycling. You depart from your front doorstep and simply head out for a few days.
A lot of people may think bicycle touring is only for hard core cyclists. In reality, anyone who is capable of riding 40 to 50 kilometres a day is a candidate for taking a vacation on their bike. In Ottawa, we are blessed with a number of nearby destinations for people who would like to try a short bicycle trip for the first time. One of these is Carleton place. It is possible to cycle all the way there on paths and trails, and the entire ride takes place over flat terrain. Carleton Place has an interesting downtown area, an old inn, several B&Bs, and a good assortment of restaurants.
There are also services that make it easy for people to plan extensive trips on their bicycle. One of the best examples is VIA’s “bike” trains. On these trains it is possible to check your bike without any special preparation. When you arrive at your destination, your bike rolls off the train and is ready for use. Another service is Ontario’s recently inaugurated "Welcome Cyclists" network which identifies bicycle friendly hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, etc. This service has been around for a number of years in Quebec under the name "Bienvenue cyclistes".
When it comes to planning bicycle trips, don’t forget about Quebec's renowned "Route Verte" network that allows cyclists to ride 4000 kilometres on bike paths, bicycle lanes, paved shoulders, or quiet country roads. In Ontario, cyclists will find much the same thing with the 900 kilometre "Waterfront Trail" which runs from the Quebec/Ontario border to the Niagara Peninsula.
So what are you waiting for?
Click here for more detail about bicycle touring.
Click here for more information about cycling to Carleton Place.
Click here for more about VIA’s "bike trains".
Click here for more information about Ontario's "Welcome Cyclists" network.
Click here for more information about Quebec's "Bienvenue cyclistes" program.
Click here for more information about Ontario’s "Waterfront Trail".
Click here for more information about Quebec’s "Route Verte".