Cross Canada Tour

Sidney, British Columbia to Sydney, Nova Scotia
(Plus a bit more!)

The Route, at a glance...

Sidney, BC - Alberta - Saskatchewan - Manitoba - Ontario - Quebec - New Brunswick - Prince Edward Island - Nova Scotia - Newfoundland - Nova Scotia

June 8th to September 3rd, 2002
Estimated distance - 8000 Kms
(Actual distance at completion - 8932 Kms)

 May 9th, 2002 - This upcoming tour will test my mettle! I'm just about ready, as is my bike and camping gear...

 I plan to take Highway 3 through BC until Medicine Hat, Alberta and then a short portion of Highway 1, the Trans Canada, until Gull Lake, Saskatchewan. Then I'll head south - away from the major highways and traffic - picking up the Red Coat Trail, Highway 13, and hoping that the road is in fairly decent shape. Many of the paved roads in Alberta and Saskatchewan have been degraded to gravel in recent years due to fiscal constraints! Regardless, I will try to use back roads as much as possible.

 Once Ontario looms ahead, then I have not much choice for many miles other that Highways 11 and 17, both very busy major highways. I'll be able to leave 17 before Sudbury, ON and head south on Highway 6 to Manitoulin Island and the Bruce Peninsula. From there I'll head east to Renfrew, ON and cross the Ottawa River at Fitzroy Harbour, ON. Once in in Quebec, my route will take me on Highways 148 and 344 to the Montreal area and beyond that I'll be on 138 to Quebec City, where I can cross the St. Lawrence River or ride on the north shore to St. Simeon and cross there via a ferry. I can rail trail all the way into New Brunswick on the "Le petit Témis." New Brunswick brings many options too, but I'll basically head south to the Bay of Fundy and then east for the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island. Ferry over to Nova Scotia and on to Sydney, NS and another ferry to Newfoundland - time permitting. I'll have to return to Halifax, Nova Scotia for my return flight, so my plans at that point will entirely depend on how much time I have left before the flight home.

 As planned, there is much room for change once I leave Ontario, ultimately, to spend as much time as possible in the Maritimes, which is a part of Canada that I have not previously visited.

 Won't be long now!...

 June 8th finally arrives!...

This whole tour report is compiled from my notes and the daily email scribblings that I sent, via my Pocketmail device (Sharp TM-20), to family and friends whilst I was touring. I wrote every day that I travelled and the following messages were written at the end of each day. I hope that my day to day words will allow you to share in my thoughts and observations as I travelled across the second largest country in the world, and ultimately, the North American Continent.

Canada British Columbia Alberta Saskatchewan Manitoba Ontario Quebec Newfoundland New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Nova Scotia

Click on the map above or text below for quick links to Provinces

As Visited (left to right) - Province by Province...

Day 1 - June 8th - Sidney, BC to Hope, BC
174 Kms

 Well, the ride will really start when I get off this ferry...

Ready to dip the wheel in the Pacific Ocean at Sidney, BC
Ready to dip the wheel in the Pacific Ocean at Sidney, BC

 After dipping my wheel in the calm waters of the Pacific, the short ride from Sidney to the ferry terminal was uneventful and the 7:00 a.m. ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen has left on time. This is a ferry crossing that I have taken many times, but this time I'm very excited and it has nothing to do with the ferry ride itself. This is the start of my 12 week solo trek across Canada; what a feeling to be finally at this stage. I have lots of mixed emotions; some sad, at having to leave my wife and home for such an extended period, but mostly good feelings at being on a major tour again and starting a trip that I have been planning for a long time - a trip of a lifetime!

174 Kms later, I made it all the way to Hope - what a great ride! Although, the requests to my friends to pray for "wind at my back" seem to have gone unheeded. Well almost! I guess that 25% of the day was tailwinds and the rest a combination of cross/headwinds. Made for a tough first day! At least the weather did cooperate - warm and dry, all but the last 2 Kms into Hope when it started to rain; by that time I could care less, but it did make the camping spot a wee soggy.

 I did manage to find some new hills in flatlands of the Surrey and Abbotsford regions, but it was nicer, and safer, than riding through the busy towns of Cloverdale and Langley. Also the Trans Canada #1 (TC) was not an option as bicycles are not allowed on the TC until Abbotsford; even then bicycles have to exit before, then re-enter after the Vedder Canal bridge. I did ride the TC from Chilliwack to Hope for the last 50 Kms of the day, but the rest of the route was through the pastoral farmlands of the lower mainland (click here to view the route, which is detailed at the bottom of this page). For the most part I've ridden this route and many of the area's roads before, so there was no big adventure on this section. It was pleasant to see all the faded directional markings on the road from previous BC Lung TREK rides that I have participated in over the years in this region. Some of the markings are from a route that we haven't ridden for at least 5 years! Good paint!

Brian - On the road to South America!
Brian - On the road to South America!

 Tired as I was, I played host in my campsite to another touring cyclist who showed up about an hour after my arrival. Brian from Mission, BC; he's heading south after Fernie - to South America! He figures that he'll be on the road for 18 months, and to top it all, he's riding a recumbent piled high with a ton of gear! He was amazed that I had ridden from Sidney in one day; believe me, no was more surprised than me! So we shared the campsite and split the cost - good deal and good company for me! Just as well, as the same campground that was $8.00 last year, was now $12.00!

 Tomorrow, I hope to be in Princeton - in one of those cheap riverside cabins - we'll see!

Route from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal Heading East ...

If you don't mind the wide shoulder of a busy highway, take Highway 17 to Ladner, then right onto the busy Highway 10 with variable shoulders to 152nd St., then follow the rest of the route below from that point, otherwise...
From Tsawwassen...
Take Highway 17 north,
Right onto 28th Ave (Farrall Road),
Left onto 64th St.,
Right onto 36th Ave,
Left onto 72nd St.,
Just past Boundary Bay Airport turn right onto Churchill St.,
Left onto 80th St. up to Highway 10 (Ladner Trunk Road),
Right on 10, then just before 10 crosses over the freeway (Highway 99) turn right onto Hornby Drive, which parallels 99 for a while,
Left onto 112th St.,
Right onto Highway 10, which is also 58th Ave,
(Option - drop down with a right turn onto 56th Ave at 120th St. - Although 56th will rejoin and merge with 10 anyway at 140th St..)
From Highway 10, right onto 152nd St. (Johnston Road),
Then left onto 40th Ave,
Right onto 184th St.,
Left onto 16th Ave all the way to Bradner,
Turn right onto Bradner,
Left onto 8th Ave, which is Huntingdon Road,
Huntingdon Road changes its name to Vye Road after crossing Highway 11,
Left onto Cole Road,
Right onto South Parallel,
Right onto #3 Road,
Left onto Inter-Provincial Highway,
Right onto #2 Road,
Follow #2 around a right hand curve then turn left onto Keith Wilson and across the Vedder Canal,
Left onto Lickman,
Right onto Yale Road West, which changes to Luckakuck Way,
Follow Luckakuck Way through the Cottonwood Mall area (good place for a snack!) and beyond,
Cross over Chilliwack River Road and take Prairie Central Road east,
At the end of Prairie Central, you have to turn left onto Annis Road, which accesses the Trans Canada Highway #1.

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