Bicycle Vancouver to Calgary
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Jun 30, 2013 3:24 PM Last Post By: samdles
Dec 8, 2012 11:12 PM
Planning to ride from Vancouver to Calgary late June / early July, 2013. Trying to find if there are organised groups / tours of young people who I can join this time of year. Also, interested to understand what the terrain is like (can you use a road racer or would a mountain bike be better) and if there is a preferred route to follow (I am coming from overseas, so would like to see some of the best scenery etc.) Happy to camp etc. Happy to hill climb etc.
Any thoughts please let me know.
Dec 9, 2012 12:14 PM
1I'm unaware of any organized trips that do trips of that magnitude, as it's not something many people do. Usually it's just 1-2 people doing it on their own. Assuming you're just going to be on the paved shoulder of the Trans Canada highway (the most common thing to do) and not doing any side trips along the way on mountain bike trails, then a road bike is appropriate.
Highway 1 offers the best scenery overall in my book. Highway 3 is also good and has less vehicle traffic, but it's longer with a lot more mountain passes to climb. Personally I'd opt to start in Calgary and head west to make the overall elevation change work in your favour...
Jan 5, 2013 5:15 PM
2I did this route in reverse a few years ago. It was the BEST bike trip I've ever been on.
Between Calgary and Kamloops you should generally follow the TransCanada although there are quieter roads you can take between towns along the way. Between Kamloops and Vancouver you can go north via highway 99 (more challenging, less traffic. You get to cycle along the BC coast and through desert-like mountains. This is the route I took) or south via highway 5 (flatter, more traffic, still very scenic).
I don't know of tours but cycling is quite common along this route so you'll encounter other bicyclists along the way. Doing it alone is nice because you end up talking to locals a lot more.
A road bike or hybrid is best. The roads are all very good. You're definitely going to climb hills - sometimes all day long. The upside is, some days you spend hours coasting downhill. Make sure you have lights for your bike - you go through tunnels at Roger's Pass.
I agree that it's nice to go east-west as the Pacific Ocean makes a very satisfying ending spot.
This is a very challenging route, but anyone can do it - I was a novice cyclist on a yard sale bicycle.
Feel free to message me if you would like more information!
Jan 6, 2013 5:46 AM
Jan 9, 2013 7:06 AM
4I did Calgary - Vancouver in 2012, mostly because it's "downhill" to Vancouver. I followed this route: http://goo.gl/maps/5OEVr. I had been on roads further south before (not on bike) and I think highway 3 would be more interesting. One thing you don't wanna miss is the Icefield Parkway. If you take a southern route, it's well worth riding from Lake Louise to Jasper and back. It's that great. There are organized rides on the Icefield Parkway. There's a network of hostels too. I'm not sure how they work though. Expect lots of tourist in that area during that period.
There are long climbs, especially if you go west to east but they aren't super steep. A racer would be ok if you're used to climbing and have little or no luggage, but you might want lower gear if you're carrying camping equipment.
Pics of my trip (about half come from a 5-day hike to mount Robson): http://www.borealphoto.com/velo/calgary-vancouver
May 4, 2013 4:48 AM
May 12, 2013 10:20 AM
Jun 7, 2013 2:31 AM
i'm actually looking to do something very similar, but from Calgary to Van. I'm looking to do it in July/August. Was wondering if you have much research on this? I just started researching, and this is something I just wanted to do. I'm a novice cyclist, and haven't even bought a bike yet.
Also, is it dangerous (wild animals, etc.), and just purely camping on non-camp grounds? Thanks!
Jun 25, 2013 11:27 AM
Jun 30, 2013 3:24 PM
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