Exploring Canada on two wheels.
Wow! You’re biking from Argentina to Canada?! That’s amazing!
If you’re leaving in December, when do you think you’ll make it to Canada? It’s pretty cold here until about April. Most bikers store their motorcycles for the winter and only start riding again in late March/early April.
In terms of bike gear, I’d suggest layering your clothing. I used a Joe Rocket riding suit (pants and jacket) on the trip to Vancouver this past summer. It went down to a mesh layer with armour, which worked well on hot July days. And you can zip in a vest, rain/wind layer, and warmer layer, which was handy in the mountains and would definitely help if you arrive in Canada in the Spring (April-May).
A dry bag would also be useful to keep your gear dry. I had two days of rain in the 3 weeks I was on the road, but you’d probably run into more rain than that, especially in the Spring.
You should check out Greg’s blog. He rode from Alaska to Argentina last year and gave me a ton of good tips when we met randomly in a small town a few months before my bike trip last summer.
Let me know if you end up visiting Toronto. I’d love to hear about your adventure.
Tough questions. I don’t know what I expected from the trip. See some cool scenery. Check. Meet some interesting Canadians and find out what life’s like for them. Check. Do a little bit of soul-searching. Check, but not as much as I expected. I was too busy being blown away by what I was experiencing.
I didn’t expect the depth of kindness and generosity I received on the trip. I didn’t expect the numerous times people have left me choked up and without anything to say. It’s like Canada took me up on the challenge to find good people in the world and firmly shut the door on any arguments to the contrary. I knew it. And now I have proof.
Like a mosh pit, you’ve gotta throw yourself out and trust that you’ll be caught and buoyed by the crowd. I jumped into this adventure with some serious apprehension, and was amazed by the countless Canadian hands that caught me and kept me afloat along the way. How was I changed by the trip? It’s restored my faith in people. And my confidence in myself. Thank you Canada!
There’s one element I totally missed on this trip. Interaction with First Nations folks. I really should have taken Paul Ts advice and rode up through Manitoulin Island instead of the 400 to Sudbury.
I met some chiefs/elders at the super 8 in Winnipeg and had a good chat with them. Other than that, I’ve unfortunately missed any other opportunity to learn more about this group of Canadians.
So… Anyone up for a ride to Manutoulin Island this September? I think there’s a pow wow one of the weekends. If it doesn’t conflict with softball finals, I’m thinking of taking a few days to ride up and check it out.
If someone invites you to a party, make sure you ask them what kind of party it is. Apparently castrating and branding parties are all the rage in Alberta. And even though the horse trough is filled with ice and beer, it’ll take quite a few to get past the smell. And you might get asked to help…