Frequently Asked Questions

picture of a cobblestone street in Old Montreal

What is the recommended bicycle for this race ? A road bike with 25mm tires or larger equipped with enough storage to feed and host the cyclist for the longest distances of this trip. Particular attentions hould be given to the long stretches in Yukon and in Ontario without reliable food, electrical or filtered water resupply options.

What are the racer safety requirements ? Safety is the sole responsibility of the cyclist. The Race Director however will refuse to register for tracking any bike that is not minimally equipped with at least 2 red blinking lights in the back, orange reflecting tape on the back of the pedals, a front reflector and light, as well as a mechanical or electronic bell at the starting point of the race, or any cyclist not carrying bear spray. Bear spray is required through Yukon, British Columbia and the mountainous parts of Alberta. Cyclists are encouraged to make themselves as visible as possible to drivers.

What are the road safety laws ? Road safety laws vary by province. Throughout the country cyclists are expected to ride with the flow of traffic (never against) and obey posted signs. A helmet is required in many jurisdictions. Researching, understanding and obeying the various traffic and safety requirements in each province is the sole responsibility of the cyclist. The route manual includes some basic information on the topic.

What is the weather like ? Weather in Canada in the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and elsewhere can be scorching hot in the summer. Winter can come early and stay late in mountainous areas, in Newfoundland and throughout the course. cyclists should prepare and be equipped for any weather conditions to be expected along the route. The Race Director heavily discourages any participant not equipped for and experienced with snow riding to keep riding past the first non-melting snow fall. Historical data for every part of the course can be found on the federal government’s weather information website at https://weather.gc.ca

What about the fauna ? Canada has a rich fauna. Some insects and animals are gentle and inoffensive (and some are downright adorable) but some can be dangerous and/or lethal. Cyclists are responsible for looking up the various fauna they are likely to encounter and get educated on how to deal with such. This includes – but is not limited to – moose, geese, ticks, black bears, brown bears, dogs, mountain lions and grizzlies. The Race Director may send advisory information to complement the cyclists’ own research.

Are the roads safe in Canada ? Canadians are used to see cyclists in the most populous provinces in the summer, and most are very respectful of them. Like everywhere though a small number of drivers can be impatient, inattentive, or even offensive. The Race Director has planned a course that often redirects the race towards posted cycling infrastructure. If you see such infrastructure that parallels the proposed route but is not indicated in the proposed course you are invited to use it. Keep in mind however that in previous years in various bikepacking races around the world cyclists have lost their lives or been injured, sometimes grievously. The cyclists take on the entire responsibility for their safety, physical integrity, life and well-being.

Are there any cut-off points ? Because of safety concerns caused by seasonal forest fires on the West Coast cyclists must have reached Calgary no later than the 30th of July. Racers who have not reached Calgary by that date will be deemed to have abandoned the race. The course goes through many cities where bus, rail, or air transportation can be obtained to exit the route. cyclists are expected to have studied any and all such options before departure. The Race Director may send advisory information to complement the cyclists’ own research.

Is Canada a safe place ? Canada has one of the lowest crime rates of any country, and its population is appreciated the world over for its polite, helpful and kind ways. That being said bike theft in major cities is a common problem.