Cycle Canada Bicycle Tours

Cycle Canada Logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Cycle Canada, the Veloforce Corporation is a Canadian company that organizes cycling activities. Our operations are based out of Alliston, Ontario, just north of Toronto. We have been active since 1987.

Bud Jorgensen is the principal of Cycle Canada. You can read more about the company and Bud here About Cycle Canada

Our Pledge to You:

Participants in our events have a right to expect that Cycle Canada, as organizers, and its staff will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that riders complete their ride and are enriched by the cycling experience. We hope that each rider will find companionship in, and be tolerant of, other members of the group and help to make the trip a memorable and positive experience for all riders

Yes, all our bicycle tours are in Canada. This includes all 10 provinces and 2 of our 3 territories. We would love to travel to the third territory, Nunavut, at some time in the future.

For a full listing of our tours please visit All Cycle Canada Tours.

Our Core Purpose

Cycle Canada tours are first and foremost bicycle rides. Cyclists come to our trips with the intention of completing the entire trip by bicycle. Typical daily distances are 100 km (about 60 miles). Our tours are for more experienced cyclists or for cyclists who are prepared to put in the training and preparation to reach this level of riding.

Vehicle Support

Each tour is accompanied by a motor vehicle and one or two staff. The vehicle carries the rider gear and the group equipment associated with that tour. Our staff do not ride on bicycles with the groups. We may have limited space in the support vehicle to assist participants on a short term basis if ill, injured or unable to ride due to mechanical failure.

We provide a tool kit which services standard bike maintainance. Our support staff are not mechanics and riders rely on bike shops or their own skills for bike repairs and maintenance. We will assist with locating shops.

Please refer to the chart on your right (for desktops or tablets) or below for an explanation of our rating codes.

Communication

Communication by phone or text is with head office or a supervisor. Riders are provided with a card that includes a toll free phone number and mobile numbers for phone or texting. Riders may also communciate with head office or supervisor via e-mail. Where assistance is required head office will endeavour to assist with the problem or contact support staff if needed. Support staff are not permitted to use mobile phones while driving and are not permitted to provide participants with their cell phone number.

But first, a note about fees

Our fees are quoted in Canadian dollars, per person, double occupancy (in most cases). Plus G.S.T. or H.S.T. (which varies from 5%-15%.)

Accommodation and Food

  • Pre-booked accommodation.
  • Where stays are indoors usually two to a room.
  • On camping trips there are some indoor stays and these can be motels, hostels and university residences. At a few locations we may be in dorm rooms. and a few locations the rooms are single
  • We can not guarantee ensuite washrooms as we often stay in remote locations or small towns where there are not sufficient accommodations of this type. Or they are not offered at the accommodation we choose.
  • Some single accommodation available at a suppemental cost.
  • Support staff to drive support vehicle and transfer bags.
  • Breakfast on riding days for all tours (except one day on the Century Ride)
  • Fruit and snacks at the start of the day's ride or on the truck
  • For all-indoor tours, one group dinner.
  • For camping tours dinner on riding nights.
  • We'll provide dinner suggestions on the other nights

Route Support

  • Trip Orientation
  • Daily maps and route instructions.
  • Head office toll free telephone and Skype assistance.
  • Support vehicle to carry your gear (note for Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii ferry, riders will need to walk bags and bikes on and off ferry).
  • On camping trips riders have individual storage shelves for gear.
  • Major ferry fees where included in the schedule.
  • CycleCanada water bottle, safety triangle to wear while riding.
  • Support staff, cook and driver for camping tours.
  • Tool kit on support vehicle.

There is a tax in addition to our fees that the Canadian governments require us to collect. This amount will vary from 5% to 15% for Canadian residents. For non-Canadian residents the rate is half that amount. The reason the rate varies is because rates vary across the country.

G.S.T. or H.S.T. is the same as what is known as VAT in other countries. GST stands for Goods and Services Tax and HST stands for Harmonized Sales Tax. Either GST or HST applies to our fees and this is calculated by the number of days our trip takes place in each province. The rates vary by trip because the rates in each province varies.

For example Rocky Mountain Loop takes place in Alberta so the tax rate for Canadians is 5% and non-Canadian residents it is 2.5%. For The Voyageur Route the rate is a blended rate of the Ontario tax of 13% and the Quebec tax of 5%. That rate is 7.667% (or half that for non-Canadians). These rates can change if the different governments wish, though this doesn't happen very often.

For all events except Tour du Canada, final payment is due 45 days before the start date of the trip. Please visit our policy page for more details including cancellation Policies

We create all our routes from scratch. Our focus is on developing quality cycling routes that explore interesting or scenic areas of the country. As much as possible, we choose quiet roads or paved trails. There are some situations where such options do not exist. In those cases we may be on busier roads but we do try to select roads with good shoulders. We also may route the trips for short streches on unpaved paths where no suitable alternative exists. Participants may also encounter construction or construction detours. For the most part we rely on local authorities for rerouting.

Route instructions include computer drawn maps and turn sheets in kilometres and miles. They include tourist information and co-ordinates for daily destinations. Detailed itineraries are provided to registered participants on a daily basis during the ride. An overview of the itinerary for each event is included on our website. We provide more details in the registration package.

Route maps, route instructions, itineraries and pre-registration material are the property of Cycle Canada, The Veloforce Corporation. They are not to be copied or transmitted electronically without our written permission. They are for the use of the registered rider in connection with the tour.

We do not provide GPS data. Digital map formats do not have reliable methods to communicate caution notes that are a standard component of our printed maps.

We provide daily route sheets and/or maps for cyclists on our events. These are provided the night before the day's ride. We do not provide the route instructions in advance of the tour. Route sheets are for the use only of the participant on the tour. Please read our legal statement

Accommodation

Accommodations are selected based on the route of our tour and we select the most comfortable and convenient alternative, taking into account the needs of a cyclist. We offer one week trips with all indoor accommodation and longer trips with mostly camping and some indoor stays. For all accommodation types, washroom facilities may be shared.

Accommodation — Camping

On tours with camping accomodation, facilities include private campgrounds, provincial or federal parks and in some cases special arrangements with community groups. We look for camping accommodation with hot showers but that may not be possible in some remote locations. Riders bring their own bedrolls, tents, eating utensils and plates/bowls/mugs. We have a limited number of tents for rental for the duration of a trip (conditions apply).

For camping trips with some indoor stays we may need to have mixed gender arrangements where we have university, hostel or ferry cabin accommodations.

Accommodation — Indoor

On tours with all indoor accommodation, rooms are provided on the night of the last riding day except Great Spirit Ride and Simcoe Circle. Arrangements vary for accommodation on the night before the first riding day. Fees are based on double accommodation. Single accommodation is available for an additional fee. Where we do not have a match for a solo riders with someone of the same gender, we will assess a single supplement at the time of registration. If we are able to find a partner, the single supplement will be refunded.

Where fees are based on double accommodation, we reserve the right to put three to a room if we have an odd number of either gender, though this is rare and generally only applies on tours with mostly camping. With two to a room we try to get two similar beds. Occasionaly that is not possible and the second bed may be a pull-out couch.

Meals — Camping

On camping trips, breakfasts and dinners are provided on riding days where we camp and on final riding days where we stay indoors. Staff prepare meals from our mobile galley except that Tour du Canada riders share in galley duty. Meal plans stress a high-carbohydrate diet that active people need. We make every effort to accommodate vegetarians. Riders make their own arrangements for lunches on riding days and meals on rest days. Tour du Canada is a special situation. We provide fruit and snacks to carry on your bike.

Meals — Indoors

On indoor trips, we provide breakfasts on riding days. Riders on indoor trips make their own arrangements for lunches and dinners, except that we provide one group dinner during the ride. We provide a list of suggestions near our accommodations. We provide fruit and snacks to carry on your bike and the truck generally stops mid day on each riding day to offer snacks.

When riding, you only carry what you need for the day — typically that means munchies, camera, wallet, phone, on-the-road tool kit and a rain shell or other clothes for possible weather changes.

We plan our routes on paved roads or trails with the exception of Tour Arctic, where there are unpaved sections. These roads are not closed to motor traffic. We chose quiet side roads as much as possible or where there is no choice we look for roads with wide paved shoulders. In some cases we provide alternatives of unpaved trails or gravel shoulders where the only option is a busy road with limited or no paved shoulders. There may be construction on the route.

As a general rule we do not sign our routes, the exception is of our 2 day century ride where we place route arrows on the ground at turns. We provide route instructions with turns indicated in kilometres and miles. The sheets include drawn maps, tourist information, destination co-ordinates and other important information.

We will transport bike boxes that fold flat but not bulky bike boxes. Fees for oversize luggage may apply. For hard shell or soft shell cases you can make arrangements to ship them to the final destination. We will assist with information on how to arrange this.

We recommend a touring bike for our tours. Butpeople have ridden our tours on all sorts of bikes. Folding bikes, tandems, recumbents, road bikes and even a single speed (for Tour Arctic!). We have couple of articles online that are worth reading: Choosing a Bike and Don't Get Hung up on Your Hanger

We can direct you to sources for bike rentals. People generally prefer to bring their own bikes, particularly for our expedition rides. But we'll pass on the contact information we have for such services. If renting you may wish to bring your own pedals that suit your cycling shoes and saddle for comfort. We will have tools to help with the change. When booking your rental ask what extras come with the rental, eg racks, odometres, bottle cages, spare tubes, pump etc. You may then request these if not provided as a standard or bring your own. Generally you will need to bring your own helmet.

If you are joining us from outside Canada please give yourself enough time to investigate and obtain the travel documents you need to enter Canada. This will include a passport and may include a visa. The embassy or consul general that serves your community will help with this. A reminder to Americans that you now need a valid passport to enter Canada (and to return home). Please visit Crossing Borders for some notes on travelling across borders on or with a bike.

On the road, cyclists are required to identify themselves if requested so by authorities. Since not all cyclists drive you are not required to produce a drivers licence. We encourage cyclists to be as co-operative as they can be with public authorities.

Cycle Canada recommends insurance when taking one of our trips. This can include — cancellation, travel, health, personal possession or other coverage. Today, it's standard for people to have some form of insurance whether it be household, automotive or health. We suggest you contact your provider to receive advice on different options and providers for such insurance. Our cancellation policy can be found here: Cancellation Policy and waiver can be found on our registration form: Cycle Canada Waiver.

People come to our trips from all over the world and arrive at a variety of times and dates so it's not practical for us to arrange airport pickups. Airports, train and bus terminals are well served by taxi and regional buses. In Canada, airports generally will have van taxis that can transport bikes since they are used to transporting lugggage.

The Taxi Fare Estimator provides estimated costs. Just enter the name of the city and "airport", eg Ottawa Airport and the location where we stay, or just the city and downtown, eg Ottawa Downtown. That will give you an idea of the fare.

Our expertise is planning bicycle trips. We are not experts on arrangements for travel to the start or from the finish'. People come to our trips from all over the world and get there in a variety of ways. We can tell you what our experience has been but our knowledge is not comprehensive.

We recommend that riders do their your own research because they are the experts in their needs. Where we think we can make a practical contribution to that process we are pleased to pass on suggestions. If your needs are complex, you may wish to consult a travel agent.

On some of our one week trips, where most participants follow a similar schedule to return to a trip start point, we offer options for return passenger travel by commercial bus or train. In those special situations we also include return bike transport. In addition, we may transport bikes back to the start as a separate option where bus or trains transport is not available. These options only apply where commercial bus or train transport is readily available.

Our policy is that if you contact us with your name, address and any other personal information, we will not sell, rent, trade, "partner" or distribute that information to any third party, except where required by law or as authorized by you. We send out e-mail newsletters a few times a year - we'd like to send out more because they are fun to make!

Please feel free to contact us at sweep@cyclecanada.com. We try to respond as quickly as possible and generally within 24 hours. You could also look at our Policies Page which contains other terms and conditions for our rides.

Challenge Level

  • Leisurely Tours with average daily distance of 48-56km (30-35mi). Total distance in 5 days of riding is 240-290km (150-180mi). 5-6 days riding. Terrain is not hilly. Accommodation for these tours is all indoors.
  • Vacation Tours 84-110km (52-62mi), total distance is 335-670km (210-415mi.). Mostly gentle to rolling terrain, some trips have 1 or 2 days of climbing. Accommodation for these tours is all indoors
  • Expedition Tours with average daily distances of 106-113km (66-70mi). Total trip distance is 880-1385km (545-855mi). Terrain can be hilly and very challenging, sometimes in remote areas. Accommodation for these tours is camping with some indoor stays
  • Cross Canada Tours with average daily distances of 112-127km (69-79mi). Total trip distances 880-3140km (545-1940mi). Terrain can be hilly and very challenging, sometimes in remote areas. Accommodation for these tours is camping with some indoor stays