Bicycle Image

Dave's Cross-Canada Bike Trip

In 1984 I took a summer off and bicycled across Canada. I didn't take a very direct route, because I wanted to see a few things, so I ended up pedalling 10,778 km. It took 102 days.

I raised about $10,000 for an aid organization called CUSO and a few hundred more for a group called Project Ploughshares. That's about what the trip cost me in cash and lost earnings. It wasn't a stunning success, but it probably raised more awareness than if I had just donated the money out of my own pocket.

I travelled solo, camping half the time and staying with friends or CUSO/Ploughshares contacts the other half. The toughest aspect was not the physical part (though that had its moments) but rather the intense pressure of needing to be totally self-sufficient. That was before the days of cheap cellular phones. If anything serious had happened to me on a lonely stretch of highway, I could have very quickly got in major difficulties.

I dithered a bit about what to post about my bike trip, and finally decided to dig out my old trip journal and type it in. I have never re-read that journal since it was written, believe it or not, so this is going to be an adventure for all of us.

I rode through all ten of Canada's provinces, in the order shown below. You can start where you want:

I've also posted a few images:

Some readers have asked for a list of what I took with me.  It took me a while to find it in my stuff (this was over 12 years ago, after all), but I have now done so.  If you're planning a major solo bike trip, you might find it interesting.

I hope to add some more text later, enriching the material covered in the diary. As I read through it, a lot of memories came to me that aren't written down yet. I'll be adding them as I do them.


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Last Updated: 26 Aug 2000
WebMaster: Dave Shipley urbship@magma.ca
© Copyright 1996, 1997 David Urban Shipley