Whatever your passion, there will always be a place in the world where your dreams could become true. For instance, classical music lovers should go to La Scala Theatre in Milan, while rugby fans need to visit Twickenham, and surfers should choose Huntington in California or Byron Bay in Australia. But where’s the reference place for cyclists?
CYCLISTS PARADISE: the longest cycle path in the world
It’s in Canada. Its construction began in 1992 and was sponsored by the Canadian government: the Trans Canada Trail is an impressive originary route which was transformed in almost 14,000 miles of cycle paths from the east to the west Canadian coast, then going north, towards the Arctic Ocean. Due to its high cost, lots of private and public donations were used, for a route that, as you will read, becomes a cross-country skiing path in winter.
# The Trans Canada Trail
On the path, you can find many abandoned railtracks. Over time, those tracks were used to reconvert fields, hills and every land they met in a flat-connecting road crossing wonderful places: an unmissable chance to revitalize an old environment by developing an environmental-friendly and useful route. That’s why both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways decided to donate these tracks to build a bicycle paradise, and also many sport associations actively took part in this deal.
# The Path
Being made, as we said, of old roads and tracks, it’s easy to understand that cyclists can admire the great Canadian lakes close to the border with the United States, as well as nice villages and main cities crossed by the path: more than 15,000 tourist hotspots. The only problem is that, as at today, not all the path has been completed and small sections are still interrupted.
Everyone knows that Canada is a huge country, although most of the residents – 80% to be precise – live near big cities. This means that the majority of Canadians are close to or, better, no more than 30 minutes’ walk away from the route. The funny and tricky part of the Trans Canada Trail is its unspoiled nature. In fact, during the ride you can meet a lot of animals, like the much-feared Grizzly, but also bisons and lynxes. Such a deep wild trip into the nature!
# Route management
There’s an association born to preserve and mantain the path in the best possible conditions, but there is also a small army of volunteers ready to fix little problems and capable of taking extraordinary actions, including first-aid interventions, managing ice dangers in winter and fire prevention in summer. An incredibile efficiency all round. As you can expect, the Trans Canada Trail is open depending on the weather, which in Canada could be very very underrated. Talking about experts, you can see people riding everything from bycycles to skateboards, but also horses, ice skates and dog sleds. A choice for every season.
# Useful information
To ride throughout the Trans Canada Trail you have to reach the starting point, located in Terranova Island, then jump on a ferry in the region of Nova Scotia. Along the path, you can taste local food, just like car and truck drivers can do on the historical route 66 in the US. Seafood, special cakes, giant steakes and a lot more. And don’t forget that in Canada one should be fluent both in English and in French, even if most of the people who migrated to Canada over the centuries are originally from all over the world. Life is not that cheap and, as mentioned before, you could experience very warm springs and summers and terribly freezing winters. In addition, in these months, the Canadian government is still enforcing some restrictions due to the ever-changing situation of the the Covid 19 pandemic.
# Keep training!
Despite the fact that the Trail is mainly flat, because of its length it is advisable that you have a basic bicycle training and (of course) a massive amount of air in your lungs. And if you were to meet some of the animals mentioned above, the secret is: fear not! Nature becomes aggressive only when humans are aggressive first, and the Trans Canada Rail is not a place for hunting or fighting. It’s a dream place where one can enjoy wonderful landscapes and enjoy the longest bicycle ride ever. In perfect harmony and peace with your body and mind.
(Original article by Roberto Binaghi)