A Bike Tour in the Maritimes

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick - Canada
July - August, 1999

New Glasgow, PEI

I had grown up in the Maritime Provinces but hadn't been back, even for a visit, in twenty years. I knew it was a beautiful place to cycle and I wanted to see some of the places I had grown up in, but there was a certain ambivalence about the whole idea too. The idea of doing a trip by bicycle seemed to be a good way to revisit the past while keeping my mind and body firmly in the present.

I had three weeks, so I spent some time devising a route that would take me to the places I wanted to visit, as well as providing a good overall tour.

The route I settled on started in Halifax NS, and headed northeast through central Nova Scotia to Caribou on the Northumberland Strait for the short ferry to Prince Edward Island.

the old high school, Lunenburg NS


After a few days in PEI, stopping in Charlottetown and Cavendish, I would take the new Confederation Bridge to New Brunswick and head southwest to Saint John stopping in Rothesay, a small town just outside the city, where we lived till I was ten.

From Saint John I would cross the Bay of Fundy to Digby, Nova Scotia, and cycle south across the width of the province to Lunenburg, where I went to high school. From Lunenburg it would be only a short ride back to Halifax, where I spent my (extended) university career.

The total distance was about 1400 km, about right for a three week tour, allowing plenty of time for stops.

I made the plane reservations for Monday, 26 July, 1999, and arranged for a friend to look after the house while I was away.

Hampton, NB


Day 1 - Monday, 26 July 1999

Vancouver, BC to Elmsdale, NS

My friend Lubo arrived from Nelson on Sunday night to look after the house & cats. He had some work in Vancouver for a few weeks, and the timing worked out perfectly for both of us. On Monday morning at 10 am I took a taxi to the airport for the noon flight to Halifax. At the airport I had to pay a C$65 surcharge for the bike - one way. On international flights bikes are free, but on domestic flights they charge. I'm sure there's a logical explanation...maybe something to do with competition.

The extra money certainly didn't go into food. The flight went via Toronto with a 60 minute stopover, and I arrived in Halifax just before midnight, not having eaten since lunch. Since the flight from Vancouver arrived in Toronto just before 6 pm and the flight to Halifax left at 7 pm, no food was served on either flight! The flight attendant took pity on me and gave me two bags of peanuts.

I had reserved a room at a B&B (Forevergreen House / C$50 incl tax) in Elmsdale, not far from the airport, by phone a few days earlier, and the owner had offered to pick me up when she found out I was traveling by bike. She arrived right on time, and I was in bed by 1 am (9 pm Vancouver time).

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