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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maine mountains
    Posts
    109

    bike tour in Banff Jasper area

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    I am thinking about joining an organized road bike tour in the Canadian Rockies, specifically the Banff..Jasper area. Any suggestions on tour groups any of you have gone with and liked (or not). Intermediate level is about what I am after, getting a lift over the big climbs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    North Andover, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    1,643
    Quote Originally Posted by oldbikah
    I am thinking about joining an organized road bike tour in the Canadian Rockies, specifically the Banff..Jasper area. Any suggestions on tour groups any of you have gone with and liked (or not).
    Before I jumped into the world of self-contained (unsupported) touring, I spent about 10 years happily going on supported tours. My first solo tour was back in 1998, and I was nervous enough about jumping into a month-long tour by myself that I arranged a safety net at the end of the tour. The first 3 weeks were on my own, but for the last week I joined a Backroads tour of the Canadian Rockies - from Banff to Jasper. You can read about my experience on the Backroads portion of that trip by checking out the last week's pages of my journal denise1998rockies.crazyguyonabike.com. Days 23 to 28 were the Backroads-supported part of the tour.

    In my experience, Backroads is a premier touring company. I've done both their inn trips and camping trips, but as noted above, my experience with them is a little dated since I've mainly switched to touring on my own. In my supported touring days, most of my tours were Backroads tours. (My count may be off, but with little effort I can list 8 Backroads trips that I took.) I did take 2 trips with 2 other touring companies - my 1988/89 tour of the South Island of New Zealand was with New Zealand Pedaltours (OK, but not even close to Backroads quality) and my tour of Oregon (including Crater Lake) was with Bicycle Adventures (I didn't like this tour operator...).

    There are a lot of companies that run tours in the Canadian Rockies. Questions for you:
    --- Camping or inns? Do you have a price-point that you are looking for?
    --- do you want this to be a biking only trip, or do you want to do some hiking too?
    --- do you want to stick to just Banff to Jasper (Icefields Parkway) or do you want to also attempt to get to Yoho or Kootenay (on the BC side of the mountains) or would you like to add on part of Kananaskis Country?

    If you've narrowed your choices down to a couple of touring companies and aren't sure which to go with - don't hesitate to ask the tour operators for references. Of course no one would give you contacts who would give a bad reference, but it still would be interesting to compare the reactions of different people.

    If you have other specific questions I'd be happy to try to answer them (based on my own experience, of course).

    Happy trip planning!
    --- Denise
    Last edited by DeniseGoldberg; 05-01-2005 at 08:09 AM.
    www.denisegoldberg.com

    • Click here for links to journals and photo galleries from my travels on two wheels and two feet.
    • Random thoughts and experiences in my blog at denisegoldberg.blogspot.com


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Maine mountains
    Posts
    109

    Banff Jasper

    Thanks for your extended reply. I read your journal entries and loved your reflections and and descriptions. About 18 mos. ago, I went with Vermont Bike Tours to New Zealand and had a great time, but have no other group to compare since that was my only tour. I definately do not want to do self-supported, not because I don't think it would be fun (and it would fit my outlook...I did it in Europe but when I was a LOT younger) but because I am not capable of hauling all that around at this stage of my life (age 62). I will study some of the possibilities off the Icefields Parkway and try to figure out which group best suits what I want to do.

 

 

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