Farewell Canada: Cycling Canada to Argentina

cycling Canada to Argentina

After spending almost 6 months in Halifax, I couldn’t believe the time to leave had finally arrived. From Halifax we were starting the next leg of our world cycle tour: cycling Canada to Argentina!

Being a Haligonian!

When Michael and I arrived in Halifax we had good intentions of maintaining our level of fitness – yeah, that last about a day! With me working in a chocolate shop and constantly getting free chocolate, as well as it being freezing cold and there being so many craft breweries to try out, there was little (read “none”) fitness going on.

Come spring we were two relatively unfit cyclists, ready to hit the road and start cycling Canada to Argentina. Unsurprisingly, we felt the consequences! My butt hurt, my thighs hurt, my arms hurt, even my back hurt – and we were struggling along doing almost half the pre-Halifax cycle distance. Admittedly, it wasn’t just down to our lack of fitness or the extra shit we were hauling along – the weather also had a large part to play in our lack of kilometres.

Goodbye Haifax

When the day finally arrived to leave Halifax, it was snowing and not just a little bit. There was still a tonne of icy snow of the floor that had yet to melt and it was bloody freezing! I’d never cycled in the snow before, and to tell you the truth, I was slightly excited about the thought of it. The novelty soon wore off – about 10 minutes later.

We cycled for 2 hours in the snow and finally stopped in at a Tim Hortons to warm up. Eventually the snow eased and we were back on our way.

cycling Canada to Argentina
Snow cycling in Nova Scotia! And they call this Spring???

Cold nights and friendly people

Our plan for the first night was to camp at a provincial park in chester, however when we arrived it was still closed for the season. It was supposed to drop down to -7 degrees Celsius overnight, and we were already shivering and it wasn’t even sunset yet. Would we freeze to death overnight? Luckily, we never had to find out.

While we were contemplating our sanity and deciding whether to set up camp in the provincial park,  Joan and Rob (two friendly locals) spotted us, and took pity on us. They invited us in, gave us a warm place to stay, and fed us some amazing food. We got to spend the evening sharing some stories – which was much more enjoyable than shivering away in the tent. I’m forever grateful that we never had to discover just how cold camping in -7 degrees Celsius is.

Keji National Park

From Chester we headed to New Germany, then onto Keji National Park. The cold weather and snow hung around, but at least the sun was out… well for a couple of days at least.

When we arrived at Keji, the visitor center had already closed and the rangers had left for the day. Lost for what to do, we decided to head into the park to Mills Falls and camp in the emergency shelter. It was still extremely cold, even with the wood fire we got cranked.

Overnight, there was freezing rain, crazy winds and more snow. The snow continued on into the morning, so we decided to stay in the shelter to wait it out. After lunch the freezing rain had turned to light snow, and we decided it was time to make a move.

To get to Mill Falls we had to ride down a dirt road – overnight this dirt road got covered in snow. We had the fun job of pushing/ riding out in the snow – which I actually found quite enjoyable, though it was quite slow going. Luckily we discovered that all other roads had been cleared, and it turned into quite an enjoyable ride to the Bay of Fundy.

From Keji, we had originally planned to make it to New Brunswick via the Digby ferry, the same day. The snow and bad weather slowed us down, and we only made it as far as Annapolis Royal. Stuck for what to do, we did what any normal person would do and headed to the pub. This turned out to be a great idea, as at the pub with met Brian, who came to the rescue and invited us to stay at his place. Perfect – this meant a good night sleep and time to explore the town in the morning.

cycling Canada to Argentina
Snow cycling in Keji! I did cycle some of it… well the downhill parts anyway.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Eventually we did make it to Saint John, New Brunswick. We only had a short cycle day to get to Saint John, but I was totally shattered on the ferry and slept most of the way. Once we did arrive, it was already dark. It turned out that the ferry port is 5km outside of town. After much confusion we eventually made it to our warmshowers hosts’ apartment – it only took us a shocking 45 minutes (I have no idea how I managed that).

We spent two nights in Saint John – awesome city! I was delighted to have a day off the bike – the cycling was really taking out of me. It was clear that my fitness was not what it was 6 months earlier.

More cold weather

After resting for the day, we were (semi) ready to hit the road again! From Saint John we got on the highway to the border. A crazy headwind and cold rains greeted us. This slowed us down, and instead of making it to the border town, we only made it as far as Saint George. Soaking wet and freezing cold we decided to book into a cheap hotel.

One thing about riding in the freezing cold, it’s just about manageable, until you stop riding! I have no idea how the long distance winter cyclists do it! What about breaks and stopping for lunch when there is no shelter, not even a gas station? We stopped for a minute at a time to eat some food, but there was no way we were stopping for longer than that. It was way too cold! This was probably one of the coldest and most miserable days we’ve cycled in the Americas – it was not fun! Luckily the hotel was pretty nice and the hot shower was one of the best of my life.

Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Headwinds are the worst things in the world – no joke!

We woke up to sun – and another headwind! But, it didn’t matter because it was about 10 degrees warmer, so I was happy. We continued on the highway to Saint Stephen, dropped into the Superstore to spend the last of our Canadian coins, and then crossed into the USA – with surprisingly little hassle!

So after spending the best part of 2 years in Canada, it was finally time to say farewell! I don’t think we could ever repay the kindness we experienced during our time in Canada – it truly is an amazing country (despite it’s cold winters) and we will definitely miss it!

We were finally on our next leg on the trip, cycling Canada to Argentina. Woohoo!

Liked this video about cycling Canada to Argentina? Check out more of our cycle videos here!

THERM-A-REST EVOLITE SLEEPING PAD (regular size): Gear Review


SPECS: Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad

Weight; 520gms

Dimensions; Length 183cm, Width 51cm, Thickness 5cm

Packed size; 23cm x 13cm

Price paid; $152


• Very comfortable.
• Nice and warm.
• Small packed size for a full length mat.
• Very thick when inflated.


• Expensive.
• Problem with outer material separating from inner causing a huge bubble to form making it unusable to use.
• Seemed to get dirty very easily.

Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad
The Therm-A-Rest when it first began to develop a bubble


On our last cycle trip from France to China we had purchased the cheapest (and sometimes only) gear available to us and ended up with tiny three quarter length inflatable mats that didn’t really offer any barrier against the cold coming up through the ground, particularly on our legs which hung over and rested directly on the tent floor.
We started of our trip across Canada with these same mats, but decided after the Rockies we needed some more warmth and comfort so picked up the Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad in Calgary to give our tenty home some cushiony luxury and warmth!


The Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad ticked all the boxes for us. Packed up small enough to not take up much space in our panniers, insulated to keep our body heat being sucked out through the chilly Canadian earth and long enough too fully spread out and get some actual sleep on!

These pads taper away towards the feet but just enough to shave more weight off without sacrificing comfort. The cushiony ripples along the pad are nice and squishy provide plenty of comfort, 5 cm thickness means when sleeping on your side you don’t feel like your shoulders are sinking into the tent floor.

You can see where the two padded ridges have joined up to form a bubble


The Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad seemed very well made and feel nice and rip resistant, I felt confident about putting them down directly on the ground if needed while setting up the tent without fear of a twig or rock popping them and the seams all look nicely sealed around the valve.

Everything was going great…until Prince Edward Island when I noticed the gap between two of the raised ridges in the pad had disappeared and the two ridges had joined together. I though ‘oh well, not a problem, as long as it doesn’t get any worse…” Unfortunately it did get worse, a lot worse. Once the outer layer had started peeling away and joining up the ridges, there was no stopping it from coming away further every time I inflated it.

It was developing a rapidly growing ‘bubble’ in the pad around where my shoulders rest making it very hard to sleep on. If I took my body weight off the pad you could actually hear the outer layer peeling away and eventually making a loud popping sounds the bubble grew larger and larger like some heavily pregnant orange alien. You can’t sleep on a pregnant alien, everyone knows this.

Giant blister! Not much fun in the old shoulder blades!

In the end the bubble expanded to the very top of the pad making it impossible to use and actually played a part in our decision to cut the trip shorter than originally intended, as I was exhausted from lack of sleep. After reading more reviews online I discovered I was not alone and this seemed to be a common occurrence and fatal design flaw in this otherwise solid piece of equipment.


So close yet so far. I loved the comfort, packed size and weight of the Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad, but I didn’t like the gigantic spine melting bubble that formed. If it hadn’t have had this issue I would have gladly called this my bed for the rest of our round the world adventures, but alas, it was screwed. We ended up returning both our pads (Kelly’s was fine but feared the same thing would happen eventually) to MEC where we purchased them from and settled on the more tried and tested Therm-a-Rest ProLite Plus Mattress instead as no reviews mentioned anything similar happening.

The Therm-a-rest Evolite sleeping pad gets 2.5 out of 5 for the major faults and discomfort it caused me. (Amazon/ Our Gear List)

Enjoyed this gear review? Check out a few other gear reviews.



SPECS: MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent

Weight: 1.72kg (3lbs 13 oz.)

Dimensions: 1.27m x 2.13m total internal floor area of 2.7sqm

Price paid: $437 from MEC

Packed dimensions: 46cm x 15cm


• Very spacious inside for two people with gear.
• Superlight weight and packs down very small.
• Sets up extremely quickly with option of inner first pitching which is handy if it’s raining!
• Freestanding so doesn’t need to be staked out if set up on concrete.
• Well ventilated, no condensation issues.
• Sturdy in high winds.
• Quick and easy to take down and pack into wide opening compression bag (included).


• Expensive.
• Material is highly waterproof but feels thin and slightly fragile like it could tear easily.
• Two of our stakes snapped.
• Floor inside the tent was always slightly damp in the morning despite using the footprint.
• Cross pole on the top of the tent started to bend out of shape.


MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent
Plenty of space for two peoples panniers in the vestibules. Prince Edward Island.


We purchased this tent in 2015 before doing the multi day ‘West coast trail’ hike on Vancouver island with the intention of also using it for our round the world cycle trip. The major appeal of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent for me was it’s tiny packed size, weight and excellent livable space inside so we wouldn’t feel cramped up after months at a time living in it while riding.

I love this tent, the design, the space inside and out and I wanted this to be our home for a long time, unfortunately it just didn’t seem to last and after 4 months cycling from Vancouver to Halifax we decided it wasn’t up for a round the world trip so we ended up returning it to the store we purchased it from.

MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent
Lake Superior, having a freestanding tent helps when you can’t stake it out in beach sand!


The design and layout of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent is extremely well thought out and works beautifully. You have a huge amount of floor space for such a lightweight tent, but the big bonus of this baby is the incredible amount of headroom and a feeling of space all around you due to the ingenious vertical sidewalls that the pole set up creates.

Many lightweight tents feel cramped and claustrophobic inside, but MSR managed to make the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent feel like a mansion! We tried out several tents before purchasing this and have tried out many since to replace it, none of which felt as roomy. Several of the tents I tried were actually larger on paper, but when I got inside my feet touched one end and my head touched the other due to a classic ‘dome’ style slanting design as opposed to the Hubba Hubba’s vertical walls. I’m 6”1 and can comfortably lay down in the Hubba Hubba with a little bit of space at my feet for a small bag and we have a nice amount of room either side of us to not to feel like we’re fighting with each other for room.

Kayaking in Deep Cove B.C

The single pole deign is very clever with a central hub connecting a cross pole in the centre to give you plenty of head room and extra stability with another hub each end for the vertical side wall pole pieces to pop into. The poles are made of DAC featherlite aluminum and easily connect with each other and are super easy for one person to connect together by themselves. After you’ve put it up a few times you’ll have this bad boy fully set up in 5-10 minutes…less if it’s raining and you’re cold!

There’s plenty of mesh on the inner tent so it feels nice and airy but still enough material to keep in warmth on chilly nights. Each end of the tent has added ‘kickstand’ opening for added ventilation and to achieve a cross breeze in warmer weather.

The large D shaped doors on either side are easy to get in and out of and have plenty of clearance from the ground so water shouldn’t splash in if you’re making a dash back in to the tent in the rain. Also has built in rain gutters that channel water away from the zips so you don’t end up getting drenched when you unzip the fly.

The two vestibules either side of the tent offers enough room for all of our panniers and would be plenty of space if you were using it for hiking packs. There isn’t a porch or enough room to safely cook in the vestibules, but definitely ample space for your gear.

There are two mesh pockets at either end of the tent to store bits and pieces, would have perhaps been better having the pockets on the sides instead of the ends so you don’t lose any length when the pockets are full.


The fly of the tent is made of 20 denier ripstop nylon rated to 1200mm waterproofness while the floor is made of 30 denier ripstop rated to 3000mm. we never had any issues with rain getting into the tent through the roof, but the floor always felt damp no matter how or where we set it up even using the MSR footprint purchased separately.

In order to achieve the impressively light weight, obviously lighter materials have to be used. For me the floor just feels a little bit too thin to inspire confidence and we were always slightly worried about accidentally ripping it. No rips or tears ever did occur in the tent, but no matter how it was set up I always woke up with a wet sleeping bag from the floor.

The plastic hooks used to attach the inner tent to the poles feel very sturdy and I doubt they would ever break unless you stood on them pretty hard and crushed them.

The DAC poles are crazy light, but feel very solid and kept the tent rigid and upright even in strong winds, unfortunately the crossbeam pole in the centre of our tent had begun to bend out of shape pretty badly causing a slight sag in the top of the tent. I don’t know if it would have ever actually snapped, but after 4 months on the road with another 4-5 years ahead of us, we didn’t want to take that risk.

The ‘mini groundhog’ stakes that come included with the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent  are super lightweight and work very well, but unfortunately the heads snapped off three of ours within the space of a few weeks so they definitely lose points there!

The included compression bag is a killer design making packing it away super quick and easy with two compression straps and a string and toggle to squeeze it all together nice and compact. Our bag had developed several small holes on the ends that concerned me; the bag appears to be made of the same material as the tent and if it developed holes that quickly then it might not be a good sign for the tent itself. I could be being a little unfair here as these holes did develop when doing the west coast trail which was pretty wild and rugged hiking where the bag probably took a bit of a beating on the outside of my pack.

mSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent
Camping in Jasper letting the fly dry out before fully setting the tent up.


I loved the SR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent . I wanted this tent to be with us forever, but in the end I think it was more suited to hiking and camping rather than a near permanent home that we were trying to make it cycle touring.

Design wise, there is very little I would change about this tent, for two people it hits that sweet spot between having enough space inside and not taking up a crazy amount of room to set up. When wild camping this can be a fairly important factor for choosing a tent as we tend to find ourselves setting up in a random tiny sliver of grass behind a bush on a backroad somewhere so a massive tent that requires a lot of space can be a drawback.

It’s packed size is truly impressive and fit perfectly on my front rack without the need to split the tent up or share the load by one of us taking the poles etc.

In the end the frustration at the leaky floor and our uneasiness with the bent pole made us decide to return the tent while still could taking advantage of Canadian outdoor store MEC’s excellent return policy.

To replace this tent was a tough decision as every other tent we tried after this paled in comparison. In the end we opted for another MSR tent, the Elixir 2 as it is extremely similar in design to the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent, only made of heavier thicker materials. The weight difference is fairly significant (over a kilogram) and it doesn’t pack down as small, but we are hoping that the thicker materials make it longer lasting so we can enjoy our home for years to come on the road! When we’ve actually started using the tent I will post a review of the Elixir 2.

I give the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent a 3 out of 5.

In many ways the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 Person Tent is my dream tent and it would have scored higher if not for the durability issues we had. Amazing tent for weekend cycle trips and hikes, but perhaps just not up to the rigors of long term cycle touring. (Amazon/ Our Gear List)

Enjoyed this gear review? Check out a few others, the Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front RackEVO Low Rider Fork Mounted Front Rack and the BRODIE CIRCUIT 2015 Touring Bike.

BRODIE CIRCUIT 2015 Touring Bike: Gear Review



Weight; 12.97 kg (28.6 pounds)

Material; 4130-butted Chromoly steel

Brakes; Hayes MX5 mechanical disc brakes

Rims; Alex TD-17

Front Derailleur; Shimano Altus

Rear Derailleur; Shimano Claris

Cranks; Shimano Acera 28/38/48T

Cassette; Shimano Acera 11-30T

Shifters; Shimano bar end 8 speed

Hubs; Shimano M475 / Formula

Size; XL (60cm)

Price paid; $850 Canadian dollars, no tax paid! RRP was $1120+tax so I scored a bargain as it was the previous years model and I bought it from outside Canada I didn’t have to pay tax. Woohoo!

Michael's new touring bike, new touring bikes

Note: I am pretty clueless about technical bike stuff so I have no idea what any of the specs mean, so this review will just be pretty basic about what I like and don’t like about my new baby!


  • Outstanding price for a Chromo touring bike with disc brakes.
  • Nice upright position, good stem angle.
  • Wide drop bars giving plenty of hand positions.
  • Brakes feel solid and dependable when fully loaded.
  • Looks like a sexy old school classic tourer.
  • Bar end shifters kick ass!
  • Rims take up to 38c tires.
  • Mid blade fork braze ons for front rack / fenders.
  • Three bottle cage spots.
  • 24 speed.


  • Slightly wobbly fully loaded (but this was EXTREMELY fully loaded at the start of trip before I got rid of excess crap).
  • Although it can take 38c tires it gets pretty tight with fenders.
  • Paint seems to scratch very easily, cables on head tube rubbed the paint on the logo completely off.
  • Snapped two gear cables and the chain in 4 months, never had any problems like that on our previous trip with cheap hybrid bikes in worse conditions.
Lots of space for water bottles on a 60cm frame! Lake Superior.


Our previous cycle tour from France to China had been done on a pair of second hand ex rental Trek hybrids that were too small for me and too large for Kelly. So this time I was determined to get bikes that were more up for the task of riding around the world! I had my heart set on a steel framed tourer this time as we would be travelling in so many different conditions that I figured the sturdiness and durability of steel made sense.

I researched the options for buying touring bikes at home in Perth, Western Australia, but our options were fairly limited, more expensive and when you add in the cost and hassle of transporting them to Canada by plane it made more sense to buy bikes in Vancouver at the start of our trip.

I researched as many bike shops as possible in Vancouver contacting a whole bunch and ended up being offered the bargain price on the Brodie Circuit 2015 with the added bonus of not having to pay tax as the purchase was made outside Canada. Kelly’s original bike was a Norco Search from the same shop, but this didn’t work out as I think has been covered in previous posts and she ended up getting the 2016 flat bar model of the Brodie Circuit that I’ll cover in a separate post.


The Brodie Circuit 2015 was exactly the bike I’d been hoping for with my limited funds! I spent hours staring at the pictures on the Brodie website and from the bike shop, but it is still a bit nerve racking purchasing a bike that you intend to ride around the globe without ever actually trying it out first!

I was thrilled to finally see it up close in the shop and over the moon to find that it was actually a good fit for me! I was in love.

The angle of the stem puts you in a nice upright position for long days in the saddle and the nice wide drop bars means you have a fair amount of space for a handlebar bag without losing hand positions.

The curve and length of the drops are excellent making it nice and comfortable cruising along in the drops without feeling like you’re hunched over too much.

Finally having a bike large enough for me felt great, everything just felt right. The bonus of having a 60cm frame is plenty of room for water bottles! One design flaw for me was the placement of the main bottle cage on the seat stay, using a standard top release aluminum cage; the cage actually interfered with the shifting of the front derailleur. I remedied this easily by bending the cage slightly, but the cage mounts could have perhaps been placed slightly higher on the frame to avoid this interference.

Front and rear facing eyelets on both the fork and rear give multiple rack set up options along with mid blade braze ons on the fork giving added mounting versatility.

It rides beautifully. I hadn’t owned a steel framed bike before and could definitely notice the difference in handling particularly on bumpy roads, the steel seemed to keep me a bit more stable and jarred less when hitting rough patches.

I never felt like I’d run out of gears on this bike, even in the Rockies I felt 24 was enough to get me up the steep passes, I also like that an 8 speed chain and cassette is relatively easy to get a hold of when in random spots around the world.

Can’t comment too much on the stock saddle and tires (Brodie saddle and Kenda Kwest 35) as I swapped them out straight away for my brooks B67 and our Schwalbe marathons, but the saddle did seem decent to be fair.

BRODIE CIRCUIT 2015 gear review
Racked up and waiting for the next adventure!!

It looks sextacular. I will not lie. I have a total man crush on my bike. The dark grey paint job with white Brodie logo looks great and gives it an old school charm. While it looks like a classic road tourer, it actually handles light off road and rocky tracks like a beast too!


The Brodie circuit 2015 feels like a serious touring bike when you hop on. The weight of the bike and the beautiful neat welds inspired confidence in my shiny new machine from the first meeting!

The Alex rims took a fair amount of punishment on some of the rougher cycle trails we chose to take and came out unscathed. At the start of the trip I had a ridiculous amount of weight on the rear rack and had feared that I’d end up busting a rim, but they held up beautifully. I’ve since scaled back the crazy amount of crap I was carrying to a slightly more sensible load.

Light rust developed in some of the braze ons, but that’s kind of to be expected being left out in rain and frost across Canada so I’m pretty sure any bike would develop a minor amount.

The paint job while looking fantastic, it does seem to be fairly fragile and it didn’t take long for scratches to appear. The major paint problems were from the gear and brake cables rubbing on the head tube of the bike giving the Brodie ‘B’ logo a nasty scar straight through it. Also had paint rub off under the straps of my top tube bag, I’ve since used tremclad rust proof paint over the patches, but I was hoping the paint job would be a little tougher.

I also managed to wipe out pretty badly in the Rockies while trying to take a photo while pedaling (yeah I’m not the brightest) but the bike took this pretty solid hit and came out fine!

BRODIE CIRCUIT 2015 gear review
My bike has been converted in to more of a beer transporting machine since living in Halifax!

I was surprised to snap a chain so quickly on this bike and go through two gear cables, but I am putting that down to the insane load I was trying to carry so can’t really blame that on the Brodie Circuit 2015.


Overall after 7000+kms I am super happy with the Brodie Circuit 2015 touring bike! It handles beautifully, feels solid like it will last me for the next 4-5 years of this trip and beyond and is also versatile enough that it can be used on road and also on trails making our route choices more open. I feel incredibly lucky to have picked up a brand new 4130 Chromo touring bike with all the bells and whistles for $850 and even if I did pay full price it would have still been a solid choice.

It was also kind of nice riding across Canada on a Canadian bike!

I give the Brodie Circuit 2015 model a 4 out of 5 stars. Excellent value and a solid touring machine! (Gear List)

Enjoyed this gear review? Check out a few others, the Origin8 Classique Cargo HD Front RackEVO Low Rider Fork Mounted Front Rack and the MSR HUBBA HUBBA NX 2 PERSON TENT.


Cycling the Maritimes

Michael’s write up about cycling the Maritimes (Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia), during our cross Canada cycle trip in Autumn 2016. Click here to read Kelly’s write up about cycling Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia


We left New Brunswick to pop into Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, and it was definitely a spectacular entrance! The confederation bridge is Canada’s longest bridge at nearly 13km long. Unfortunately it is illegal to cross the bridge by bicycle as the wind gets pretty intense and there isn’t really much space to ride. So we had no choice but to jam our bikes into the back of the shuttle bus and be passengers over the bridge. I was keen to try and pop a wheely across the bridge, but Kelly was having none of it.

Anne of Green Gables – yes, we did!

The cold and dodgy weather continued cycling the Maritimes and into PEI and we were faced with freezing headwinds and rain, but the sun did come out when we reached the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ house, which is actually a national heritage site…for some bizarre reason. I knew little to nothing about the Anne of Green Gables books, but seeing as we had a national parks pass, the entrance was free. So we decided to pop in and check it out along with the hoards of Japanese tourists who apparently come here as some sort of weird pilgrimage!

The staff was cool and let us bring our loaded up bikes inside and lock them in the lobby area while we poked around some odd props and ‘Anne’s house’. She was a fictional character and this house was actually built from descriptions in the book. The author Lucy Montgomery grew up in the area so I guess it wasn’t all made up. I got to try on a luxurious red pigtailed wig, pose outside the house like Anne and stuff my face with ice cream, so all in all it was a good outing!

green gables
Michael of Green Gables

 Confederation Trail

The cycle trails around PEI were stunning routes along the coast and through farmland and forest. We found a good spot to camp at a picnic area on the coast after deciding against setting up our tent in one of the many campsites that were closed for the season. We decided this due to the tales of other tourists getting moved on in the middle of the night by security for illegally camping. Also we rode around one of the closed campsites and it had a bit of a horror movie vibe about it so we didn’t want Michael Myers slashing our tent in the night and making us soil our sleeping bags.

Unfortunately we arrived just outside the tourist season and it seemed like half the island had shut down. Campsites, restaurants and shops were kind of hard to come across until we hit the capital, Charlottetown.

We contacted a Warmshowers host called Lindsay in Charlottetown and spent a couple of nights camping in her backyard and strolling around the pretty port town, visiting the local breweries (Upstreet and Gahan) to sample some of the fine local drops including a spiced pumpkin ale that made me excited for getting to spend Halloween in Canada! We also tried out the ‘world famous’ Cows ice cream that started on PEI and has been consistently voted into the top ten best ice cream places in the world. I felt it would be wrong of me not try it and it was definitely packed full of creamy goodness. Cows’ gets the official Cowgill stamp of approval.

It was a short stay on PEI, but the cold was starting to make it difficult to sleep and we were both pretty burnt out after nearly 4 months on the road and were looking forward to getting to Halifax to explore our new home for winter!

Hello Nova Scotia and crazy, windy storms!

We got the ferry to Nova Scotia and straight into some gale force winds. Unfortunately winds from the hurricane that devastated Haiti were hitting Atlantic Canada and when we camped on a cycle route outside Pictou, they paid a visit to us shaking the tent violently and pounding it with a crazy amount of rain and flooding our delicate little home.

We had previously had some issues with moisture getting into the tent through the floor and ground sheet even in light rain, but now with this downpour everything was soaked.

To add to the tent issues, my Therm-a-rest mattress had developed a gigantic bubble in the centre forcing me to try and sleep with a basketball-sized lump between my shoulders. Not a good night, my spine has never been the same since.

In the morning we shivered in soggy sleeping bags hoping the rain would ease up long enough for us to pack up and bugger off to somewhere drier, but the downpour just refused to let up.

We ended up making a break for it and finding a Tim Horton’s coffee shop to shelter in and try and warm ourselves up and come up with a plan of attack. After filling ourselves with as much hot coffee and muffins as we could, we decided it was not worth the risk of riding in the storm. It was apparently set to get a whole lot worse with 100km an hour winds throughout the day and heavy rain and flooding. Not ideal weather for pushbikes and a leaky tent.

nova scotia sign, Cycling Nova Scotia: Halifax
We made it to Nova Scotia! Still cycling the Maritimes!

Change of plans!

We found a reasonably priced hotel in Pictou called the Auberge Walker Inn with lovely Scottish/Canadian owners who let us dry out all our gear in the basement and warm up with pots of tea. It was thanksgiving and half the town was without power, but we managed to get into the pub before it went out and enjoyed an awesome veggie roast and beer to forget our soggy intro to Nova Scotia.

The freezing wet weather and gear issues with the tent and my mat were starting to get us down a bit and we were now tossing up if we wanted to stick to our plan of riding the Cabot trail in Cape Breton or just call it quits and head straight to Halifax earlier than planned. It was a tough decision as we were so close that it felt a shame to skip what is supposed to be one of the greatest cycle destinations in all of Canada, but we were worn out and just not feeling it at that stage so decided to avoid the cold and skip Cape Breton.

The end – for now!

We eventually drove the Cabot trail a few weeks later with a friend and it was spectacular, but at the time we were just tired and not up for riding and camping in the rain and cold anymore. It was a tough choice but we felt there was no point doing it if we weren’t going to enjoy it.

So all of a sudden our trip was nearly over! We had less than 200km until we reached our final destination! It was a very surreal feeling, but I still think we made the right choice as it gave us more time to sort out our accommodation and get jobs in Halifax before Christmas to help us save up for the next leg of the trip next year! We had finished cycling the Maritimes, but it wasn’t an end to our time in the Atlantic provinces just yet.

Halifax: Our home for the Winter

We still had 2 weeks before we could move into our apartment that Kelly had organized through Airbnb negotiating a month by month rate with our new landlord and friend, Fred. So we still had to find somewhere to stay for a couple of weeks. Luckily for us there are some pretty amazing people out there and a Couchsurfer called, Jeff came to our rescue! Letting someone stay in your place for a night or two is pretty cool, having someone stay for 2 weeks is friggin amazing! Jeff totally saved us and we spent the next couple of weeks hanging out, drinking around the fire pit and playing card games in his cool rural property in Windsor Junction just outside Halifax. Jeff had also adopted a couple of young German Couchsurfers for an indefinite amount of time so his place kind of felt like a vagabonds sanctuary!

couchsurfing cape breton, Cycling the Maritimes
Our awesome couchsurfer!

In that time we both applied for as many jobs as we could find and rode the 30km into Halifax for interviews for jobs, which we both scored! I would be working at a discount home and clothing store called ‘Winners’ in a warehouse role and Kelly would be working at a chocolate shop in the same shopping centre.

So after 7000kms we had done it, coast to coast by bike!! We ended with a bit of a fizzle rather than a bang, but hey we still had an amazing time and now get to save some pennies, investigate the local brews and prepare ourselves for our next epic adventure, from Canada to South America! Come April time we will roll out of Nova Scotia and into the good ‘ol USA for the second leg of journey and I can barely contain my excitement thinking about it, bring on April!!!

Thank you to all of the amazing people we met across this stunning country. As with our previous trip it’s the people that always make the most lasting memories for us and Canadians definitely are a special breed of humans! We loved cycling Canada and we loved cycling the Maritimes – so thank you!

Halifax City Guide for Cycle Tourists

halifax city guide for cycle tourists

So here is our halifax city guide for cycle tourists! Some cyclists end here, some cyclists start here, some might just pass through. Either way, Halifax is the biggest city in the Maritimes, and definitely has a lot to offer. I’ve spent the past 6 months in Halifax, exploring the city and discovering a few things worthy of sharing with other visiting cycle tourists.

Who will find this Halifax City Guide for Cycle Tourists beneficial?

  • Anyone on a cycle tour that plans on passing through Halifax at some point.
  • Someone visiting Halifax on a budget

Some useful things to know about Halifax

  • Generally, I didn’t find the city to easy to cycle around. There are a few cycle paths, but these few and far between and usually end suddenly. I definitely recommend taking care when riding around the city.
  • Halifax is full of awesome craft breweries! Definitely worth checking a few out is you like beer – or check out this Self Guided Halifax brewery Tour.
  • This may only be something I found odd, but pedestrians tend to walk out in front of traffic without looking a lot. It is almost assumed that everywhere you cross the road is actually a pedestrian crossing. I didn’t notice this anywhere else in Canada, but I definitely noticed it in Halifax.
  • Despite the small size of the city, there is a lot of traffic during the peak hours. Try and avoid cycling during this time if possible.
good robot halifax
Checking out the craft brewery scene in Halifax

Halifax City Guide for Cycle Tourists


Warmshowers and Couchsurfing does exist in Halifax, though the communities are a bit smaller than some of the other Canadian cities.

Airbnb definitely offers some of the cheapest accommodation options. Otherwise, I like to use Bookings (take advantage of $25 of free credit). Hostelz is also a pretty good site to use, particularly if  you are looking for dorm room accommodation.

The North End of Halifax is considered to be a bit sketchy, but nothing compared to East Hastings in Vancouver, or the likes in similar cities. The dodgiest street is probably Gottingen Street.

If you’re looking to save a bit on accommodation then look to Dartmouth. It’s a quick ferry ride away from downtown Halifax, and (if the bridge construction is finished by the time you arrive) there is a bike lane over the Macdonald Bridge, which connects Halifax and Dartmouth.

The Public Gardens in Halifax during Autumn
The Public Gardens in Halifax during Autumn

Bike & Outdoor Stores 

We had good experiences at these bike stores:

CyclesmithSuper friendly bunch! A little pricey compared to a few other places in Halifax, but definitely guanetted to do a good job.

Long Alley BicyclesThis is a little place on Quinpool. Super helpful staff, and definitely one of the cheapest bike stores in Halifax.

Halifax CyclesThis store seemed to have a lot of touring gear. The owners are also cycle tourists, so they’re pretty good at catering to the needs of cycle tourists – and they sell some pretty awesome bicycle jewellery too. This bike store also helped a couple of my cyclist friends box up their bike for their flight.

Mountain Equipment Co (MEC): It is $5 for a lifetime membership and it is definitely worth it. You will love this store. They are dotted all over Canada (in the major cities, though more so in the West), have an AWESOME return policy and sell everything from bike stuff to camping gear to outdoors clothes. There is a small store located in downtown Halifax.

There is also a Patagonia Store, which is located in the stunning old brewery building of Alexander Keith. Definitely worth checking out as it is a really cool building.

If you head over to the Halifax Shopping Centre, make sure you take some out-of-town ID with you. This mall gives out a free $5 voucher to all out-of-town visitors. They have a pretty big Sport Chek store there – and you can check out where I worked over Winter; the Newfoundland Chocolate Company!

Tourist things to do

Maritime Museum

Every Tuesday 5pm – 8pm the museum offers free entry and free talks.

You’ll probably not be surprised to discover that Halifax has a huge maritime history. The museum has a really good exhibit on the Halifax Explosion and also the Titanic.

Citadel Hill

Free entry 30 minutes before closing

You can’t miss this place! Even if you don’t want to visit the Citadel, it’s still worth walking up to the viewpoint. If you happen to be walking passed the citadel at midday, then be warned. Every day at midday the canyon is fired.

Fairview Cemetery (titanic graves)

This is found on the outskirts of Halifax, towards Bedford. They are still easy to cycle or bus to. Or, if you are entering Halifax via highway 2, you can easily detour via the graves. We actually did this by accident when we arrived into Halifax. I found the graves really interesting – read the information board if you do visit!

Fisherman’s cove

You will either have to bus or cycle to this little fishing village. It’s very cute! This is also where you can catch the ferry (approx. $20) to McNab’s Island. There are lots of hiking trails on McNabs that are worth checking out.

Emera Oval (or the commons)

Free skating in winter and free roller blading in summer. A nice place to chill with a picnic and a good book on a sunny day. Another nice place to relax is the Public Gardens.

Seaport Markets

I love these markets! The best day to go is Saturday – this is the busiest day, but it’s also when they have the most stalls open. If you like wine, there are also plenty of wine stalls at the markets that offer tastings, along with local rum and vodka stalls. It’s also the oldest continuously running, commercial market in America.

Bluff Wilderness Trail

Probably the best hike I’ve done near Halifax. It’s beautiful, though if you’ve just come from the Rockies, then it probably won’t compare. It is easily accessibly by bike and bus. There is a really good bike trail that leads straight past the trailhead. The trailhead is about 15km from Halifax. Pleasant Point Park, near downtown Halifax and also Dingle Park, next to Purcell’s Cove are also really pretty parks with some shorter hiking trails.

The cycle trail to the Bluff Wilderness Trail (also the cycle trail towards Yarmouth and Digby)
The cycle trail to the Bluff Wilderness Trail (also the cycle trail towards Yarmouth and Digby)

Cheap Massage

While in Halifax I discovered the College of Massage & hydrotherapy student intern clinic. This clinic was offer hour massages for less than $30. I have to admit I was a little reluctant at first, but I was pleasantly surprised. My masseuse, Breanne was brilliant! She even sorted out some wrist issues that I had been having, and taught me how to correct the issue myself in future.

The free magazine you want to check out is The Coast. It’s released every Thursday, and lists all the different events in and around Halifax. It’s also available online, but I personally find the paper version easier to navigate.

Getting In & Out

Most people will ride into Halifax one of two ways down highway 2 via Bedford (and if you like the Titanic Graves), or via highway 7 and through Dartmouth. Both routes are busy and not really a whole lot of fun. If you do choose to go via Dartmouth then you will either have to take the ferry, or if the MacDonald Bridge is opened, you can cycle over that. The McKay Bridge does not allow cyclists and they are quite strict on that.

If you are headed to Yarmouth or Digby (via Kejimkujik) then there is a bike path that starts near the Rotary/ Armdale area of Halifax. The bike route is paved and well maintained until the Hubbards, from there you might want to get on one of the roads.

To/from the airport

I’ve used Driver Daves shuttle service to and from the airport. They are cheaper than the taxi and pick you up from your accommodation (unlike the other airport shuttles and public airport bus). So if you have a bike box it’s a bit more convenient. They charge $10 per bike box. Also, Uber doesn’t exist in Halifax… yet!

Dingle Park in Halifax in winter
Dingle Park in Halifax in winter

We enjoyed our time in Halifax! There are lots of good restaurants, breweries, markets and random events going on in this student city.

I hope you found this Halifax City Guide for Cycle Tourists useful. Do you know of any cycle friendly places in Halifax that I missed? Let us know in the comment section below.

If you plan on cycling through Vancouver at any point during your cycle trip, then check out our Vancouver City Guide for Cycle Tourists to help you make the most of your visit.

Safe trails!


That sums up discovering new brunswick by bicycle!

Michael’s write up of discovering New Brunswick by bicycle during out coast to coast Canada cycle trip in Autumn 2016. Click here to read Kelly’s write up about cycling in New Brunswick.


Waking up at the border sign between Quebec and New Brunswick we knew our seventh province was going to be a frosty one!

The temperature had taken a sudden dip and frozen our tent solid overnight. We were now faced with the coldest cycling of the trip so far, but we were still happy because the amazing cycle path rolled on!

On our first day discovering New Brunswick by bicycle we managed to smash out 105 km in less than 5 hours, which I’m pretty sure is a record for us. We had decided to stay indoors and treat ourselves to an airbnb in Perth (not our home town in western Australia, a different colder one) and thought we’d make it in plenty of time to meet the owner and pick up the key to the place. That’s before the wind decided to be a huge chilly prick and change directions and the cycle path abruptly ended with a ‘closed for construction’ sign forcing us to detour several kilometers up a bullshit steep hill and onto the highway.

Screw you New-Brunswick-bike-path-dudes. A diversion sign BEFORE the construction would have been handy!

We did eventually make it the last 20km to the AirBnB where we spent the next day defrosting our weary bones and ingesting some local hoppy malt health beverages called ‘beer’ and cleaning all our clothes ready to layer up for the next day of icey biking.

New Brunswick in Fall, discovering new brunswick by bicycle
Discovering new brunswick by bicycle – New Brunswick in Fall

Trans-Canadian Bike Trail

The bike path did pick up again and although it wasn’t quite as well maintained as the Quebec side with some sections too rocky to ride fully loaded, it was still nicer than riding the highway!

We had a pretty great day of discovering New Brunswick by bicycle. Riding on the cycle paths, winding through the forest and alongside rivers and lakes where we eventually found an ideal spot to pitch the tent next to a pedestrian suspension bridge over a stream complete with picnic table and amazing sunset views. This one was definitely up there with the best wild camping spots of the trip.

The only bonus of camping when the temperature drops is the mosquitoes pussy out and disappear! Finally some peace!

Bike Troubles

We ploughed on keen to reach Fundy national Park and see one of Canada’s main attractions, the Bay of Fundy. We rode the cycle path where possible, and took quieter roads when the rocks got too chunky. Near Fredericton, we stayed with great Warmshowers hosts, Tracey and Paula on their veggie farm. And, cycled passed the worlds’ biggest axe in Nackawic (and a brewery named after it that was closed causing me to weep uncontrollably). Then, my chain decided to start slipping whenever faced with a hill nearly causing me to fall off and break my luscious face several times.

Fundy national park is an extremely hilly place, so luckily for me the chain problems occurred before the town of Sussex so I could get the problem fixed at the local bike shop before starting the serious hill climbs into Fundy. The legends at Outdoor Elements bike shop helped me get back on the road again and even called up one of their friends outside Sussex who owned an awesome motel and let us stay for $20! Unfortunately on the way to the motel I discovered the new chain hadn’t fixed the issue and I was forced to ride back to Sussex the next morning where the amazing staff changed my cassette and solved the issue just in time to tackle the beastly hills of Fundy!

As well as fixing up my sexy steed, the guys at the bike shop also informed me we were only one day behind a group of German cycle tourists who had been in the shop the day before. Our friends Jacque and Luisa again with some of Luisa’s’ friends who had flown out to ride with them for a week or two. We were hunting ze Germans!

Bay of Fundy

As we had heard, the hills into Fundy were a total bitch! It was all worth it though with the views at the top ranking as some of those most spectacular of the whole trip. The ride down the other side of the hills was an intense experience and made me glad our bikes had disc brakes! We absolutely hammered down the hills and into the picture perfect campgrounds just outside the town of Alma. Unfortunately it wasn’t until we picked up on Wi-Fi at the camp grounds that we realized our German buddies were staying at the other campsite. The one that was several kilometers back up the steep as shit hill we had just hurtled down at 300km an hour. Sorry guys, you’re on you own!

We managed to meet up with our friends though for beers and cinnamon buns from the famous ‘Kelly’s Bakery’ in Alma. If you are in Alma and don’t fill your body with as many of these hot gooey delicious cinnamony chunks of pure joy then you my friend are a fool! The date slices and brownies were also pretty sextacular, but the cinnamon buns were like a baked orgasm.

We enjoyed a couple nights off the bikes relaxing at the Headquarters campground that was complete with Wi-Fi and cooking hut – pure luxury! We hiked a few trails around the bay, checked out some waterfalls and rehydrated with beer and fireball liqueur. I was on a bit of a cinnamon high around this period.

Fundy National Park and a Kelly, discovering new brunswick by bicycle
Fundy National Park and a Kelly

Hopewell Rocks and more beer!

When it was time to leave Alma the wind kicked into overdrive and we were smashed in the face by the breeze the whole way to Hopewell rocks where we were living it up in another motel. We decided to be rebels and sneak into Hopewell rocks after the gates were closed for the day after several people told us it was generally accepted as fine as long as you weren’t an idiot climbing the rocks. We had an amazing sunset stroll along the beach checking out the crazy rock formations and stunning beach views. I can definitely see why this is such a hotbed for tourists in the summer.

We rolled through the freezing wind and drizzle into Moncton where we decided to spend the night in a hostel. It just so happens that Moncton has a kick ass brewery too…coincidence? No, no it wasn’t.

We checked out Pump house brewery and sampled some fine beverages including the local specialty a blueberry ale complete with floating blueberries in the glass. Saucy!

More friendly people

Our last night discovering New Brunswick by bicycle – Province number 7, was spent with an lovely older couple Bill and Marilyn in Shemogue, There we ate like royalty and I fit at least a kilo of kick ass spinach and mushroom lasagna inside me and exchanged cycle tales over beers and discussed our plans for spending winter in Halifax.

Bill had been a lobster fisherman for over forty years. Marilyn was an artist and showed us her beautiful art in her workshop out the back of the house. Eventually we hopped on our bikes and began the short pedal to the bridge between New Brunswick and, the smallest province in Canada – Prince Edward Island!

Goodbye New Brunswick you tasty minx. You chilled us to the bones, but your stunning parks and coastline made us keen to explore more of the Maritimes by bicycle!

That sums up discovering new brunswick by bicycle! Bring on Prince Edward Island! If you’re a stats nerd like Kelly, you can check out our states here.

Random Shoe Tree, discovering new brunswick by bicycle
Random Shoe Tree in New Brunswick somewhere



Michael’s write up of our time spent crossing Quebec by bicycle, during our 7000km cycle trip across Canada in Autumn 2016. Click here to read Kelly’s write up of cycling in Quebec.


Our introduction to this delicious, cycle friendly, French Canadian beauty was an easy 120km day that flew by like a breeze! 72km of which was on the Prescott Russell Recreational trail. Winding through forests and along old railway lines where we finally cracked the magical 5000km mark!

Every single Canadian cycle tourist we had met so far across Canada had been from Quebec. So we were pretty sure it was going to be a good place to be on a bike and we definitely weren’t disappointed!

Global Citizen Festival

We had a few days off the bikes planned in Montreal where Kelly’s brother Michael was meeting us and had hooked us up with some free tickets to the Global Citizen festival that he was helping organize. So instead of being sweaty cycling bums living in a tent, we spent 4 nights camped out in an airB&B apartment drowning in beer and living like rock stars with VIP backstage tickets to a music festival and all the booze we could fit in our bodies!

It was definitely a different experience and quite surreal being backstage at a fancy pants festival and after party, but it was nice to change it up a bit and break the routine of cycling. Also beer is pretty good stuff and tastes even better when free.

After several days exploring Montreal and pretending we were back in Europe. Sipping espresso and munching fresh baked goods at patisseries. It was time to load our food bloated carcasses back onto the bikes!

I was nursing a large hangover from the after party that we attended until 3am. We had to hit the road again at 9am, but my boozy blues were made more bearable by the scenery and excellent roads.

cycling in Montreal quebec
Montreal, Quebec

Quebec by Bicycle

Camping was occasionally tough as all space along the river to Quebec City seemed to be crammed pretty tight with homes on the waterfront, but we got creative sleeping behind a massive garden hedge on one night and outside a B&B on another slightly awkward occasion. The owner had approached us when he saw us eyeing up a nice juicy patch of grass outside the closed tourist info centre in a small town. He asked us in broken English if we wanted to stay at his house. Of course we did! Score!

When we got back to his ‘house’ we realized it was actually a bed and breakfast and he was in fact trying to get us to stay inside as paying guests. Some awkwardness ensued as we spoke with his wife inside, but in the end they turned out to be cool and let us camp in the garden for free instead of paying to stay inside.

Quebec City and Bicycle Trails

We had another little break in Quebec City, staying with a Warmshowers host Maude in her apartment with a huge garden in the courtyard. Maude was an ‘urban gardener’ and had created a huge veggie garden in her courtyard. She also had other projects around town building gardens in office blocks and government buildings. We were happy because we got to munch fresh veg for a few days instead of instant noodles and pasta!

Quebec was a super touristy town, but it was a nice place to chill out for a couple of days and soak up some of the European vibes, and to relax in coffee shops before hitting the awesome cycle trails again. From Quebec City we opted to catch the ferry to the other side of the Saint Lawrence River and rode along the scenic trails whenever possible. Exploring Quebec by bicycle was what I had pictured cycle touring to be before our first trip from France to China a few years ago. Relaxed car free cycle routes winding through forests with free rest areas to camp.

cycling in quebec
Cycling through the streets of Quebec City

La Route Verte

The Route Verte through Quebec was a definite highlight of our trip across Canada. It made the wet and cold weather a little more bearable, as we always knew we’d find a little picnic spot or even a designated cycle camping spot to pitch the tent at the end of the day. The temperature had suddenly dropped significantly as we were approaching the New Brunswick border and on our last night in Quebec we had by far the coldest night of the trip. We woke up to a tent covered in a thick sheet of ice and all our water bottles frozen solid.

camping and cycling in quebec
Awesome camp spot just off the bike trail in Quebec

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, we got to sleep next to an old world war II bomber in a park on the cycle route and had a fantastic sunrise to thaw out our gear and bone marrow!

It was now time to tackle our seventh Canadian province, New Brunswick and try not to freeze our bits off on the bikes!!

Vive Le Quebec, Vive le fromage and route verte cycle path!! I hope you enjoy Quebec by bicycle!

If you’re geeky like Kelly, you can also check out our cycle stats for Canada.