Cycling Tours and Holidays | Canadian Rockies & Whistler GranFondo

5-20 September 2018 | SOLD OUT

Join us for a 16 Day Cycling Tour Exploring the Canadian Rockies
Starting with the awesome Vancouver to Whistler GranFondo

Ride Holidays invites you to join us on this amazing cycle tour and holiday. Experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies; a part of the world that was simply designed for a bicycle. Starting in Vancouver we’ll experience the fantastic sea to mountain GranFondo which finishes at the ski resort of Whistler. Our tour will then meander in and out of the Canadian Rockies. Stopping at Lake Louise, Banff and of course Jasper National Park. The cycling is epic however we also prioritise wildlife, Canadian culture and of course great restaurants. A perfect mix of cycling, relaxing and sightseeing.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see Canada. The way it was designed to be seen.

Via two wheels.


Itinerary | Canadian Rockies Cycle Tour | SOLD OUT

Day 1, Wednesday 5 Sept

Arrive Vancouver

Welcome to Vancouver and the province of British Columbia. Once you’ve cleared Customs and Immigration you will be met by Ride Holidays and transferred to your hotel. Which is perfectly located only 100m away from the edge of the Stanley Park cycle trail. You’ll be tired after such a long flight so we won’t plan too much for today. This afternoon we help you put bikes together. Tonight we’ll have our first team dinner together and then run through the plan for the next 16 days. Great to have you here. The next 16 days will be fantastic. Welcome to Canada.

Meals Included: Dinner and welcome drinks.

Day 2, Thursday 6 Sept

Vancouver

Be warned – this trip isn’t a weight loss program. After a hearty breakfast at the hotel we get straight in to it. Today’s ride is simply a must and we’d rather challenge you today so that you can rest your legs tomorrow. We ride through Stanley Park, across the Lions Gate Bridge and up to Cypress Mountain. The climb is over 1200m. Total distance is only 50km. Additional side trips are available for those wanting a few more km’s. A shuttle up Cypress Mountain will be provided for those keen for a day off the bike. Or maybe we’ll drop you off half way. The view of Vancouver from the lookout is breath-taking. On the way back home we’ll find a nice little café for lunch. Be warned – lunch in Canada is coffee, coffee and coffee. The other addiction in Canada is craft beer. There just so happens to be a great pub only 200m away from our hotel. All the guides are heading there for dinner and it would be great if you would join us.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3, Friday 7 Sept

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Pancakes with Maple Syrup please. Why not!! Today is all about active rest. Tomorrow is a big day. After a leisurely breakfast we again target the fantastic cycle paths around Stanley Park with a side trip across the Lions Gate Bridge to North Vancouver. Here we’ll visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where you’ll cross over the chasm of the Capilano River to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure. There are 7 suspended footbridges offering views 110 feet above the forest floor to explore. A cliff walk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms. This afternoon it’s all about preparing for tomorrow’s adventure as we head to the Vancouver Convention Centre to visit the cycle expo and to register / pick up our rider packs for the Sea to Sky Fondo. Dinner is included tonight as we run through logistics of getting you and your luggage to Whistler.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4, Saturday 8 Sept

Sea to Sky GranFondo Canada

Quite probably – the best GranFondo you will ever do. Everything is first class. The scenery, roads, safety and where else can you have waffles and maple syrup at a rest stop. Did I mention that the Lion Gate Bridge and motorway are closed all the way up to Whistler. Just for us. Boom.

It’s an early start this morning. The bonus is that the start line is only 1km from our hotel as we join 5000 cyclists in Stanley Park. The most popular distance is 122 km with an elevation gain of 1700m. A shorter distance of 55 km (Squamish to Whistler) and a longer distance of 152 km (includes 800m extra elevation gain up to the summit of Cypress as a side trip on your way to Whistler) are also available as options for this event. Non-riders will hop in the vans and head for Whistler via Squamish. Home to the American Bald Eagle. It’s salmon season so should be just like watching the discovery channel.

We all meet in Whistler for a well-deserved beer at the prize giving. Welcome to the number 1 ski resort in North America although at this time of the year it’s lycra, not snow that dominates.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5, Sunday 9 Sept

Whistler (paradise) at leisure

Whistler really is special. Most of your guides have lived there at some stage so will be able to point you in the right direction. Some of you will feel like a day off the bike and in which case there’s plenty to choose from.

Those who want to ride can do so – we’ll head out on a leisurely 30km Whistler sightseeing ride around all the bike paths. There will also be a mountain bike option for those who want to catch the gondola to the top and ride back down.

Half of us are playing golf at Whistler Golf Course this afternoon. This is where Dingo and Karl worked and where they politely fleeced many an American tourist of rather large tips. It’s a stunning course designed by Arnold Palmer. Hopefully the head pro will join us.

Everyone else joins us after golf at 7pm for a special BBQ dinner overlooking the 18th green. We will celebrate yesterday’s achievements. Tonight we’ll pack the bikes into the trailer in preparation for the drive to Clearwater and Blue River. Nite Nite.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6, Monday 10 Sept

Blue River & Yogi the bear

An early start this morning as we travel by Whistler to Blue River. Our longest commute of the trip. We’ll break out all the DVD’s including the Russian Fly Fishing favourite. By no means is a boring drive as the scenery heading up the valley pretty special. Today is the only actual non-riding day on the trip. So, kick back and relax.

We travel alongside the North Thompson River for most of the day. Tonight we are staying at Mike Wiegele’s luxury heli ski resort. Take a well-earned dip in Eleanor Lake which is literally outside the back door of your cabin. Blue River is well known for its wildlife and it would be unusual for us not to see Yogi. Warning – do not pat.

In fact – here’s a highlight of the trip. Late this afternoon we all hop in small boats for a wildlife cruise. In 2016 we had a bear swim across the river in front of us. It was so good that in 2018 we’ve booked the cruise for everyone.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7, Tuesday 11 Sept

Bring on the Canadian Rockies

It’s off to the Rockies we go. We’ll have a choice of three rides, ranging from 37km to 127km. The longer ride starts in Blue River and goes to Mt Robson, people on the shorter ride will get a shuttle 52km up the road from Blue River and ride from there.

The shortest option starts from the town of Valemount. You can’t help but feel humbled by the vastness of the mountain peaks and the rugged beauty of Valemount, a quaint mountain village tucked into the northern reaches of British Columbia’s North Thompson Region, along the famed Yellowhead Highway. Your gateway to endless mountain adventures in the Cariboo, Monashee and Canadian Rockies.

Mount Robson Provincial Park is the second oldest park in the province and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. We ride in awe as Mt Robson slowly comes towards us. At 3,954 m it is the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky chain

The next two nights are spent in Jasper National Park (one of the world’s great parks) at the Beckers Chalets. Beckers offers stunning river and mountain views.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 8, Wednesday 12 Sept

Jasper oh Jasper

There are two must do rides here. And I mean must do. The first is Maligne Lake. The round trip from Beckers is just over 100km. And include 1253m of climbing. For the cappuccino and latte riders we will drop you half way.

Thousands of tourists descend upon Maligne every day. Only 30 will travel via bike on a road that has an enormous shoulder. One can’t help but smile as your riding along taking it the stunning scenery around you. Wildlife – yes, there’s a good chance today.

For those wanting a day off the bike there’s a 6km riverside track from our hotel in to town. It would be impossible for you to get lost. Well, almost impossible.

Make sure you join us for sundowners tonight. It’s hard to describe the views from Beckers. You’ll just have to join us to see what we mean.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day 9, Thursday 13 Sept

Jasper National Park

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before hitting the road early. We’ll cycle to Sunwapta Falls Hotel (located right on the Icefields Parkway) via Mt Edith Cavell. Adding these classic climbs will see you ride 90km today.

Edith certainly was the surprise package for us in 2016. We offered it as an optional ride and only a handful joined the guides. It’s not often I’m speechless however this ride is the one not to miss. At the top you are greeted by a massive glacier and the descent is Ventoux worthy.

Yes, there will be a shorter option. We’ll stop at Athabasca Falls (think Huka Falls) for lunch where we’ll catch up with the non-riders who will have been busy this morning walking 12km in a local park. You’ll be tired boys and girls this evening so we have nothing planned. Kick back and relax.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10, Friday 14 Sept

Banf National Park

Another day in the Rockies, another day in Paradise. Everywhere you look are snow covered peaks. For the first 20 km you’ll be riding next to the Endless Chain Ridge.

Part of the Front Ranges in the Rockies. The Endless Chain Ridge, runs like a knife edge towering 1600m above the Icefields parkway. 30km after leaving the hotel you’ll come across a nice rest area where we’ll be waiting, with snacks. Amazing views across the valley to Mushroom and Diadem Peaks will greet you, and you’ll see Mt Athabasca (next to the Columbia Icefields) looming ahead in the distance. Our destination for lunch.

There’s an epic descent down to the Saskatchewan River Crossing Hotel where we will spend tonight. Located in Banff National Park in the heart of the famous Canadian Rockies, The Crossing Resort nestles at the base of towering Mt. Wilson. Surrounded by stunning mountain vistas and glaciers.

Non-riders - there’s an awesome walk in between Sunwapta Falls and Saskatchewan River Crossing. Or visit the new Glacier Skywalk which isn’t far away.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 11, Saturday 15 Sept

Lake Louise

Jasper, Banff and now Lake Louise. Two majestic National Parks in three days. Today’s ride is not to be missed. It will be a highlight of the trip. Our 115km ride again travels hotel to hotel. The absolute highlight being Bow Summit (2129 m above sea level) which looks out across Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. If you can’t take a good photo today then you shouldn’t be in charge of a camera.

Time permitting we’ll cycle up to Moraine Lake and back and then up to Lake Louise itself. We’ll look for a friendly Canadian pub as you certainly deserve a cold drink. We aren’t in a rush today. Relax, spin and take it all in. We should arrive at our hotel in plenty of time to freshen up for our open fire pit dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12, Sunday 16 Sept

Banff Hot Springs

We ride into Banff along a tourist road (hotel to hotel) which is used in the Banff GranFondo. It’s 60km of pure bliss. Today is all about loops. If 60km isn’t enough then we’ll add a 30km golf course loop. If you still aren’t satisfied then we can add a ski mountain in to the mix. You tell us what you want and we’ll arrange it.

Your must-do tick for today is the Banff Hot Springs. If you aren’t keen then have a chat with your legs because quite simply – they deserve it. So, bring your speedos just in case.

Banff has plenty to do. It’s ideal for those who have promised presents for the grandkids as it has great shopping. There is also a huge variety of restaurants to choose from. Hope you’ve enjoyed your day. See you tomorrow.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 13, Monday 17 Sept

Banff – washing day

Riding hotel to hotel has many advantages. No need to hop in the vehicles. No time pressure. So, today is a new addition to the 2016 itinerary. We’re having two nights in Banff, rather than one. It’s time to do some washing, catch up on emails may be even – do some work. (to be frowned upon)

There will be a ride however it won’t be long. Guides need to wash as well. We’ll probably target the local ski field. And there’s a very good chance of a game of golf in the afternoon.

One thing you have to try while in Canada is the iconic Tim Hortons. Timmy’s to the locals. Tim was a Canadian ice hockey star before turning his hand to coffee and donuts. The result being Canada’s largest fast food chain. I for one can’t wait to get back there.

Banff is one of the top tourist towns in Canada. Believe me – there’s plenty to do and the vans will be available to run you around the place. It’s a great idea to head up the gondola which gives you a 360 degree view of Banff. Also, heading back to the hot springs wouldn’t be a waste of time.

Tonight we dine together. Tomorrow is a big day in the saddle. There are logistics to be talked through. See you at dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14, Tuesday 18 Sept

Kananaskis Country

Our target today is the new Legacy trail – a traffic free bike path which runs right in to Canmore and onwards to our next destination – the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. Where we spend our last two nights. The Delta sits at 1500m above sea level. A stunning hotel that you won’t forget.

There will again be cappuccino, latte and espresso options today. Ranging from a social 60km right through to almost 200km for the Shane Egars of this world. Non-riders – it’s worth having a look at Canmore. Especially the Winter Olympic park that dominated the 1988 games.

The last 10km in to the Delta is on a bike trail that is often closed for wildlife. We are advised to be noisy so that the locals hear us coming. That isn’t a problem when a couple of the guides are Australian. In 2016 we spotted no less that 50 Elk from this same trail.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15, Wednesday 19 Sept

Highwood Pass

Imagine over 4,000 square kilometres of national parks. Just imagine how many fantastic roads there must be. By now you will be pretty fit. Today will be your toughest day in the saddle will be our last ride on this trip so give it everything. We have the whole day so take your time. We travel over the Highwood Pass (Canada’s highest paved road) to the small cowboy town of Longview. Yee ha. There’s also almost 2000m of climbing today so not for the faint hearted. Celebratory drinks will be held at the local cowboy pub. Fantastic scenery, great cycling, excellent company while exploring the Canadian Rockies. Cheers to you.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 16, Thursday 20 Sept

Home, James | Last Day of the Tour

You’ll be just a hop skip and jump away from Calgary International Airport. After breakfast some will head straight home. Others will pick up an Alaskan cruise or carry on to explore other parts of North America. Thank you for joining RIDE Holidays. Safe travels back home.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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Overview

Our 16 Day Cycle Tour & Holiday

  • GranFondo Canada – Vancouver to Whistler
  • Three nights in Vancouver – one of the world’s most beautiful cities
  • Two nights in Whistler – you will see bears, not possums.
  • Choice of two to three guided rides daily. 50km to 100km plus
  • Jasper and Banff national parks
  • Three vehicles allowing for lots of flexibility
  • Non-riders are very welcome and well looked after
  • Ride hotel to hotel along the Icefields Parkway
  • Three cycle guides, mechanic and drivers
  • 3 & 4 star accommodation throughout
  • 15 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners (includes tips)
  • Capilano Bridge entry and Blue River wildlife cruise
  • Bike Transport in a custom enclosed secure bike trailer
  • All Gratuities for Staff/Drivers
  • National Park Passes
  • Ride Cycling jersey and souvenir booklet

The Price Excludes

  • Airfares and travel insurance (Karl can arrange this)
  • Cycling drinks, energy bars etc
  • Alaskan cruise – Karl can easily add this to your itinerary
  • Bike hire – can be arranged. (new Z95 Felt road bikes)
  • Additional excursions (kayaking, golf, hot springs etc)

Tour Cost

$8650 NZD pp. (Twin Share)
$8500 NZD pp. for repeat clients

$500 Bike Hire (optional)
$1900 Single supplement if you want your own room

The non-refundable deposit is $750.00 with a further $1500.00 due 01 September 2017. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.

**** This trip is already guaranteed to depart. We already have the minimum numbers required ****

The cost has been budgeted on using the current exchange of .9 NZD/CAD and is subject to change.

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