Two and a half years GPS maps detailing a mostly off-road route across Canada were released to the public. The 15,000-km Trans Canada Adventure Trail stretches from Newfoundland to BC and remains enough of a challenge that only a handful of people have finished the cross-Canada off-road route.
Curious to hear how the TCAT’s reception has been since its launch in 2013, we recently contacted Ted Johnson, one of the project’s masterminds with GravelTravel.ca, for some details. (By the way — if you don’t know what the Trans Canada Adventure Trail is, you can find more details in our original write-up here).
Johnson said GravelTravel.ca typically gets around 200 requests per year for the GPS files; however, time and money constraints mean very few of those people have actually completed the entire route.
“I believe five groups have finished the entire route,” Johnson said. “The majority seem to ride one province or a couple of provinces and make a one to two-week trip out of it.
“The entire route requires approximately two months of travel to complete and understandably a lot of people cannot afford this much time away from family and work.”
So far, nobody from Canada has done the trip in its entirety, to Johnson’s knowledge; the groups who finished the whole route were from Australia, New Zealand, UK and Germany.
Johnson says GravelTravel.ca has continued to update the GPS maps with information they’ve received from travelers who have done the route (it’s now on version 4.1) such as washouts and closed gates. Thankfully, since the GPS files are provided free of charge, Johnson says that people are keen to do their part and give feedback from their travels.
If you’re interested in doing the ride yourself, Johnson’s advice is the same as it was two years ago.
“I think the best advice would be to prepare yourself. Arranging locations for tires, oil changes, etc for your bike,” he said. “Having the spare parts your bike will likely need for a trip of this duration will make a breakdown something you can recover from, instead of a trip-ending ordeal. ”
He also stressed the need for days off, and to plan for shorter days in the saddle.
“All this adds time, but also enables you to not ride tired, which is usually when accidents happen and morale will suffer.”
Have you completed the TCAT or done a significant chunk of it? If so, please contact us as we’d love to share your story with the CMG readership.
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