Author Topic: ACA Maps for Canada  (Read 5487 times)

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Offline univac

ACA Maps for Canada
« on: May 17, 2010, 07:20:03 pm »
Whoa! Not too much action in the Canada forum!

I've been aware of the ACA for well over 10 years now but as a Canadian, ACA was totally USA-centric for me because there's no routes for cycling X-Canada or major parts thereof.  Plenty of people cycle X-Canada every year and I'm curious as to why ACA has never done any maps for Canada (we'll ignore the routes that go into Canada a few hundred kms, like the Continental Divide)?  I'm sure ACA would garner quite a few Canadian members if they expanded a bit.

So... my question:  Does ACA have any plans to create maps for Canada in the near future?

Thanks!

Offline geegee

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 08:03:02 am »
I'm not sure it is necessary. Practically all the routes that cross the Canadian Rockies are cycleable. You can pick almost any highway in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan and ride your way from the Pacific Coast to the Prairies. Manitoba is a big problem, there is really no great way to cross that province, all their roads are atrocious. There are only two ways to get through Northern Ontario, both of them mediocre. Quebec has the well documented Route Verte. The Maritimes are a mixed bag, but again you can pick almost any route. Eastern Canadian provinces have plenty of regional and local tourist information centres, and you are bound to pass one every other day, if not daily.

The other tricky thing with publishing information on Canada is that services in rural areas are always in flux and very hard to keep up to date. I think this is part of what makes a cross-Canada ride a real adventure and a sense of discovery — you just go and find out what's ahead, preparing for the worst then being pleasantly surprised at what comes up.

Offline JMilyko

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 07:30:43 am »
Hi univac,

So... my question:  Does ACA have any plans to create maps for Canada in the near future?

Short answer to your question: no plans at this time.

Slightly longer answer: Our route selection is primarily member-driven and there hasn't been a demand from members to create this route or any route in Canada. Also, there is an organization out there doing the cross country work, TransCanada Trail ( http://www.tctrail.ca/thetrail.php) and then there is an extensive network in Quebec already mapped and signed by La Route Verte (http://www.velo.qc.ca/rv/index_e.php).

If you want us to look into it, start a movement of members. =)

.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Tourista829

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 09:26:35 am »
Jennifer, I know resources are limited and the focus is on the National Bicycle Hwy Network but I wish you would consider the following routes in Canada:

1. Seattle to somewhere in Alaska
2. Routes around the Great lakes
3. Trans Canada Hwy.

Have you ever thought of partnering with groups in Canada (ie Trans Canada Trail or Route Verte) Initially use their maps and you supply the trip detail ie., camping , motels , food, bike shops, medical, etc,. (they might even consider adding mileage lines) This would be a win win for all. It might save you resources intially, build your membership in Canada, and provide bicycle tourist much needed information.

It is like the cart before the horse or more appropriately, the trailer before the bike, instead of waiting for the interest to build up, you might initiate the interest. It is worth considering, eh :) Bob

Offline univac

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 06:15:25 pm »
Short answer to your question: no plans at this time.

OK, fair enough and I certainly do appreciate the official response.

So, just to see what I'm 'up against,' how many members of the ACA are Canadian?  In brief, how does one lobby the ACA?  If it's as simple as emails from all interested people who'd like to see Canadian maps developed, then that's easy enough (ooo! did I just utter some famous last words?)!  On the other hand, if the interested parties have to turn up at a board meeting at HO, then that won't work for me.  Surveys?


Thanks!

Offline univac

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 06:30:10 pm »
Jennifer, I know resources are limited and the focus is on the National Bicycle Hwy Network but I wish you would consider the following routes in Canada:

1. Seattle to somewhere in Alaska
2. Routes around the Great lakes
3. Trans Canada Hwy.

1. This would be awesome and benefits both Canadian and American ACA members, not to mention international members!
2. Another great suggestion!
3. I avoided the TC as much as possible during my X-Canada tour.  It's boring and noisy, and in some parts, extremely dangerous,  Manitoba and Ontario come to mind.  Of course, there are exceptions, e.g., BC.

Have you ever thought of partnering with groups in Canada (ie Trans Canada Trail or Route Verte) Initially use their maps and you supply the trip detail ie., camping , motels , food, bike shops, medical, etc,. (they might even consider adding mileage lines) This would be a win win for all. It might save you resources initially, build your membership in Canada, and provide bicycle tourist much needed information.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the TC Trail, but maybe that's just me.  For instance, in PEI, I rode about 30km of the Confederation Trail, which is an old rail bed and part of the TC Trail.  For a significant part of the 30km, I had high hedges on either side of me as the trail cut thru farmers' fields.  Boring!  I quickly got back on the road.  I don't tour on paths for the most part but on roads with motorized vehicles.  YMMV and different strokes for different folks! :-)

Offline Tourista829

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2010, 06:54:41 pm »
I am surprised that there isn't an organization, in Canada, that offers similar material as ACO. I agree with you, Manitoba is tough as is Ontario for traffic. I think the Seattle to Alaska is a viable possibility. I would do it. There has got to be journals, ie on Crazy Guy On A Bike website that has done these trips. With a little research, you could pull together enough information.

Offline GSullivan

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 02:24:38 pm »
Hi folks, Ginny Sullivan entering the conversation here. ACA is developing some routes in Canada - mostly Ontario with the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route which enters Ontario at Buffalo, NY and terminates in Owen Sound. We're now working on a new Alternate to that route that will enter into Ontario in Detroit and link back to the main route in Owen Sound - creating a US-Canada loop!

As for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, the interest in connecting these routes into Canada is definitely there. It would be helpful if Canada's provincial governments had a designated person to help us coordinate an official system (I believe Quebec is the only Ministry of Transport that has a person designated to work on biking??). That being said, we'll be working with local organizations and that will help us connect with Canada's local groups on best routes. It might take awhile, we're focused on getting the U.S. system in place but I know the border states are very interested in working the routes into Canada. And yes, La Route Verte was included in our planning for the US Bike Route System.

Living in Montana, one of those border states, I very much see the value of making the system continental - like EuroVelo.
Ginny Sullivan

Offline Tourista829

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 02:56:27 pm »
Ginny, thank you so much for your information. My sister lives, not far from Detroit and a safe route above lake Erie, from Windsor east, would be great. I believe there is someone in BC you can contact and with a little research, I might be able to find you a contact in the North West Territories. I really think a Seattle to Alaska route would be a terrific. Thank you again for your response and interest. Bob :)

Offline JayH

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 09:53:56 am »
Quebec is "done"

http://www.velo.qc.ca/rv/index_e.php

I don't know what the other provinces do, but I've read up on the Quebec part cause that is closer to me...

Jay

Offline univac

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 10:33:53 am »
Quebec is "done"

Yes, Quebec is awesome, as has been mentioned a few times already in this thread.  I grew up riding my bike in Quebec before La Rue Verte was created and finally rode parts of it last year during my X-Canada ride.  Definitely the best organized group in Canada with signs on the roads identifying the different Rue Vertes.  (As an aside, I have to say that in general, Quebec cyclists really, really disrespect the rules of the road - but that's another thread, eh?).

One could argue that PEI's rail trails - which I didn't like because it took me away from the 'action' - is 'done' also.  Nova Scotia seems to have a well developed system of bike trails although not quite as formalized a Quebec's, IMO.

What we really need is a NATIONAL organization in Canada, a la ACA, for touring cyclists who want to ride multiple provinces.  I'm not convinced it's economically feasible to start such an organization in Canada, but the ACA certainly has all the resources in place to be able to accomplish this.  Granted I haven't read much more about ACA's raison d'etre other than their 'about page' but I don't see anything that holds them to just 'doing' the US (and yes, I know there are small forays into Canada).  Anyhow, ACA seems to be very well positioned to augment their US routes with significant Canadian and Mexican ones.  Just think of all those Boomers with money burning a hole a their pockets! ;-)

Offline rvklassen

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 11:09:34 am »
Ginny, thank you so much for your information. My sister lives, not far from Detroit and a safe route above lake Erie, from Windsor east, would be great. I believe there is someone in BC you can contact and with a little research, I might be able to find you a contact in the North West Territories. I really think a Seattle to Alaska route would be a terrific. Thank you again for your response and interest. Bob :)
That one is basically there - in the Lake Erie Connector.  It doesn't make it to Windsor, but does go to Kingsville, and Wheatley, and includes a route from Wheatley to the south shore of Lake St. Clair.   Starting from Detroit one could head north and cross on the ferry, catching the Lake Erie connector around where it crosses the St. Clair river.



Offline rvklassen

Re: ACA Maps for Canada
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 11:15:11 am »
Quebec is "done"

http://www.velo.qc.ca/rv/index_e.php

I don't know what the other provinces do, but I've read up on the Quebec part cause that is closer to me...

Jay

In addition, one might call the corridor from Niagara on the Lake to Montreal "done": http://www.waterfronttrail.org/trail.html

This is fully mapped (commercial cartography grade), at (somewhat too much) more detail than the ACA maps.  I'd actually prefer something with more detail than ACA, and less than Waterfront Trail.  ACA is fine if you don't deviate, but I'd rather just have my recommended route highlit, so when I deviate from it (to find food, lodging, whatever...) I don't have to rely on either making it a dogleg, having working gps, or carrying another map.  The Waterfront Trail maps are largely at a scale appropriate for pedestrians, so it doesn't take long enough before it is time to switch maps.