Author Topic: Canada mortorists  (Read 5106 times)

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Offline johnfoldberg

Canada mortorists
« on: January 23, 2013, 07:16:41 pm »
We're planning on doing a modified NT and will cross into Canada through the peninsula of WI. We'll be on the 6 riding toward Niagara Falls.  I was told by someone that the drivers (particularly the truckers) don't give much consideration to cyclists.  Is there any truth to this?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 09:00:02 pm »
Wisconsin has a border with Canada?

I don't think you can generalize about drivers, no matter where. But if you ride on busy shoulderless roads with heavy truck traffic, you're likely to have occasional issues no matter where you are.

I did the Lake Erie Connector through Ontario last summer and had almost no problems. I followed the route, which takes you off the main roads as much as possible. Nevertheless, you will have the occasional big truck that needs to pass you, and some of those roads are so small that they cannot really give you much room. I did have one big truck that drove about 10 feet behind me for quite a while until it was safe to pass. It did kind of creep me out. 98% of the time, however, there was no traffic at all.

There's good and bad on every route.

Offline jimbo

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:06:18 pm »
 You will enter Canada from WI? Perhaps MI? Will you be on Canada #17 from Sault St Marie to Espanola? And pick up 6 thru Manitoulin Is and south on Bruce Peninsula?  I can't speak to 17 or 6 ( other than 17 is far from ideal as I read from other cyclist) but one resource you could use is "Ontario Bicycle Touring Atlas". E mail to < >  From my quick look at their book they show many options and rarely is Hwy 6 one of the choices, though it is direct.  Maybe with a few more details on your route you will hear from cyclist who have done what you are attempting?

Offline geegee

Re: Canada motorists
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 10:48:25 pm »
Unfortunately much of Ontario's highways have narrow or no shoulders. Highway 17 along this route has about foot-wide shoulders. Traffic is not very heavy and most drivers are courteous but my advice is make sure you have a really good rear view mirror that is well positioned to allow you to check it at a glance (one reason I've switched from drop bars to bullhorns). If there's an on-coming truck and I see another behind me, I'll pull out on the gravel if I sense the vehicle behind is not slowing down — better safe than sorry.

Traffic is pretty light on the 6 through Manitoulin Island, and the scenery is spectacular. The weathered-smooth granite formations here are unique and iconic of the Georgian Bay region. Along the Bruce Peninsula, traffic might be busier on weekends when people from the city come up, but otherwise the southbound traffic will have waves of traffic using the ferry. I would stay off the main highways south of Owen Sound, there are a lot of quiet county roads that offer better alternatives.

If you have fatter tires that can handle some off-road riding and don't mind a slower speed there are several rails-to-trails you can take some of the way.

If you are in Elora on a hot day, you might want to try tubing on the river. Guelph is a quaint-looking town

Offline CMajernik

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 11:10:01 am »
ACA's Underground Railroad section 5 map shows routing from Owen Sound southward  over to Niagara Falls and tends to avoid the major highways. Here's a map:
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline tonythomson

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 06:25:34 am »
Hi, I cycled a lot in Canada and for me in the touristy places it was the big RV Camper vans that worried me most. I use a mirror and if concerned about the vehicle coming up behind either get off the road or take control of the lane.  Although many would argue it's the guys coming from behinds responsibility and it is.  I just want to be in charge of my own destiny.
Good luck and it's agreat place to cycle.
Just starting to record my trips

Offline Norsman

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 05:30:32 pm »
I did a cross Canada ride last year and found the professional truck drivers, in particular long haul drivers to be fine. I was more worried about the large RVs.

The Sault Ste. Marie area was a bit of a problem on Highway 17. One section was particularly bad. However that was very short and then I got back to the usual narrow shoulder on the Trans Canada. A section of Hwy. 17 through SSM can be avoided by taking a trail (John Roswell Hub Trail) and then riding on alternate routes. On paper this route looks much better than Hwy 17 but I can't be sure because I used Hwy 17 through the whole area.

Once you get to Massey, about 135 miles (215km) east of SSM get off Hwy 17 and use Lee Valley Road to get you to Espanola.  From there the ride to and over Manitoulin Island is very nice. The top half of Hwy 6 on the Bruce Peninsula is newly paved and has a nice shoulder. South of Lion's Head the road reverts to poor shoulders but I didn't have any problems getting to Owen Sound. If you can avoid going down into Owen Sound do so.  Once you get to the old part of town any route out entails climbing a steep hill.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 05:33:11 pm by Norsman »

Offline canalligators

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 01:14:10 pm »
If there is any generalization about drivers, it's that suburban arterials and commercial zones are the worst, cities are ok if you keep your wits about you and ride predictably, and country is good as long as you can avoid the high volume traffic with no lane space.  IMHO, of course.  But even at that, it's all a generalization.  You have to learn to read the conditions.

Offline Mcesaro

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 12:17:59 am »
Only been in the eastern part of Canada - Quebec/Montreal - but most of the roads had very narrow shoulders and even those were soft cinder. Not the best place for thin tires. Best approach has been to stick to the side roads. Much less traffic and no trucks, and you can ride further out into the main roadway without issue.

Offline johnfoldberg

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 10:20:18 am »
Thank you for your reply!  I need to do another map study I'll get to Canada via MI not WI. 

Offline jamawani

Re: Canada mortorists
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2013, 11:34:47 am »
I do not find Canadian fans of heavy metal band Mortor any worse than American fans - -
Although their goth clothing has to hot in the summer.

PS - I was unaware that Wisconsin bordered on Canada.