We were lucky to be able to have some great travel adventures during 2016 with and without bicycles.
Ontario and Quebec
In the winter, we left our trusty bicycles at home for a trip to Toronto to visit family and see some sights in Toronto. Then to tick off something from Cathy’s “must do” list, we took in Quebec City’s Winter Carnival. Lots of laughs. Lots of food. Lots of warming Caribou drink. Lots of memories.
In March, we put the folding bikes in their suitcases, packed a few clothes and flew off to cycle parts of Cuba for 4 weeks. This trip was planned quite differently from our usual self-planned, self-guided bike trips. For the first two weeks, we joined the “Fat Mary Bike Tour” hosted by the Canbicuba company. We loved our first real organized tour mostly due to our wonderful guide, Carlos, and the relaxed, easy-going fellow cyclists. We also loved not carrying our own gear and not having to sort out routes for a change.
The second two weeks in Cuba we were back to cycling on our own -carrying our own gear, finding our own accommodation, and generally enjoying the freedom of the bicycle and choice of time and place. We would recommend Cuba as an easy, safe place to cycle whether on a tour or on your own. Just don’t expect haute cuisine.
Two weeks spent in eastern Mexico with the grandkids was a BLAST. Such lasting memories were made even though our bikes was basically used for grocery shopping.
Summer Here and There
Late Spring and Summer found us hitching the bikes to our car and towing our little trailer to parts of B.C, Washington, and Idaho. For bicycling, we highly recommend the Centennial Bike Trail from Spokane, Washington and Couer d’Alene, Idaho – a terrific 100 km trail from start to finish. We rode to Couer d’Alene one day, spent the next day enjoying the city before riding the trail back to Spokane to pick up our trailer. We also enjoyed the undulating roads around Nelson with our friends who recently moved back to the area. Not to be outdone, the roads close to home on Vancouver Island are always enjoyable and fun to ride.
Come Fall we were in the need for a bit of bike touring. We loaded up the Bike Fridays once again for a 10 day tour on the roads north of Los Angeles. We decided not to camp this time so enjoyed some hotels and motels in the region. Our route took us on roads into the Hollywood Hills towards Santa Paula and Ojai before hitting the coast in Ventura. From Ventura north to Santa Barbara we were mostly on bike trails-very lovely riding with the ocean on our left and no worries about traffic. We continued north before turning slightly inland to Solvang. After enjoying a couple of days of riding the Santa Inez Valley wineries, we rode up to Lompoc to catch a train back to Los Angeles.
Was this route one we would recommend other cyclists? It was fun and scenic in some parts but perhaps not the best cycle routes we have planned.
We finished off the year at home on Vancouver Island. Our unusually wet, cold weather did not make us want to get out on our bikes often. Instead we have made some grand plans for lots of cycling in the new year.