Parting Thoughts - Nova Scotia and Cape Breton 2003 - CycleBlaze

Parting Thoughts

Here are some statistics for the 15-day trip:

Total cycling distance: 1287 km (800 miles)

Average daily cycling distance: 85.8 km (53.3 miles)

Cycling on gravel roads: 89km (55.6 miles), 6.9% of the total distance

Cycling in rain: 119 km (74.4 mi), 9.2% of the total distance

Total climbing on the bike: 10,728m (35,400 feet)

Hiking: 46 km (29 miles)

Camping: 9 nights (2 nights for free)

Motels: 4 nights

Hostel: 1 night

Number of flat tires: none

Warmest day: 27C (80F) on Day 15

Coldest night: 3C (37F) on the morning of Day 4

Overall the trip went well with no injuries or mechanical problems that I couldn't deal with except for the computer speed sensor. The bike got rather squeaky the last few days of the trip. Afterwards I learned that the squeak was coming from the upper pulley on the rear derailleur. I had no flat tires and hardly saw any glass and tire debris on the roads. Motorists were mostly very courteous and it helped that traffic density was light on most of my route.

For this trip I didn't plan every day's itinerary in advance. I didn't even total up the route distance before the trip because I didn't know how far I could go each day with the actual hills and winds. I had hoped to get to Isle Madame, Fortress Louisbourg, and the Glace Bay Marconi Station. But by the time I got to Cape Breton Island it was obvious that I needed to skip the southern part of Cape Breton in order to have time to see the Cape Breton Highlands and get back to Halifax in time for my flight. Someday I want to go back to Nova Scotia to see more of Cape Breton and the western part of Nova Scotia. Especially the Bay of Fundy, Lunenburg, and Peggy's Cove.

It was interesting to do a tour in a foreign country. Canada isn't extremely foreign to most Americans but there are differences. For example Canada's number one item of roadside trash is nonexistent in the U.S.

This was the most common item of roadside trash in Nova Scotia.
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In Nova Scotia it was interesting to see that a lot of German and Swiss people run bed and breakfasts and buy property for vacation homes. They are willing to buy waterfront property with long steep gravel access roads that are impassible in winter because they don't plan to live there during winter.

Another difference in Canada is that many things are bilingual. All the government-related signs are in English and French. In stores, all packaged goods are labeled in English and French. When returning to the U.S. at the Chicago airport it seemed strange that the signs were in only one language.

Bilingual signs were common.
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Like most of the world, Canada is Metric. Temperatures are in Celsius and distances and speeds are in km and km/h. Gasoline is sold by the liter. But not everything is metric. Fish is still sold by the pound. Land is still sold in acres.

Of course that's 100 km/h.
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Canadian money is amusing to me. I'm not talking about the 'Loonie' and 'Twonie' coins. I'm talking about having the queen on all the money. She's not even Canadian and Canada has been a sovereign nation since 1867. Why put a foreigner on all the money?

Why put a foreigner's picture on all the money?
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In a similar vein I was amused to see all the 'Royal' things such as Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Royal Canadian Legion halls. I wonder what the Quebecois think of all the (English) royal stuff? I don't remember seeing so many 'Royal' things when I lived in England!

The main function of the RCMP seems to be patrolling the highways.
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The Canadian flag is displayed virtually everywhere. Americans display the U.S. flag quite a lot, but Canadians display their flag even more. I didn't see the Nova Scotia flag nearly as often.

Touring in Nova Scotia is great. Things are modern and civilized. The scenery is great. It's a good place for bicycle touring.

I want to thank my wife Karolyn for having such a supportive attitude when I'm on bike tours.

Wayne Estes

Mundelein, IL, USA

October 7, 2003

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Keith A. Spangler
Thanks for documenting and sharing your info. I'm hoping to visit Nova Scotia in 2022. I've tried for two years to do a tour in western CA, but covid kept me out.
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2 years ago