Nova Scotia Bike Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
 
101 Bobtail or Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 Phone: 970.728.5891
Email: info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Nova Scotia Bike Tour

Lizard Head Cycling Guides’ Nova Scotia Bike Tour offers up yet another bike-it list destination to Nova Scotia, one of Canada’s three Maritime provinces. Considered as one of Bicycle Magazine’s Top Ten Rides, the Nova Scotia bike tour offers one of the top cycling destinations in North America with majestic ocean views and seafood to enjoy throughout the tour. We have incorporated healthy mileage, all the sights and several days along the majestic Cabot Trail into our Nova Scotia bike tour.

The Cabot Trail through Cape Breton Highlands National Park

The Creation Story

Lizard Head Cycling Guides developed our Nova Scotia bike tour with a long time “Newfie” client (from Newfoundland) who owns a cottage near Cape Breton. We spent a week doing reconnaissance with his local routes and then ran the tour in the fall of 2016. Overall this is a enjoyable tour with the powerful ocean element, great seafood and Celtic culture/music.

Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail are the scenic and cycling highlight of the tour and as a result in 2017 we have rearranged the tour to spend an additional day riding and lodging on Cape Breton. It should be noted that Nova Scotians are exceptionally friendly to cyclists and most of the time give us the entire lane when passing from behind.

A Popular Destination Again in 2017

Once again in 2017 Nova Scotia is proving a popular destination. We recently sold out the October 1 to 7, 2017 tour and as a result we are considering adding an additional September 24 to 30, 2017 tour to the schedule. If you would like to attend the September 24 week, please let us know as this will figure this into our plans for the additional week.

The People are Extremely Friendly!

The people and police in Nova Scotia really are incredibly friendly! They pull their cars across into the other lane to give cyclists as much space as possible and there are signs along the roads saying welcome cyclists. Check out this recent video of their hospitality.

Celtic Music

Cape Breton Island, which comprises a large part of our Nova Scotia Bike Tour, is considered “Little Ireland” because of its reputation as having the richest Celtic folk music scene outside of old Ireland itself. Think ocean views, seafood galore and cozy pubs with live music. 🙂

Please visit the site below to see concerts and venues occurring during our tour.

Nova Scotia Bike Tour: Highlights

A quintessential Nova Scotia harbor scene

A quintessential Nova Scotia harbor scene

Lighthouse in Halifax Harbor

Lighthouse in Halifax Harbor

Along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton

Along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton

Nova Scotia in autumn

Nova Scotia in autumn

Lake side sunrise on Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

2018 Autumn Tour Dates:

  • September 30 to October 6, 2018 (Book Now!)

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Nova Scotia Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 7-Days/6-Nights with 6-Days Cycling and 1 Layover Day

Arrival/Departure Airport: Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)

Meeting/Ending Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Meeting Hotel: The Hilton Garden Inn Halifax Airport or the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Halifax Airport – Meeting & ending hotels are not included in the tour cost.

Total Distance: Up to 400 Miles. Multiple mileage options exist due to the two layover hotels.  (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Ability Level: 2/3 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Tour Cost: $2,990 per person. 10-Rider Tour Minimum. Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more. Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Single Room Supplement: Add a total of $550 to the Tour Cost for private rooms on each night of this tour (6 nights). If cyclist is willing to share a room with a same sex cyclist and there are none available, then add a total of $285.

$200 Early Bird Discount for 2018 Tour Registrations Made Prior to November 1, 2017!
Must mention or use Discount Code EARLYBIRD2018 when making your reservation.

Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rentScott CR-1 Pro and Scott Solace carbon road bikes with full Shimano Ultegra components for only $250/week, or $150 for 3 or 4 day tours. Both the CR-1 and Solace models are sub- 17 lb comfortable, high performance bicycles geared for climbing hills. In addition we also have electric bikes available for rental at $375/week. And finally we have a selection of straight bar road bikes and kids bikes in our rental fleet. Just let us know what you need and we can probably find it.

Electric Bike Rental: We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.

Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals.

Tandems and Recumbents: Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on its tours.

Tour Includes: 6-nights of lodging (Sunday thru Friday), guide service, 6 days of meals, entrance fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental and massage are additional.

Lodging for 6-Nights: (subject to change)

Meals On Tour

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Dinners: Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Overall Route Map

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

How Fit do I Have to Be?
If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equalling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump!
Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options
Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. :-)

Slow or Fast?
Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Nova Scotia Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 0: Arrival in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Guests arrive the day before the tour departure in Halifax, Nova Scotia via Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) and check into the meeting hotel. We suggest that guests take the opportunity this day to visit downtown Halifax, the capital of Nova Scotia, to soak in the history, local culture and to enjoy the diverse restaurant scene.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Autumn in Nova Scotia

Autumn in Nova Scotia

Day 1: Marble Mountain to Glenora Distillery
48 miles/77 kilometers with up to 1,905 feet/581 meters of climbing

After the morning meet and greet, we load up in the support vehicle for a short transfer from Halifax to the small village of Marble Mountain, Nova Scotia to start this remarkable week-long cycling tour. Day 1’s route is  a gentle warm-up for the upcoming week, so the climbing will be minimal as we ride across the width of Cape Breton island to our destination of Glenora Inn & Distillery.

Riding along the beautiful Cape Breton waters

Glenora Inn & Distillery

Elevation Profile: +1905 ft / -1730 ft

Day 2: Glenora Distillery to Chéticamp
68 miles/109 kilometers with up to 2,610 feet/795 meters of climbing

Today is a longer day, so we will depart early from the Glenora Inn & Distillery making our way southeast around inland Lake Ainslie and then turn north towards the Gulf of St. Lawrence. We then follow the rugged coastline all the way to our destination of Chéticamp, Nova Scotia, our home for this evening.

Nova Scotia harbor view

Enjoying the crisp autumn weather

Elevation Profile: +2610 ft / -2815 ft

Day 3: Chéticamp to Ingonish
Standard, 67 miles/107 kilometers with up to 6,010 feet/1,832 meters of climbing
E.F.I., 102 miles/164 kilometers with up to 8,730 feet/2660 meters of climbing

Today offers perhaps the most magnificent route for the entire week! We depart from Chéticamp and soon find ourselves within Cape Breton Highlands National Park and along a spectacular stretch of road known as the Cabot Trail. The Cabot Trail offers the most climbing of the tour along with possibly the best views and brightest fall colors. At the 12 mile point in the route there is an option to hike Skyline Trail offering perhaps the most iconic views in all of Cape Breton.

Those looking for a longer riding day can take a side trip up to Meat Cove, the most northerly community in Cape Breton and which is literally perched on the edge of a cliff. This is a challenging side trip where the climbs in the last part leading up to Meat Cove are steep and the last few miles are on a rough dirt road. However, your efforts will be rewarded with spectacular views and you can treat yourself to a bowl of chowder and a cold beer at the campground restaurant.

The Cabot Trail ride ends in Ingonish where we check into our accommodations.

Autumn in the Cape Breton Highlands

Autumn in the Cape Breton Highlands

Enjoying the view in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Standard, Chéticamp to Ingonish, 67 miles – Elevation Profile: +6010 ft / -6005 ft

E.F.I., Chéticamp to Ingonish via Meat Cove, 102 miles – Elevation Profile: +8730 ft / -8720 ft

Day 4: Ingonish to Baddeck
54 miles/87 kilometers with up to 2,830 Feet/863 meters of climbing

Today we leave Ingonish and soon find ourselves tackling a 7-kilometer long category 3 climb which rewards at the summit with views of Cabot Strait. From the summit a screaming descent is enjoyed down to Cabot Strait and St. Anns Bay. Upon reaching Jersey Cove a short ride on the Englishtown Ferry is taken. From here we make our way to Baddeck, Nova Scotia where we finish our ride and check into this evening’s accommodations.

Ingonish Harbour

Ingonish Harbour

Taking the Englishtown Ferry

Elevation Profile: +2830 ft / -2835 ft

Day 5: Layover Day with Optional Activities
Optional rides of 20 to 80 miles/32 to 129 kilometers

With a layover day in Baddeck, guests will have the opportunity to relax, sightsee the town, visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, or tackle on-your-own adventures including kayak tours, sailing tours and other activities. For a relaxing day, guests may also want to book some time at the spa located on-site at the resort. NOTE:  A loop ride of 20 to 80-miles exists on this day. Details to be posted soon.

The Inverary Resort in Baddeck, Nova Scotia

The Alexander Graham Bell Museum

Day 6: Baddeck to Normaway Inn
38 miles/61 kilometers with up to 1,640 feet/500 meters of climbing

With a shorter ride on the agenda for today, guests can enjoy a relaxing morning at the resort before we depart late morning to embark on our ride. Our ride continues along the Cabot Trail, but instead of water views, we turn inland towards the center of Cape Breton island until we reach our destination at the Normaway Inn.

Nova Scotia Countryside

Nova Scotia Countryside

The Normaway Inn

Elevation Profile: +1640 ft / -1390 ft

Day 7: Normaway Inn to Inverness
37 miles/60 kilometers with up to 1,640 feet/500 meters of climbing

The last day of our Nova Scotia tour has arrived with another short ride on the schedule. From the Normaway Inn, we will pedal west roughly following the Margaree River through the Margaree Valley. Then the route turns southwest to end in the beautiful coastal town of Inverness. Here we will enjoy lunch and browse the local shops. Afterwards, we load the support vehicle and transfer back to Halifax to end our tour.

Beautiful roads abound on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island

Picturesque Inverness harbor

Elevation Profile: +1640 ft / -1810 ft

Nova Scotia Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Meals
Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.

Ride Difficulty
This custom tour is designed for Intermediate to Advanced (2/3) cyclists with various levels of fitness. Each day there are additional mileage options for advanced riders.

Tour Support
A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment will support this tour.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through MH Ross Travel Insurance. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below or Lizard Head Cycling Guides can also set-up a policy for its clients.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

https://www.mhross.com/index.php/consumer/portal/LIZA0855CO

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.