After much internal debate, I realised that I had two bike trips that I wanted to do this summer. The one I had been thinking of for the longest is to continue the AMUAM JUNITO project and do Winnipeg to Sault Ste-Marie, i.e. the particularly dreary bit. Having recently driven a portion of the Trans-Canada in Northern Ontario, I can safely say that I really don't want to ride it. However, my research indicates that by going through the United States, I can avoid most of Northern Ontario. This will set me up nicely to do Sault Ste-Marie to Montreal next year, quite possibly with my parents for the Toronto to Montreal leg. However, as mentionned, it is not a particularly interesting ride. (I was talking about it to a co-worker. She asked "Why did I want to ride from one boring city to another boring city?")
I had a much more fun trip in mind, as I rather fancy going to see Alice and family in Clearwater B.C. in order to inspect her new arrival. While I could make a flying visit without a bicycle, I have the wish to go back and actually ride from Princeton to Penticton, as I was unable to do several years ago. As luck would have it, Clearwater is served by the Canadian. This lead me to work out a trip in which I could take Leonardo on the train to Clearwater (thereby fulfill the dream of taking the train across Canada), see Alice and company, then ride to Kelowna via Princeton and Pendicton. From Kelowna, I would fly back to Montreal. Furthermore, there is a WestJet flight from Kelowna which goes to Montreal with a stop in Calgary. This would reduce any worries about transfers. It also works out a shade cheaper.
So which trip do I do?
I sat down with Google Maps and worked out that it would be 12 riding days between Winnipeg and Sault Ste-Marie. Add in 3 rest days, plus 2 travel days, the whole thing could be done in as few as 17 days. That is one day over a 2 week vacation. Combined with the early summer legal holidays (St-Jean Baptiste and Canada Day), there shouldn't be a problem.
Clearwater to Pendicton by the route I am thinking of is about 1 week. The Canadian would leave on a Saturday and arrives on a Tuesday making for a comfortable visit combined with the ride in 2 weeks. Furthermore, it is "cheaper" to take a bike on the train than on the plane.
Thus I should be able to get in two bike trips this summer. The AMUAM JUNITO leg would be late June/early July. The Clearwater-Kelowna trip would be late August/early September. Of course, this is subject the usual bureaucracy and of course the ups and downs of life.