My father and I cycled across Canada when I was 13 years old. True story. Since that formative time, almost twenty years ago, I have had the great fortune of touring pretty much every corner of the Americas – Alaska to Argentina in 2005, the Race Across America in 2008, twice along the Great Divide Route (Banff to Mexico), the Arizona Trail, and much more. You can read about these adventures in my autobiography, A Purpose Ridden.
During the last seven years in particular, I have come to love mountain biking and exploring the backcountry as the next frontier of cycle tourism. Bikepacking, as we call it, is for enjoying forgotten forest service roads and lost singletracks, and smaller gateway communities, previously not used by our asphalt compadres. Simply put, bikepacking is essentially multi-day mountain biking.
The Great Trail network is really the go-to for bikepacking. There are of course great swaths of asphalt in the network, but if one wanted to ride the entire route, from coast to coast to-coast, bikepacking is the ideal way.