WEYBURN - Steven Ekvall is travelling across Canada on two wheels, with the plan to cycle as much as possible along trails and gravel roads, and to stay off of major highways where possible.
Steven stopped in Weyburn on July 7, which he estimated was day 64 of his trip.
“I am biking across Canada, from coast to coast. I started in Victoria, and the plan is to go to Newfoundland,” explained Ekvall. “I am trying to stay off the main highways as much as possible and go on more back roads.”
“After I graduated from university, I knew I wanted to go on a trip. My initial plan was to go to Peru, for a two-week course through school, but that was two years ago and COVID-19 restrictions came in place. I still wanted to do a big trip, and weighed my options of hitch-hiking around Europe, or doing a big bike cross-country tour.”
A Calgary native, 23-year-old Steven wanted to make sure his cross-country tour was truly from coast-to-coast.
“First, I started going up through Vancouver Island, through Port Alberni to Comox Lake and back down the Sunshine Coast. I did almost all that on trails and logging roads, and it was definitely off-the-grid.
“Through B.C., I mostly followed the TransCanada Trail, and a large portion of that is the Kettle-Valley Railway and the Columbia-Western Railway, which are old railways that they have turned into trails. It was enjoyable, and I was able to stay off highways almost completely during that time,” said Ekvall.
“For the prairies, I stayed off the TransCanada Trail since it goes far north. Instead I found my own way, hitting up Drumheller for the dinosaurs and badlands, and Leader for the great sand hills.
“Through Saskatchewan itself, I got into the province from Empress through Leader, on a gravel road and a ferry, where I crossed. I followed the Leader road, then made my way to Saskatchewan Landing, and crossed at the Riverhurst Ferry to continue my journey. I was going to hop on the TransCanada Trail around Eyebrow, to do some zig-zagging, but due to recent rains the trail was just too muddy for my bike.”
He took the 202 to Buffalo Pound and then took the trails through there, and took gravel roads down to Weyburn. His plan from Weyburn was to take the Redcoat Trail towards Turtle Mountain Park, and hopefully hit the International Gardens before getting back on the TransCanada Trail to get into Winnipeg.
“Basically I have not been through a town that has a bike shop since Calgary,” he laughed, noting that he would have to pick up some necessary supplies in Winnipeg.
He said that he is enjoying the changing topography, and the interaction of the animals that he has seen along the trails and grid roads.
Residents can follow Steven’s blog about his trip by going online to ekvallbikes.wordpress.com.