Bike under big skies, by giant lakes and over the Continental Divide.
Alberta, British Columbia, Montana. The names alone conjure images of a timeless and legendary west, of giant landscapes and great beauty.
Seeing these areas by bike is ideal. In this cluster of natural beauty and national parks, biking can get you there—wherever there happens to be: Banff, Missoula, Kootenay, Waterton, Glacier.
Being part of an Overland group makes the experience all the richer. With us it’s not just about the riding or the sights. With us, it’s about you and the people you’re with—your group and your two Overland leaders. The fabric of your experience is woven with these relationships—relationships that become close. Friendships that matter.
When the riding is done, when the sights have been seen, we’ll laugh and hug and cry and say goodbye. The Canadian Rockies & Montana will stay with us–the rugged mountain peaks, the bright blue glacial lakes, our rides over the Continental Divide, our swim in Lake McDonald. But, more importantly—much more importantly—all that we’ve done and seen and shared together will stay with you. For a very long time.
I can’t say enough great things about Overland. This was another amazing trip for Jack—seeing the world, working hard and meeting wonderful people.
- Lisa Schulman, Highland Park, Illinois
Bike, paddleboard and explore between Banff and Missoula.
Students going on Canadian Rockies & Montana should prepare for:
- Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
- Camping out and cooking meals as a group
- 15 or 9 days of biking with an average of 45 (3-week) or 75 (2-week) miles per day
- A fun, supportive and wholesome Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for the Biking
Overland bicycle tours are self-contained—there is no van support. You will carry all of your belongings, plus some group gear and food, on a sturdy rack mounted over the back wheel of your bike. You will hang panniers (these are saddlebags, pronounced “pan-yers”) off the rack and attach gear like your sleeping bag and sleeping pad to the top of the rack using bungee cords. On average, you will carry about 40 pounds of equipment on your bike (not including the weight of the bike).
You should come prepared and recognize that some days will be more challenging and longer than others. Delays occur due to a wide range of variables—weather patterns change and road conditions vary. You, or someone in your group, might get a flat tire or encounter another mechanical issue that could delay your group. On some days your group will arrive at camp in the early afternoon, while on other days your group will spend more time on the bike.
While there is always a range of physical ability and fitness in each group, it's important that you follow the training schedule and that you take the time to gain confidence on a bike—mounting and dismounting, shifting gears, braking and making turns. We expect you to prepare adequately so you can keep up physically and participate in all of your group’s activities.
Canadian Rockies & Montana 3-Week
Daily rides average 45 miles over varying terrain, with six days over 50 miles and a longest day of approximately 60 miles.
- 4 weeks before your trip: one ride of 6 to 8 miles and a second ride of 8 to 10 miles.
- 3 weeks before your trip: one ride of 8 to 10 miles and a second ride of 10 to 12 miles.
- 2 weeks before your trip: one ride of 10 to 12 miles and a second ride of 12 to 14 miles.
- 1 week before your trip: one ride of 12 to 14 miles and a second ride of 14 to 16 miles.
All training rides should be at an average speed of 12 miles per hour. Once on the trip, your group will average between 10 and 12 miles per hour while riding on fully loaded bikes.
Canadian Rockies & Montana 2-Week
Daily rides average 75 miles over varying terrain, with three days over 80 miles and a longest day of approximately 100 miles.
- 8 weeks before your trip: two rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of one hour each (12 miles) over varied terrain.
- 6 weeks before your trip: two rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of two hours each (24 miles) over varied terrain.
- 4 weeks before your trip: three rides a week (on consecutive days) with loaded panniers of three hours each (36 miles) over varied terrain.
- 2 weeks before your trip: four consecutive rides with loaded panniers of three hours each (36 miles) over varied terrain.
- 1 week before your trip: five consecutive rides—three of three hours each (36 miles) and two of four hours each (48 miles). All rides should be fully loaded over varied terrain.
You must be able to maintain 12 miles an hour fully loaded on terrain that includes hills. All pre-trip training rides must be completed using the bike, pedals and shoes you will use on Canadian Rockies & Montana 2-Week.
Please refer to the Pre-Trip Training Calendar where you will record your training in the weeks leading up to trip start.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge—and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group—will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip!