The Province of British Columbia
The nearly one million square kilometers contained within the Canadian Province of British Columbia (BC) represent an area larger than half of the countries in the world and provides the majority of the roadwork for cyclists in the Tour of British Columbia. The province in known all over the world by it’s moniker, “Beautiful British Columbia”.
Bordered on the east by the Province of Alberta and the Canadian Rockies, BC shares its southern border with the United States of Washington, Idaho and Montana. To the west, BC gives way to the Pacific Ocean and the Alaska Panhandle. The Yukon Territories and the Northwest Territories share its northern and north western border.
There are a staggering 13,302 campsites, 487 day-use areas and 807 protected areas covering 11.4 million hectares, 37 river systems and more than 2,200 lakes which are shared by 488 varieties of birds, 142 different animals and over 450 species of fish. The TdBC travels through 5 of British Columbia’s 6 main tourism regions including the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, Northern BC, the Kootenay Rockies, Thompson Okanagan and Vancouver & the Coast Mountains regions
British Columbia’s first inhabitants arrived over 10,000 years ago with the Great Glacier retreat. B.C.’s aboriginal people are known as First Nations and there are 197 First Nations bands in the province, such as the Gitxsan, Haida, Nisga’a and Squamish. You cannot experience British Columbia without being touched by the spirit, art and culture of its First Nations.
The weather conditions in July and August vary but generally range from comfortable to hot, depending on your exact location. While some sections of BC can experience long dry spells there will always be a rain storm to replenish the land. Because the TdBC covers such a vast range it is hard to be specific, but as a general guideline daytime temperatures will range between 18 and 35 degrees Celsius. Cooler temperatures, especially in the north where temps tend to be more extreme, will be evident at night. If fortunate, participants may view the Aurora Borealis or Northern lights in the evening sky while traveling through the northern sector of the race route.
The TdBC route also travels through Banff and Jasper National Parks via the Icefields Parkway and the Canadian Rockies located in the Province of Alberta. Ranked by National Geographic as one of the World’s most spectacular drives, these protected wildlife environments and World Heritage Sites offer stunning high alpine terrain filled with natural inspiration; snow-capped mountains, glaciers, glacial lakes and rivers and an abundance of wildlife that roam the lush green rain forests that flourish in the region.
All things considered – a simply amazing place to ride a bicycle!
For more information on British Columbia, please visit any of the following links:
Hellobc.com Tourism, BC official website
Youtube.com Endless supply of professional and amateur video clips of travels in British Columbia
BC Facts Government of BC Quick Facts
British Columbia Wikipedia listing for BC, includes historical information.
For more information on Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, please visit the following links:
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