Credit: Don Cook/saskcycling.ca
Saskatchewan may be the Land of Living Skies, but it’s the province’s open roads that are the main attraction during the Great Annual Saskatchewan Pedal (GASP). GASP 2012 follows a rectangular 590-kilometre route southwest of Swift Current, avoiding, as usual, the busier highways in favour of scenic country roads. The ride begins in relatively flat farmland before heading for the rolling ranch country between Grasslands National Park and Cypress Hills, where it roughly follows the verdant and historic Frenchman River Valley. Organized by the Saskatchewan Cycling Association, the seven-day tour includes meals and campground accommodation, but no guides. Though a van hauls everyone’s gear and offers support out on the road, no one sets the pace or enforces breaks. So if you want to stop on Day Two and spend a while with Mo, a 70-million-year-old Plesiosaur on display in the town of Ponteix, you can bond for as long as you’d like. Nights are spent camping together with the group, which may number up to 40 people.