Canada Bike Tour Guide
 Guide: Don Harris, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Meet Don Harris. He guides our Canadian adventures and brings his passion for cycling, and his
vast knowledge of the Maritimes, to every tour he leads.

Q. How long have you been leading cycling tours?
A. I began leading about 5 years ago after “officially” retiring. I was the coordinator of the Entrepreneurs
Forum. Prior to that I had a career as an archaeologist on Cape Breton.

Q. What do you love about the routes you lead?
A. They’re so different, it’s hard to chose. PEI is a bucolic heaven with rolling green fields and red soil.
The ocean is always in the background and the roads are lined with lupines and other wild flowers.
Nova Scotia is the essence of the Maritimes with its old towns and villages. Our routes skirt the Bay of
Fundy, carry us through the farmland and forests of the Annapolis Valley, and along the rugged Atlantic
shore. Cape Breton is a world all its own, much more sparsely settled than Nova Scotia and PEI. The
scenery is breathtaking and the climbs…amazing. The accommodations are all one-of-a-kind and we wrap up the tour in Louisbourg, site of the 18th century fortress of Louisbourg. The food is great on all three tours and if you like seafood, the Maritimes is the place to be.

Prince Edward Island lupines
Prince Edward Island lupines

Q. What is the most unique thing about the routes you lead?
A. Each place has a quality all its own. On PEI, I love the gently rolling fields that drop down to the Northumberland Straits. Nova Scotia is an old favorite. I love the gradual descent along the Moose River, the sharp climb out of Bear River, and lunch at the LeHavre Bakery. Ah, Cape Breton—it’s my favorite. The most unique thing? Breakfast at the Home Kitchen cafe in Cheticamp—with it’s charming Acadian waitstaff—followed by the climb up French Mountain, the descent of MacKenzie Mountain, the climb up North Mountain, and, then...the final descent. This series of climbs and descents makes an experienced cyclist’s heart sing.

Cyclists on the Cabot Trail
Cycling on the Cabot Trail

Q. What is your most fun/interesting/ crazy memory of leading tours?
A. So many great memories—climbing up French Mt. with a strong headwind in a cold, slashing rain, the breathtaking view from Franey Mountain after an hour and a half hike, and the lantern-lit tour of the Annapolis Royal cemetery—a great way to learn about local history. My favorite eating experience—the New Glasgow lobster dinner. Once, sitting in the corner with her family, was the Island’s Olympic gold medalist, Heather Moyse, graciously signing autographs for awestruck kids. The Island’s great for that.

Q. When did you start cycling?
A. I started when I was six and lived on a bike until about 15. After I got my driver’s license, my interest shifted to motorcycles and cars. I got back into cycling again about 1998, when I took my daughter’s mountain bike out for a ride. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Q. Why do you keep doing it?
A. Simple, I just love it. Cycling also has a lot of other side benefits. It keeps me svelte and smiling.

Q. Are you married? Children? Where do you live?
A. As Zorba the Greek said, “Am I not a man.” Yes, I’m married, and I have three children. My oldest son lives in
Florida, my youngest son lives in Calgary. My daughter is working on her second degree in Archaeology at
Memorial University in Newfoundland. Pretty scattered, eh? My wife, Jane, and I live on a small farm in Milltown
Cross in eastern PEI.

Q. What do you do in the off season?
A. Officially I’m retired but not tired. One of my main interests, aside from cycling, is artisan bread baking.I’ve built a wood-fired oven behind the house and I bake bread for a small group of people who like to eat well. With any luck you’ll get to sample my bread and desserts on one of my tours.

Canada Bike Tour Guide
Don Harris, Prince Edward Island

Q. If you could cycle anywhere, where would it be?
A. Where the wine and bread are the best. I think Italy or France.

Find out more about Easy Rider Tours Canada bike tours here