AFTER SPENDING MORE than three decades behind a desk as a journalist for news wire services and national newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and The Financial Post, Bud Jorgensen decided it might be fun to marry his two passions — Canada and cycling — by hopping on a bike and touring people across the country. So for the past 20 years, Alliston, Ont.- based Jorgensen has operated the Tour du Canada, a 10-week, 7,700-kilometre bike excursion from sea to sea. When cycling, he says, you see the country up close at a pace that allows you to really enjoy it. “It puts wheels on the coureur de bois experience,” he adds. Here are Jorgensen’s 10 best Canadian vacation rides.

Victoria to Vancouver via the Sunshine Coast (B.C.) This big loop starts in Victoria and crosses to Powell River from Comox, is not terribly vigorous or hilly and is protected from Pacific winds by Vancouver Island. From the island, you get an awesome sense of the Coast Mountains, which plunge into the Strait of Georgia. (1 week)

Icefields Parkway (Alta.) Heading from Jasper to Banff, in the heart of the Rockies, you reach the treeline and subalpine ecosystems, feeling the changes in climate and seeing the changes in vegetation as you ascend and descend. (2-3 days)

Cabot Trail (N.S.) In the Cape Breton Highlands, you’re almost guaranteed to see a moose or bear, but the people here are the real draw, with French and Celtic influences everywhere you turn. Look for hooked rugs near Chéticamp and the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck. But be prepared for some climbing. (3-4 days)

Niagara Peninsula (Ont.) Great cycling paths and roads let you travel easily from Niagara through Welland to Port Colborne, where you can watch boats enter the canal locks. Then, head north to Niagara-on-the- Lake to people watch. (2 days)

Toronto to Montréal (Ont./Que.) Following Lake Ontario through Loyalist country in Prince Edward County is a history lesson. Just about any local you meet will fill you in on area history. Along the St. Lawrence Seaway at Morrisburg, Ont., you can also sample life in the 1860s at Upper Canada Village Heritage Park. (1 week)

Ottawa to Québec (Ont./Que.) Follow voyageur routes along the rivers that snake from Ottawa to Québec, such as the Ottawa and St. Lawrence. At higher elevations, you get a good view of the old seigneuries lining the waterways. Feel the history with a stop in Old Montréal or at the Ursulines’ monastery in Trois-Rivières. (1 week)

Lighthouse route (N.S.) It’s easy and incredibly scenic along the lighthouse route, the sea on one side and the quaint port towns on the other. You start in Halifax and pass through Peggys Cove, Chester and Lunenburg and end in Bridgewater. (3-4 days)

Acadian Coast (N.B.) Starting in Bathurst and heading south to Miramichi, you’ll find nice wide shoulders along the roads, which make for easy riding. You get a real sense of the region’s diversity as you experience French communities such as Caraquet, Mi’kmaq towns like Burnt Church and places like Douglastown and Chatham, with their Scots and Irish heritage. (4-7 days)

Grand River system (Ont.) Riding along the tributaries of the Grand River, which has the largest watershed in southern Ontario, is a cultural experience. North of Kitchener- Waterloo is the Mennonite community of St. Jacobs, and farther south is the Six Nations Reserve and Brantford, home of the Bell Homestead. The quiet country roads surrounded by cornfields and cattle pastures are perfect for bicycles. (5-6 days)

Avalon Peninsula (N.L.) The roads outside St. John’s are not busy, but the terrain can be tough going in spots. Cliffside vistas, the rocky shoreline ecology and a plethora of seabirds make up for all the effort. (2 days)