PEI Bicycle Tours – FAQ’s

Our published tour price estimates include deluxe hybrids and we can quote for e-assist supplements. We can also quote with a reduction if you’re bringing your own bike. For the mixed terrain routes we typically suggest on most of our PEI tours, the majority of visiting cyclists use those categories, although they’re not the only options we have available in our rental fleet. You can view all models, equipment specifications and current availability here. You can also compare the cost of hybrids to e-bikes if interested in having us quote for an e-bike supplement for your tour. With some Confederation Trail sections incorporated specifically to avoid some higher-trafficked areas such as Route 2, for example, road bikes aren’t the ideal equipment for that type of terrain, and much less so for some of the clay roads on the Island Walk route, which (in some seasons/wet weather) are better suited to walkers than bikers, who generally appreciate less rolling resistance.

If anyone decides to upgrade to an e-bike after their deposit has been processed, then remember allotment of any equipment is subject to availability at the time of booking.
1. Consult current availability, price differences, accessory upgrades and our rental equipment’s features in our bike rental platform.
2. Email to request the back office make a swap of one bike in your existing reservation for your new preference. If there are multiple options in your size, specify which model(s) you’re interested in booking.
3. If confirmed in the back office before your final tour balance is processed, equipment upgrades can be paid in advance. If confirmed after the balance has been processed, you’ll pay locally for the upgrade in the shop on outfitting.

There’s no set answer for how long the batteries last. It varies depending on the rider, what level of assist they choose, and what terrain they’re riding. The Norco Scene gets up to 125 kms on a full charge, but a good average is more like 80. You can stop and recharge at lunch and it attains an 80% charge fairly quickly. The last 20% is a trickle charge, so takes longer, and is usually done on an overnight or post-ride charge. The Norco Indie has a bigger battery so if you only used the level 1 assist (which probably isn’t what most people end up doing), they say it can get up to 180 kms. They usually have plenty of juice to complete the rides we design with no issues whatsoever. It’s a 110V charger, so not difficult to find locations where you can plug in.

MacQueen’s rental accessories include trunk/handlebar bags, touring panniers, helmets, locks, emergency repair kits with pump/tire irons/patch kit/multi-tool, Delta cell phone holders, Cyclotron cell phone holders + battery pack, and clipless pedals. View their specs here. We are open to installing your saddle/pedals on our equipment if desired. Our accessories are only available as add-on complements to our rental bikes, so if you’re bringing your own bike, you’ll also bring all of your own accessories, including navigational devices, cell phone holders, etc.

We don’t rent mirrors, since in our experience with rental bikes, they’re frequently broken. But if you feel more comfortable riding with that accessory, consider bringing/purchasing your own helmet/eyeglass/wrist mirror, or a Velcro handlebar mirror. Closed-end handlebar grips on some of our rental bikes aren’t always conducive to installing fixed handlebar models. View our shop inventory

We mostly use scenic byways, heritage roads & the Confederation Trail. Road cycling will either be on a broad shoulder or on less-travelled paved surfaces. Terrain is generally gently rolling. We often suggest multiple ride options where possible to accommodate different cycling abilities, activity or terrain preferences. Our published itineraries include total distance, and auto-generated descriptions of the elevation and terrain. Once your final balance is paid we provide full access to plotted routes to each participant including highlighted map, printable directions, downloadable route formats, ride profile and detailed route statistics for all daily ride options in your itinerary.

Most of our guests prefer navigating with their phones. To avoid battery drain, we recommend renting a Cyclotron (cell phone holder with battery pack) if you intend to navigate with your phone.

Once the final tour balance has been processed, all registered tour participants will be provided with an auto-approval link to be added to the tour event in Ride With GPS. They’ll click the link and automatically will sync your account online and on the mobile app. It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices. For an overview of all the features you’ll have access to, check out the Tour Participants Benefits help page. Our digital routes include points of interest and meal suggestions. You’re welcome to test out the features in the meantime with our public access Day Tours from MacQueen’s.

We have a limited # of rental Garmins available for visitors using MacQueen’s rental equipment on our Supported Independent tour programs. We rent up to 1 unit per tour. They come pre-loaded with routes specific to your tour itinerary, and you can narrow down the list a month in advance of travel.

Our digital route platform even allows you to print routes/directions if you’re a little more old school. Or if you have your own navigation device, you can download files there once your final balance is paid and we open your advance digital access to plotted routes.

Our Dad was a founder of the Confederation Trail, and while we incorporate sections where they make sense to avoid traffic in urban areas, or where they’re particularly scenic following coastline, we only offer a few tip to tip trips designed fully around the Confederation Trail since much of it goes through the woods and that gets monotonous for many riders. While its moderate grade and complete removal from traffic are a draw for families with young children or less experienced riders, most of our mature cycle touring guests are looking for a different type of cultural experience and more variation in the scenery.

We publish a variety of itineraries demonstrating:
a) some of our most popular PEI cycling programs
b) possibilities for different cycling distances and terrain
c) a selection of accommodation options.
PEI has limited short term accommodation options outside of the main urban centers of Charlottetown and Summerside, so that’s a major consideration when arranging multi-center active holidays. We work around available accommodations + your cycling abilities when we receive your booking request. Another consideration we sometimes need to play with is the requirement for different bed sizes or configurations. Start by reviewing some of the itineraries that we publish, and then selecting one that you feel most closely matches your travel/cycling goals. If it’s not an exact match, then include Notes in your Quote Request form on what kind of tweaks you think might work. If we can make it happen we’ll send you a proposal; if not, we’ll suggest alternatives and can go from there.

On-call Emergency Road Repair Insurance is included on our Supported Independent tour programs for MacQueen’s rental bikes, so our staff is on call and usually within an hour’s range during your cycle tour if needed for repairs or adjustments. Service calls may be assessed extra fees. For non-emergencies guests often are happy to have us come after hours or combine quick fixes when picking up luggage first thing in the morning. The service isn’t included or available for those bringing their own equipment. It’s not available on Island Walk by Bike programs either, since the territory to be covered is typically larger than we can commit to covering in-house. For those programs we provide a list of PEI bicycle repair outlets or remote repair services and expect participants to have a degree of self-sufficiency and basic skills or resourcefulness for minor fixes. We highly recommend performing a test ride in Charlottetown before setting out on any longer distance journey, since we have full staff and equipment on hand to quickly make any fine-tuning or substitution of rental equipment if required.

For any self-guided cycle tour, you should be prepared with proper clothing for sun/rain protection and travel with an adequate water supply + backup energy supplements. In the event they’re required for an emergency, we can assist with contacting local taxi services, and recommend you carry a cell phone for that purpose. Our luggage transfer service is not a passenger shuttle; luggage transfer vehicles are sometimes executing multiple transfers on a daily route, and vehicle models can vary depending on the scheduled services. Our shuttle vehicle, with bicycle, passenger + luggage capacity, is mainly designated for Tip to Tip routes to Tignish (09:00) and returning from Elmira to Charlottetown (15:00) and in between, we schedule lunch/breaks/EV charging.

Luggage transfers are optional on the Island Walk by Bike & Confederation Trail trips. They’re included on Supported Independent Cycle Tours and your bags should be ready for collection at your accommodations by 09:00 each day.
Starting/Ending in Charlottetown?
If you’ve booked a Charlottetown hotel with MacQueen’s to start or end your trip, luggage will automatically be scheduled for collection there. All other luggage transfers involving Charlottetown pickups/dropoffs are scheduled from/to MacQueen’s at the beginning/end of your journey.

Our luggage transfer capacity limit is established at 1 (non-oversized) suitcase per traveler. For MacQueen’s cycle tour clients, we have a limited amount of luggage storage space available in the office. More info/rates here.

Since we have the largest bicycle rental fleet on PEI, the main limitation to group size will be available accommodations and the group’s cycling ability (maximum daily kms). A number of the properties we use are small scale and not designed for large groups. But there are options for larger groups. The majority of our self-guided cycling clients are individuals and families, but we also often handle smaller groups of 8-12. Larger than that will find more limitations in terms of short term accommodation choices.

Some breakfasts are included and your itinerary will specify inclusive meal services. We select accommodations based on their proximity to, or facilities for, evening dining. We provide daily suggestions for meals and activities and will populate your final itinerary with those details 30 days in advance of trip start, once the final balance has been paid. Some venues may be recommended for advance booking (such as dinner at the Inn at Bay Fortune or Dalvay) and those suggestions are usually posted in your public itinerary link from the outset so that you make those plans/arrangements in advance.

Typically if you’re looking to tack on accommodations in Charlottetown before or after your tour, that would be the extent of what we’d offer to add into your MacQueen’s travel proposal. Very occasionally on demand we might also quote/book a rental car on your behalf, but using your credit card to guarantee the service rather than processing the charge through our company, subject to our booking terms & conditions. Our specialty’s cycle touring in PEI, so that’s where we prefer to dedicate our time and professional resources, not so much in consulting on arrangements for getting to PEI. Our Traveling to PEI page has the basics.
We find it’s helpful to book an extra night in Charlottetown as domestic flight delays aren’t uncommon. Having that window of time also allows you to adequately plan for a test ride and vet any rental equipment adjustments before leaving the city.

View our Traveling to PEI page for info on secure parking in Charlottetown. Our parking facilities at MacQueen’s are limited and reserved for tenants & retail customers. Vehicles not registered with our Property Manager and left overnight in our commercial parking lot may be towed.

Once you have a better idea of which itinerary outline we should use, or what specific adjustments you’d be interested in having us include, kindly send us a Quote Request Form with all your particulars and we’d be happy to send a tentative proposal for your consideration.

Chamois Butt’r to protect “down there” while riding. Sometimes even a small underwear band can chafe and turn into a blister. If your butt’s not broken in, then consider it.
Padded cycle shorts and liners, rain gear, souvenir jerseys, reflective clothing or accessories, footwear, cycling socks, travel size chain lube, gloves, eyewear, cell phone holders, extra tubes, souvenir water bottles, blinking taillight attachment, multi-tools, CO2 inflators, mirrors, energy snacks and more.

View our shop inventory

View a short packing list

Our trips typically operate from June through September. We’ve received travelers in mid May, and some into early October but that’s low season and since some of PEI’s dining/acommodation operations are seasonal (and not open outside of Jun-Sep), advance planning for meals becomes more important before mid June / after mid September.

Some PEI tourism operations may not be open from October to May. Many of the properties we use are small Inns and B&Bs where space is limited. It’s important to book early, especially for travel in July and August when “no vacancies” often  occur, although we often have alternative accommodation options to suggest when our first choices aren’t possible. Most of our individual travelers book 4-6 months before travel, and some groups up to a year or more in advance. Since we transition from administration to operations in the summer at MacQueen’s, we rarely handle new tour proposal requests for the current season after June. Groups: many of the properties we use are small scale, so ample advance booking is the best way to secure your preferred choices and avoid disappointment.

Check out PEI weather data here.

Many people associate the fabled redheaded Prince Edward Island orphan Anne with Cavendish. And it’s true you’ll find the Green Gables Heritage Place there, along with many of the other international tourists that flock to the most gimmicky tourist area in all of PEI. For us, the best part of Cavendish, however, is the trail system and the Gulf Shore Parkway, a dedicated active transportation lane in the PEI National Park. If you venture a little further west of Cavendish, you’ll discover the Anne of Green Gables Museum and forest trails in Park Corner. The Montgomery Trust has preserved alot of land in the area, and it’s a treat to visit. There’s also a modest museum at the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace in New London and in Bedeque, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Lower Bedeque School, also a museum with the interesting story of the translation of the story to Japanese. In Charlottetown, you can catch the musical Anne & Gilbert in the summer, and on alternate years, the musical Anne of Green Gables at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. We have a # of Supported Independent trips that include 2 nights at Dalvay where cycling loops can take you as far as Cavendish. Our Tip to Tip North Shore trip takes riders through Cavendish. The Tip to Tip North + Anne’s Land goes through both Park Corner & Cavendish. The Confederation Trail Tip to Tip IV trip has a couple of overnights in New Glasgow that would provide the opportunity to cycle up that way. And our North Shore Bliss West + trip also makes it as far as Malpeque, so also lets riders explore the north shore at leisure. Have a read through Tourism PEI’s blurb here for not only the most famous, but also some of the lesser-known sites on the Island where you can gain some insight into L.M. Montgomery’s life.

If you’re planning to ride the same day as your outbound flight, then if you’re wondering where to plan for a post-ride shower, consider:
-a relatively economical day pass at the UPEI aquatics facility or
-a guest pass/class at a local gym or
-a drop-in class at a yoga studio with locker/shower facilities or
-book a hotel room for day use
-Some provincial parks have public showers at their locations.
MacQueen’s Bike Shop’s staff showers aren’t for public use in the summer, sorry!