Peter Henry may describe himself as a fair-to-middling cyclocrosser, but he’s got plenty of bike touring company experience and has put that all to good use in launching a gravel bike touring company called Nonesuch Cycle Tours. While pavement options are also available, the Nova Scotia gravel routes and scenery look like a great way to get re-acquainted with your cyclocross bike during the summer. Full details below. 

Clouds and dirt. Photo courtesy Peter Henry - Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Clouds and dirt. Photo courtesy Peter Henry – Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Nonesuch Cycle Tours is pleased to announce its arrival as North America’s first gravel-grinder/cyclocross adventure travel company, offering gravel and road adventures in cool weather climates. In 2017, Nonesuch will be offering one-week trips in Nova Scotia, travelling from the Bay of Fundy to the Northumberland Strait and back again. Riders will enjoy on-road and wraparound logistical support as they get in big miles on gravel and asphalt.

Nonesuch Cycle Tours was founded by longtime European bike touring guide, gravel aficionado, and mediocre cyclocrosser Peter Henry.

Sun and gravel. Photo courtesy Peter Henry - Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Sun and gravel. Photo courtesy Peter Henry – Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Henry’s motivation for the business came from his years spent juggling European bike touring work, his day job in the classroom, his love of gravel, and his commitment to life as a mediocre masters cyclocrosser. “I’ve worked close to 20 tours in Europe, and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had such an opportunity. I could do it because, in real life, I work a teaching job and have summers off.”

“What I’ve seen in working in bike tourism is that most folks who can do a bike vacation in Europe have both time and money on their side; most of my close friends at home are lucky to have either time or money – but definitely not both.  At this point in my life, I’m trying to take what I’ve learned from working in Europe and offer tours for the gravel and ‘cross crowd, people who can get away from their jobs and families for no more than a week.”

Macleans U Pick Up. Photo courtesy Peter Henry - Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Macleans U-Pick – country roads, take me home. Photo courtesy Peter Henry – Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Nova Scotia provides an ideal locale for the initial tours. “Halifax, Nova Scotia is a half-day’s journey from most places along the American East Coast, Southeast and Midwest. Since the tours run Saturday to Saturday, it’s now possible to do an “international” bike tour without burning too many vacation days or using up too much goodwill on the homefront.”

Another major factor in choosing Nova Scotia was its climate. “Daily highs in Nova Scotia tend to be in the 70s during July, so it’s a good way to escape the heat and humidity of summer and get in some long days on the bike. As a native Virginian, I’m happy to be any place in summer that’s not Virginia.”

30 kmh gravel road. Photo courtesy Peter Henry - Nonesuch Cycle Tours

30 kmh gravel road. Photo courtesy Peter Henry – Nonesuch Cycle Tours

Base mileage for cyclocross season offers a nice dividend from the trips. A lifelong middle-to-back of the B field racer, Henry does not overlook the advantages of big miles in July. But he also quick to add “Good lord – this is a vacation! It’s about riding bikes on gravel, yes, but it’s also hopefully about drinking a beer and having a good time in a staggeringly beautiful part of the world. Protein shakes and compression socks will be mocked, and justifiably so.”

More info: www.nonesuchtours.com