Together in this
WHERE DOES CYCLING TAKE YOU?
Welcome to the OC Lifestyle webpage, a hub for all things cycling – routes, gear, tips and more. Join us on this healthy, adventurous, sustainable journey and explore our province on two wheels. It doesn’t matter if you are new to cycling or if you are a passionate veteran; this page is designed to cater to all your cycling needs.
Ontario’s vibrant community of cycling enthusiasts not only share a passion for racing but also for our all-common love – the freedom on two wheels. Together with our partners, we provide a huge bandwidth for recreational topics beyond simply providing routes. Ontario Cycling is committed to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle through the power of cycling.
WELCOME TO ONTARIO
Ontario has a lot to offer. Exploring the province by bike is probably the most beautiful option. Cycling will provide the freedom of drifting away along the rivers and lakeshores or rolling over the escarpment or the highlands. Discover the hidden gems that might otherwise go unnoticed, and let the journey become on mesmerizing experience.
Our partner Ontario by Bike offers everything you might looking for. Whether you are interested in meandering recreational trails, rugged mountain biking terrain or paved road riding, there are trail and route types suitable for any kind of rider. Many of the rides range from accessible trails in the city to charming country roads.
For cyclists, the Ontario By Bike™ Network offers a variety of information on cycling in Ontario; inspiring visitors and residents to explore more by bike. Find great places to cycle in Ontario with links to useful cycling maps and plan your day trip or multi day cycling itineraries with stops at certified bicycle friendly businesses enroute. Click on map above to see all locations.
YOUR FRIENDLY BIKE SHOP IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Bike packing - The art of slow riding
What is Bike Packing
Simply put, bikepacking is a combination of all-terrain cycling and backpacking. Carrying only the essentials, it allows one to explore corners of nature impossible to traverse with other types of vehicles. Due to travel occurring on single-track dirt and gravel pathways using a mountain or gravel bike, a multi-day bikepacking adventure also allows one to cover more ground than with regular backpacking.
What Type of bike to i need?
The great thing about bikepacking is that the bike you currently have should be good enough for the adventure. Due to the nature of bikepacking, which involves travelling on dirt roads, trails, and gravel pathways, mountain or gravel bikes would be preferable.
KEY COMPONENT OF A BIKEPACKING BIKE
Since bikepacking involves overnight adventuring on low-traffic single-track dirt and gravel trials, it is important that you check, and potentially modify, certain aspects of your bike to ensure safety and comfortability. Some parts of the bike you should focus on includes:
Ensure they work efficiently! Hydraulic brakes are becoming more common and more reliable, however, there are also many reliable disc brakes. Pick the brakes you find more reliable and are more comfortable with.
While these are some aspects of your bike you should pay extra attention to before leaving on your bikepacking adventure, it is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to check all parts of your bike for safety and comfort before beginning your journey.
It is important to spend time thinking and researching what and which types of equipment you should be packing for your excursion. Remember, if you are trying this kind of excursion for the first time or do not plan on participating in it many times a year, it may not be worth buying new fancy equipment. Try to use the camping or backpacking equipment you already have or borrow a family member’s or a friend’s equipment.
Since bikepacking is a combination of backpacking and all-terrain cycling, it should be no surprise that you should be bringing everything a backpacker and all-terrain cyclist would bring on their adventures. Some equipment that is important to bring include:
- Sleeping Bag
- Backpacking/mini stove
- Water Bottle
- First Aid Kit
- Bug Spray
- Hiking Boots
- Bike Shoes
- Tire/tube Repair Kit
- Chain Tool
- Extra Chain
- Portable Tire/Bike Pump
- *Weather-appropriate Clothing
- Spare Tube
* Ensure you pack layers! It is common for it to be cool in the morning, hot in the afternoon, and cold at night. Weather can also be unpredictable so be sure to pack extra clothes and a raincoat in case it suddenly begins to rain
One advantage of bikepacking is that you have your bike, which means you do not have to carry all of your equipment on your back. However, it is important to note that bike bags can be expensive, so carrying equipment on your back and strapping it to your handlebars can be a cheap and effective alternative. If you are looking to buy some bike bags, some common ones utilized by experienced bikepackers are:
- Large Seat Bag
- Handlebar Bag
- Water Bottle Cage
- Frame Bag
- Top-Tube/Gas Tank/Bento Box Bag
Keeping your bike light will allow for a more pleasurable bikepacking experience. Therefore, be sure to pack only the essentials and place most of the weight as low as possible on your bike.
If you are new to bikepacking, it would be a good idea to select a short route close to home and only spend one night. This gives you one less thing to be stressed about as you are familiar with the area, so you will be more confident on the route and campsite.
If you do not know any bikepacking routes, you can also search the internet for routes. There is an entire community of bikepackers out there who have ridden and created different routes, so there is bound to be one in the location you are looking for. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you can also create your own route. When creating your own route, it is important to remember that it is better to cycle on low traffic/traffic-free routes as this allows for immersion in the experience, including nature and riding, and increased safety.
Finally, no matter if this is your first or fiftieth bikepacking adventure, it is important to always have a backup plan. Weather, equipment malfunctions, and accidents are not always predictable; therefore, it is important to know the area you are travelling through just in case you need to find an indoor place to stay, a bike repair shop, or emergency help/hospital.
Hopefully you now have enough information to start planning and researching your own bikepacking adventure! Have fun and be safe journeying to places many have not.
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