Gear

How to Dress for Cold Weather Cycling

When the warm summer winds fade, many of us hang up our bicycles in the garage, never to be used again till next spring. And so goes the lifestyle of the fair-weather pedaler.

Well, let me warm you up to the idea that you can bike ride all year round.

The notion that it is too chilly to continue riding into the fall certainly seems insane by the time winter arrives. If nothing else, you can extend your cycling season by several months just by having the right clothing.

 

The old adage “dress for the weather” is so true. Those who are already cold-weather riding are not crazy (MTB riders excepted, lol)—we just have the right gear to make it fun.

Using the proper attire on the trails is important. I am going to explain the rationale and some of the physics involved to be comfortable as the temps drop.

 

Dress for Success

A common beginner mistake is wearing your street clothes for cycling. If you are a slow, leisurely cruising Park or Rail Trail rider, facing no hillsor if you’re only going for a short hop on your bike then this is probably fine. 

If you’re going to do this, pick street clothes that give you enough movement so you do not rip or split your garments. (Tight jeans or baggy, flappy pant legs are not good choices.)

And if you are planning to pedal for hours, you will need to rethink your cycling attire and get some proper technical (sport specific) clothing.

The other newbie mistake is overdressing. It will take some trial and error to find the right balance between how much heat you produce and how much heat loss your experience. You should actually start your day on the ride a little chilled and aim to get to a comfortable temperature within 15 to 20 minutes (A few hill climbs will do it, lol.)

If you’re overdressed, problems start when you begin to sweat. In cooler climates, this perspiration can get trapped in your clothing. If you cannot regulate the evaporation, your clothing gets damp, and moisture that does not migrate well away from your body will be uncomfortable and have a chilling effect.

2 women on bikes

Wear the Right Material

If you are wearing cotton shirts, underwear, or socks, these materials feel heavy and cold once you begin to sweat. Not good, when you’re trying to stay warm! Better to wear polyester and wool blends.

These materials are light, perform well, retain heat and wick moisture. Wool actually still feels warm after it gets wetamazing! A merino wool base layer is fine for low activity, but it’s better to pick polyesters for more vigorous outings.

 

Retain the Heat, Lose the Moisture in 3 Layers 

Dressing in layers is the best method to regulate your body’s heat and moisture. Layers help you build a barrier to the outside, blocking the cold winds and trapping warm air in the weaves and fluffy fleece material inside, to keep you insulated.

These layers of material are very effective at keeping you comfortable, as long as you choose the right fabric, construction and fit: too loose and you lose heat, too tight and you restrict movement.

1 Base Layer – Underwear layer against your skin to wick moisture

2 Insulating Layer – Warming mid-layer of fleece

3 Shell Layer  – Outer wind-breaking thin jacket layer

The base layer should be tight fitting and move sweat away from your body. It will continue to feel warm when moist thanks to the wool or polyester it’s made of, and it might have insulating properties when it gets colder.

The middle layer insulates and should have zippers to vent. The colder it is outside, the thicker the fleece material should be.

Your outer layer needs to block chilly winds from penetrating your garments and cooling you down.  This shell/windbreaker jacket should block most of the wind pressure, yet breathe when you sweat.

Some riders may wish for a jacket that is waterproof if it rains, say, while they’re on a long Rail Trail outing with not a shelter in sight. You might be able to find a water-resistant jacket that works and still breathes.

But a true waterproof shell may not breathe well, creating a sauna effect. To make a garment that can do everything and do it well is tricky and expensive. Better to have a separate plastic raincoat packed when you need it.

On that point, my thoughts are: If the forecast looks iffy, plan on doing mountain biking loops near your car, and you don’t need to bother with a water-resistant/proof jacket at all. The moment it starts to rain, you can beeline it back. Just be smart enough to pack a change of clothes.



What to Wear Cycling

In the dead of winter, there is a lot to wear to stay happy and warm. Finding suitable activewear without all the bulk is the goal. 

These are very general guidelines as to what to consider wearing as it gets colder. It depends on your health, age, endurance, cardio output and the weather and windchill during your ride.

15 to 10C zone

As the temperature dips into the low teens, start wearing a light windbreaker shell over your long-sleeved shirt (or at least bring it with you). If the sun is shining, you might still be comfortable in shorts, or you may want to bring along slip-on, full-length tights and put those on at some point.

10 to OC zone

An inner fleece jacket is requiredperhaps a sleeveless one if you are moving fastover a long-sleeve undershirt. Tight medium-weight jogging-type pants with full-length cycling gloves and thicker socks need to be employed. It’s a good idea to wear a skull cap or ear warmers under your helmet.

Below OC zone

Now you’ll need to add more or thicker layers without getting too bulky. It’s a real trick to finding that comfort zone. Looking at what Nordic skiers wear will clue you in to how being active in the winter can be comfortable. 

 

(I am going to save my other comments for a future article on gear for hardcore winter riders and those who love Fatbiking in a blizzard.)

2 rides on path
winter cycling

Shopping Tips:

Pockets – You can never have enough pockets. Look for deep pockets that zip closed. Velcro is OK, but only takes one time to have a spill and lose stuff (in the snow) to know that securing valuables in a zippered area will save you much grief.

Vents – Look for jackets that have zippered vents under the armpits. Undershirts and fleece tops should open up completely or at the very least have a zipper that comes down halfway. 

Noisy vs. silent clothes – The quiet solitude of a lonely path can make noisy clothing, with its rubbing and crinkling sounds, annoying to some. Test that aspect in the store.

 

Cycling Shopping List:

If you’re going to ride in cooler weather, you should have the following items as part of your cycling wardrobe. Depending on the day, you may be dressing for a leisurely cruise on paved paths in cooler weather, or a sweaty MTB ride where you’re cranking hard on the climbs. Tailor your activewear choices accordingly.

Hat – a skull cap, bandana under your helmet.

Neck warmer/gaiter – great on a frosty day; pull it over your mouth and nose to warm your breath.

Gloves – full-finger gloves with palms that grip the bars work down to a certain temperature. If you’ll be riding when it’s below 0C, consider bar mitts, which are sleeves into which you insert your hand. (Actual mitts will not enable you to change gears.)

Undershirt – a tight, long-sleeved polyester shirt with a soft, non-itch feel inside.

Underwear – tight polyester underwear with long underwear on top. You should have two kinds: thin leggings and a thicker fleece blend for frosty mornings.

Pants/tights – a tight fit down to the ankles (please, not flared out—they might get caught in your chain). Colder weather may need you to combine two layers: shell pants with fleece underpants. 

Fleece top – have both a thin and thick version depending on how cold it is, and maybe a third sleeveless one for milder days. 

Shell jacket, waist length – some are cut for cycling. It should be wind/water resistant with zippered vents (if you can find them). If it has a hood, can you roll it up and hide it in the collar? Otherwise, it’s a drag chute.

Socks – I recommend thicker polyester, with a wool blend as it gets cooler.

Suggested locations to shop online:

Quality Clothing with Fast Shipping

MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) – durable cycling activewear

Chain Reaction Cycles – large selection of clothing and shoes

Pro Bike Kit – cycling jerseys, jackets, tights, shoes

Under Armour – outerwear, underwear, shoes

Running Room – shoes, clothing

Patagonia – MTB clothing

Keen – hiking shoes and boots

fall trail ride

Final Tips:

> Cycling exposes you to the elements, a great feeling when the weather behaves but can surprise you when it changes suddenly. Use a few weather services to get an average sense of what the day might be like. And have a backup plan if things go awry.

> Unsure what to wear? Pack extra stuff in a backpack or saddlebag. That way, if you feel underdressed or overdressed, you’ll have options. But keep it to a minimum. 

> Definitely leave a change of clothes back at the car to avoid a chill driving home. Maybe bring extra shoes/boots and a fresh pair of socks to keep the toes happy.

> Consider packing a raincoat, as it seems to rain more in the spring and fall than in the summer. Getting wet in the summer is OK, but no fun on a cooler-temperature ride when you’ve still got an hour to go.

> Finally, refrain from wearing blacks, greys and dull colours. There are many overcast days through the winter months. You want to be seen by cars and other traffic to avoid fatalities. (It’s also hunting season in the fall.)

 

Where to Look:

If you jog or Nordic ski in the winter, then you already have activewear that can be used while cycling—you’re set. But if you need more/better gear, shop around.

Cycling and running are very similar activities. Shop in those departments (online or in the aisles of sports stores) to find suitable activewear. By mid-summer, new gear comes out in the stores, and by spring, you can look for clearance sales.

Also, check used-clothing stores for garments that will work on the trail. Or try bike/gear swaps at cycling club events.

I have included some links on this page to sites that I believe offer good quality apparel. There is an eco-friendly movement recently to recycle old fibres to make into new garments.  Patagonia is a leader in this cause and sensitive about its carbon footprint.

I may get a small referral fee at no extra cost to you, if you shop at these suppliers using my links. It supports the cost of this free site.

Some items get expensive, I know. Think of the cost as an investment in comfort and longevity to manage chillier climes in Canada. Also, consider the expense as insurance that these garments will perform well, keeping you happy when the going gets tough.

 


Those are my best tips on dressing for the weatheror is it better said, against the weather? Regardless, follow these and you likely won’t have to end your day rides early, and you probably won’t catch a cold or get frostbite.

One of the great things about cycling is that you can ride all year if you want. Other sports that need snow or water have their seasons, but we two-wheelers can crank it year-round. OH, JOY!

 

Play safe, stay warm – Dan Roitner

 

PS – I wrote this article from 35 years of experiences cycling. I made many newbie mistakes, learned a few lessons along the way and customized my activewear. I still never know exactly what to put on before I head out as the weather is unpredictable at times.

Suggested locations to shop online:

Quality Clothing with Fast Shipping

MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) – durable cycling activewear

Chain Reaction Cycles – large selection of clothing and shoes

Pro Bike Kit – cycling jerseys, jackets, tights, shoes

Under Armour – outerwear, underwear, shoes

Running Room – shoes, clothing

Patagonia – MTB clothing

Keen – hiking shoes and boots

2 rides in forest


 

September 10, 2021No comments,
Where to Safely Take Kids Cycling?

My nephew Anthony recently asked me for advice on where he could take his son cycling. Having gone through many years of biking with my son Trevor in tow, I know that kids can get bored easily and parents can get concerned about road safety. I gave it some thought, then sent him a shortlist of suggestions.

Then the wheels in my head kept turning (MTB wheels, lol) and I realized that other parents have the same dilemma every weekend: Where can I take my kids outside to get away from their screens, video games, and electronics? 

I feel your concerns. So let me come to the rescue with some excellent kid-friendly bike rides around Ontario that the whole family can enjoy. 

Are you a parent who needs to feel your children are able to exercise in a safe environment? You have come to the right place: this website features only off-road, car-free bike trails. Most of these routes are entirely on trails and paths, with at most 15% requiring you to veer off occasionally onto a side-road bypass. You can’t get better than that.

For your sanity and everyone’s better health, read on! You can scroll down to jump straight to the trail recommendations, but I advise you to read this whole post, since it’s got some great info.

father with bike trailer
boy learns to ride

Basically, kid-friendly bike routes have all of these four things:

  • They’re safe – Look for off-road, car-free routes with minimal hazards and street crossings with lights
  • They’re easy to cycle – You want paved, level, wide paths and small, gentle hills
  • They have amenities – Playgrounds, washrooms, picnic areas, food/drink close by
  • They are interesting – Winding, varied paths, bridges, boardwalks, tunnels and water features

 

There are a few stages you will go through as a parent with children and a fondness for cycling. 

The first thing is: don’t let the arrival of a newborn end your cycling days. Sure, it’s going to be a lot of work at first and a big change. Just adapt to the circumstances and keep cranking. 

Once your son or daughter is ready to be introduced to your world of cyclingprobably not before their first birthdayyou have a few ways to start.

Long before your child is able to propel themself, you can transporting them in a child seat on the bike or in a trailer you tow. Chain Reaction Cycles has baby seats.

No matter which option you choose, always make them wear a helmet (like you do) and strap them in!

You can balance better without another little person on board, so I went with the trailer and bought one with a ski attachment so I could take Junior cross-country skiing in winter. Double trailers can seat two little ones.  MEC sells a few versions of bike trailers.

When they get to be three to four years old, they get restless and heavy to tow. Now it’s time for you proud parents to buy them their first bike with training wheels. (Those training wheels won’t stay on for long.) 

Another step up for toddlers are push bikes that help the little ones work on their balance. These can eliminate the need for training wheels when they grow into a bigger bike. MEC sells push bikes.

Keep raising their seats and handlebars and replacing their bikes with larger models as the years pass. Chain Reaction Cycles has kids bikes for all ages.

As I pulled together this list, I kept in mind (and you should, too) a few things specific to riding with kids. Kids have short legs and short attention spans. They are little monkeys and need to burn energy.

Every year you can ride farther and faster—but at their pace, not yours. You need to be a patient parent to deal with all the delays, drama, and spills. Depending on your children’s energy level and desire to cycle (or not), you may only get in a few kilometres for the first few years.

bike trailer
family bike ride

Keep the ride short. (Well, at least shorter than what you may wish for until they are teens, then you may suddenly have trouble keeping up, lol.)

Always turn back sooner than you want to. Don’t wait till they complain and bonk out. 

Stop often. Especially if your child is not actually engaged in pedalling and is just looking out from the trailer.

Make it fun for them. Some kids will need to check out every set of monkey bars they see. Give them opportunities to run about. Bring a ball or frisbee. 

Make sure there is ever-changing scenery. I’ve found this is the most important way to keep kids on their bikes. Trails with lots of twists and turns in the path, and/or bridges, boardwalks, and tunnels are winners. Rivers, creeks, and ponds add interest, and the possibility of wildlife sightings, to keep kids moving. 

Bring snacks. Juice boxes, water sippy cups, granola bars, dried fruit, nuts. Bring nothing messy like melting chocolate.



With all these points in mind here is what I recommend. Since most of these trails run flat along creeks and rivers, none of the locations I list has any large hills to climb, nor fast descents that can stress out your kids (or you, when you’re watching them!). There will still be a few short climbs, trail intersections, and street crossings you need to supervise.

 

Here are my Top Kid-friendly Cycling Paths:

Park Trails

Rouge Valley – Park Trail  – twisty, ever changing, loads of bridges and boardwalks, greese

Oshawa Creek – Park Trail  – winding, tons of bridges and tunnels, beach & playset at lake

Highland Creek – Park Trail  – bridges, winding creek

Toronto Islands – Park Trail ferry ride, scenic, plenty of playgrounds and beaches

Ajax Waterfront – Park Trail scenic, bridges, beaches

Nokiidaa – Park Trailchanging scenery, playgrounds, ponds, old Newmarket

Rouge Waterfront – Park Trail water, beaches, large bridges

Humber River – Park Trail playsets, bridges, flower garden

Island Lake – Park Trail – long bridges and boardwalks

Taylor Creek + Warden – Park Trail – ponds, 3 water creek crossings 

Beaches Boardwalk – Park Trail – beachcomb the peninsula, sailboats, swimming

Upper Etobicoke – Park Trail – playsets, bridges

Rideau Canal – Park Trail – boats, locks, falls, gardens

Upper Ottawa R. – Park Trail – views of the river, play areas, beach

Grand River – Park Trail – playgrounds, old bridges, falls

Welland Canal – Park Trail – kids love big boats, and locks

Thames Valley – Park Trail – London has lots of playgrounds + Storybook Gardens

 

Rail Trails

Riding a Rail Trail with kids is a little more challenging. While these former railway beds offer an easy, largely flat ride, most are not interesting enough for younger kids, nor are there many or any amenities or playgrounds to stop at. Still, here are a few that could work out nicely with older kids.

Thornton Cookstown – Rail Trailbridges, a creek, and nearby ice cream, in Simcoe County

Tay Shore – Rail Trail – paved, lakeside location on Georgian Bay 

Brock – Rail / Park Trail – walk through a train tunnel

Greenway – Park / Rail Trail – bridges, dams and falls

 

(I will post a list of kid-friendly Mountain Bike locations in another article soon.)

kid bike splash

My last thoughts:

Kids get hungry and thirsty, and they need bathrooms often. I wish I could say that Ontario city parks have an abundance of toilets and snack bars; they do not. So use ’em when you see ’em and pack your own extra nibbles or it will be hell. 

Planning a picnic stop halfway is also a chance to break up the outing and get a bit more riding out of your child later. Give them a riding goal. Promise and ice cream once they get to a certain point. And bring napkins when it gets messy, as it usually does.

The last issue: Keep an eye on them. Once you give them wheels, you’ve given them freedom, and they may dash off. Stay in range and have other adults along to help watch over larger groups. Assign a lead bike and a spotter at the back. And while you are at it, work in some basic riding skills and safety and biking etiquette, and now everyone’s having a good time.

With that sensation of freedom on two wheels, you will have hooked them for life on cycling. Awesome job, Mom & Dad!

fully loaded bike trip


July 9, 2021No comments, ,
Winter Fatbike Riding in Ontario

winter 2020 update

When winter comes around in Ontario most of us fair weather riders put our bikes away.

But Fatbikes (or is it Fat Bikes?) are a new design of mountain bike that enables riders keen on riding year round to get out of the spin classes and do real riding.

This new trend evolves our bike sport to new possibilities and one day I see it in the winter Olympics.

These new bicycles are a hybrid of the MTB concept.

The obvious difference you can see is the fat tires that help you “float” over loose, soft terrain, be it snow, sand or soggy soil. A base on regular MTB tires to have an easier and more enjoyable ride.

What also has changed is one crank gear up front, fewer speeds to change and a lower gear ratio. These bikes are not made for speed as there is plenty of friction at work as the fat tires plow through the snow.

Fat bikes come with wide handlebars, disc brakes on a wide fork frame, but few have shocks. You just don’t need them on the soft stuff. Tires may have studs for ice and tire pressure is a low 10 psi or less.

With the fat soft tires and wide handlebar stance, riders have firm control and keep moving beyond what a typical MTB could handle.

There is a limit naturally, traveling through half a metre of powder is going to be tough. Ice is more manageable but still treat with caution as any rubber bike tire can slip from under you in a blink.

Metal studded tires come to the rescue giving a rider a firm tread on maneuvering precarious icy patches.

In a way riding on snow would give you a soft landing when a fall comes. Still wear a helmet over a thin toque cause those trees are not moving.

Keeping warm is an issue and requires a change in tactics. How to keep your feet, fingers and drinking water from freezing is a concern. You may opt for flat pedals and winter boots, or covers for riding shoes and your bar handles. Lots of accessories are coming out to fill this niche.

If you cross country ski you know all about the balance between staying warm but not sweating too much, as this moisture will chill you out eventually.

One has to dress in layers and peel before overheating. Remember that the days are short and be certain not to get lost. That’s definitely more of a problem than in the summer.

So with that short intro where can you ride your Fat Bike in Ontario? The simple answer is everywhere you could with your summer bike. Well almost… there are exceptions to this new sport.

Many summer ride locations on this site’s map pages are Nordic ski locations in the winter. Be sure you are welcome and give lots of space to skiers as you have better braking and turning then they do. And never ride over the ski tracks set in the snow, that’s just bad etiquette.

Most MTB, forest parks and rail trails on this site have easy routes to try. Also up north snowmobile trails are a possibility with hundreds of kilometres to ride if you find a quiet side loop. Use caution as these snow machines need as much respect as cars.

Below is a list of links to get you on your way. Rent first then buy into it later.

Check the Weather and Snow Depth, before you Go

Where to Ride a Fatbike in the Winter:

First try my Fatbike Tag on this site for ideas…

 

My close to Toronto favourites – free, few hills, no crowds:

Whitchurch – flat, easy, just north of Toronto

Bendor  – easy rolling hills

Long Sault – hilly, small fee north of Bowmanville

Eldred King – gentle grades, sandy too

Palgrave – north of Albion Hills and similar

Durham Forest – free, groomed loops!

Glen Major – beside Durham for more action

 

Farther away from Toronto

Northumberland – free, hills, large area north of Cobourg

Dufferin Forest – south of Collingwood, some grooming

Hydrocut – Waterloo

Guelph Lake – Guelph,

The Pines – Woodstock, some grooming

Turkey Point – on Lake Erie, snow depth could be low

Ottawa – river park trail

Larose Forest – south of Ottawa

Kivi Park – Sudbury

Torrance Barrens – Bala

Algonquin Park – Minnesing,  Rail Trail

BRMC – Bracebridge

Shuniah Mines – Thunderbay

+ Groomed with Trail Fees $

Why would you pay when you can ride for free? Well, few times the snow base is ideal for Fatbike riding. There may be too much snow and you are getting nowhere fast burning up energy. Or it could be icy and lumpy, no fun either.

A groomed path sets up the snow base to roll easier with better traction. Climbing and zipping down winding tracks become manageable and fun too. Plus even your regular MTB  with not so fat tires can take on these trails.

 

Albion Hills –  Black Trail only

Horseshoe – 9 km on snowshoe trail and beyond into Copland forest

Hardwood – Barrie lots to ride

Highlands Nordic – Collingwood – New trail

Georgian – Parry Sound

Walden – Sudbury

Hiawatha – Sault Ste. Marie

Gatineau – Ottawa area

LivOutside – Bracebridge, bike park

 

Rail Trails – And then there are many Rail Trails in Ontario that one could Fatbike on. Granted they flat and straight, but if you want to put in some mileage they go on forever.

Most Rail Trails allow snowmobiles on parts of or the full length of the route. Some are popular snowmobile highways and likely not a good experience (or safe). Lesser traveled routes may be found and other Rail Trails, where sleds are banned, you will have no one but only the odd Nordic skier or hiker in sight.

Where to Rent a Fat Bike:

Approximate full day bike rental rates below, some shops do half day and hourly rentals. Also, the price gets better if you rent for additional days. Call ahead to be sure they have them as some locations have very few.

Horseshoe – $38 for 2 hours

Hardwood  – $ 50

Albion Hills – $56 (8 bikes, different sizes) no reservations

Algonquin Outfitters – Huntsville $45

Parry Sound Bikes – $50

Try Sports – Parry Sound  $48

Liv Outside – in Bracebridge ~$42

Oxygen Bike Co. – Toronto $ 75

Kamikaze Bikes – Collingwood $50

Friday Harbour  – Lake Simcoe  $25 for 2 hours

Adventure 360 – Sudbury $65

velorution – Sault Ste. Maire  $50

 

Here are a few websites for more info:

Wikipedia – Fatbike

Bike Cottage Country

Explorer’s Edge

Northern Ontario Travel

Fat Bikes.ca

Fat Bike.com

Now get out there and have some fun you crazy kids!



February 5, 20207 Comments, , , Bike Rentals | City Paths | Fatbike
10 Reasons to Buy an Expensive Bike

I was flipping thru a Canadian Tire flyer today and came across an ad for a $99 bicycle. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it? Full 18-speed, knobby tires and a nice colour. It has two wheels, a handlebar, seat and pedals, what else could I want?

But a bike is not a bike by a parts list alone. A person new to bike riding would think the savings would put them way ahead of any benefits an expensive $1000+ bike could. Here is why that is foolish reasoning and why you should save your coin for a better set of wheels.

1 – Good Experience – Top of the list is a better all around riding experience. It will encourage you to ride again. If you don’t like getting on your bike for reasons below, it will sit in the garage and you will sit on the couch.

2 – Dependable – Nothing worse than a sudden mechanical failure in the middle of nowhere. All bikes can break, but typically more of this ($$$) equals less grief.

3 – Weight – Cheap bikes have a lot of iron. Just a few good hills will convince you that lighter is always a better buy.

4 – Longevity – Expensive bikes last longer, with the cost over the lifetime being cheaper.

5 – Safety – You can depend on a good bike to stay together and not endanger your life.

6 – Quality – Expensive bikes operate better, have smoother shifting and better braking. Good bike ergonomic design helps your posture and reduces sore backs, and limbs.

7 – Repairs – A good bike is worth fixing. Mechanics will know your brand and parts will be available.



8 – Maintenance – Bicycles are mechanical and wear out.  Cheap bikes have soft, thin metal, poor part tolerances and design. Again, a quality bike lasts longer with few problems.

9 – Ride Better – A well designed bike with quality components enables you to push yourself, knowing the bike will take you there. Gears, brakes and shocks perform better giving you confidence and enjoyment.

10 – Cool Factor – Hey, it has to be mentioned that if you think you’re on a killer bike then maybe your friends will give you some respect. (The rest you earn on the ride.)

So what should you spend for a good ride? I’ll save that question for another post …but briefly you need to ask yourself how often you plan to ride and where. These days a bicycle comes in many flavours.

Do you want to just putt around city parks on a hybrid or bomb down ski hills? Here is a very general list of minimum price points. And watch out, bikes can also be overpriced. Way over priced…got 10 grand $$.

Minimum price for a quality bike:

Kids bike $400
Hybrid bike $ 500

Mountain bike, front shock $ 700
Mountain bike, full suspension $ 1100
Downhill MTB $ 1500

happy hunting – Dan

 

May 1, 20174 Comments,
Fall Bike Riding Tips

So you had a good summer of riding and you’re not ready to put the bike away. And why should you? Fall bike riding can be some of the best touring ever. Sure it’s a bit cooler and wet but with proper planning who cares.

Fall riding is different on a few fronts. You have to dress differently, days get shorter and the terrain can get slippery. The best part is beautiful fall colours, no crowds and no bugs!

Sunny days will tend to have cooler clear skies.Just like with spring here in Ontario we can get more rain but those cloudy days may be more mild and it most often does not rain.

After checking your weather forecast pack a rain jacket if you think it may open up on the ride. Or tough it out and have a change of clothing in the car. I have yet to find a riding jacket that both blocks the rain and breaths. Find one with vents if you can.

As always wear layers but don’t wear too many. Start your ride a little chilled as the workout should warm you up. The trick has always been, if you need to peel a layer off, how do you carry it?

Tying a jacket around your waist is awkward and could be dangerous if it slips into your spokes. A pannier or backpack would be a better place. Consider full fingered gloves, wool socks and some kinda head/ear warmer when is a chilly morning start.

As for food, you will likely need a little less water but more power bars on the ride to help fuel you on cold days. Keep the heavy food like fruit in your car upon your return.

Terrain changes in the fall and generally gets slippery.



As long as you compensate for the wet rock, clay or leaves all should be fine. Slow down, watch your turns, test the range of your bicycle’s and tires’ ability to manage the path. It’s a time for tires with knobby tread if you wish to switch.

I also have found a lot of leaves on the ground can hide the trail, soften it and suck up a lot of your energy. Leaves can also hide things, so watch out for wheel ruts and loose rocks when bombing down a hill.

The weather is always more sunny than you think north of Toronto. In all my years of riding, I can’t tell you how often I’ve looked out my window in the morning here in Toronto, thinking maybe I should stay home.

Only to find later on my ride north of the city that the weather was awesome. (except for that hail one time – lol)

Don’t hesitate, just do it. You will likely be glad you did.

 

September 7, 2016No comments, , Family Ride
Send this to a friend
Hey, this may be interesting for you: How to Dress for Cold Weather Cycling!

This is the link: https://ontariobiketrails.com/how-to-dress-for-cold-weather-cycling/

Lets get together and do a ride soon.