This is an excerpt from a recent Newsletter I sent out. You can subscribe here.
Welcome to yet another unusual spring. We had an early melt and a long cool spring, now it seems like the heat is here. I can see from the surge in traffic on the OBT site that everyone is keen to get out. This Covid lockdown is almost over and has got us primed and eager to hit the trails.
I have been reluctant to post any new trail locations and to encourage you all to travel. The Ont. government does not want us cyclists travelling too far from home. With that in mind, I have just posted my first new trail review this season. It’s a good one out in Markham you can bookmark; many more to come.
The Trail Guide Grind:
I was very busy over the winter updating my two trail guides. Beyond minor typos and layout fixes, I have replaced the 65 maps in the Park & Rail Trail book with more detailed versions. I also added a large map with all the trail locations as a quick reference and listed parking lot locations. Oh my, so many details, so boring, yet important! LOL.
Park & Rail + MTB eBook Update – For those of you who bought a copy, an email was sent out in April with a link to the new version. It now has pdf bookmarks.
Park & Rail Paperback Update – If you bought the actual book, you can get the latest eBook version too. And as a bonus, I made an extra file you can print out as an insert for your paperback that lists parking lot addresses. Details as to where to get those downloads can be found at the back of your book.
Being Popular is Good & Bad:
I started the OBT site eight years ago as a side project. It has recently grown quickly due to the limitations of this pandemic. With few other sports activities permitted, everyone is cycling!
Now, I am not complaining that the site traffic has doubled again this year. It’s now seeing over a thousand visits daily, and more on any sunny weekend. What comes with this popularity are increased costs. I had to upgrade to a faster website server to handle the visitor volume. And my costs for security and the use of Google Map services have risen.
So now the site has to pay for itself. As you will experience, the site loads faster but costs more to run. You might think income from those annoying Google Ads I have might do it. Alas, at less than a penny a person it’s lunch money.
Income from my two books covers the time invested to make them. So I am at an awkward point where I have to start selling other items or services on the site. Not a natural direction for me to take, but necessary. Don’t worry I’m not going to sell mugs and baseball caps.
I added a Store page to the menu. It’s a humble beginning. I am not driven to push products or recommend everything I see. Rather, I shall be selective and mention quality goods and services I believe in.
Any businesses wishing to advertise relevant services or products on OBT, send me a note. There are many opportunities to do so for bike shops, bike touring, lodging and eateries…
As always, the site info will be free for you to use. If you have benefited from this site, then shop here in the future or donate a wee sum now on PayPal for the cause.
PayPal QR code
Help Wanted: With site growth, comes many more issues I have to deal with on the backend. This has limited my time to create new content. I need the help of a skilled web developer to occasionally put in some time with issues. I’ll see what I can pay but it won’t be much so if you love cycling I got that covered.
Add Rail Trails – Last year my focus was on MTB trails as I was all in publishing my book. This year I am working on the Rail trail category. Plans are to ride more Rail Trails this year (if possible) and post reviews.
I have already started to add trail lines to the map starting in Eastern Ontario, even if I have yet to review them. This is a shift for me, as I do not like to suggest trail locations and then have little info to follow up. Yet I am asked often why this or that trail is not on the map… so now you know where they are.
Blue Mountain DH MTB – Sadly management has changed the flavour of mountain bike riding over the winter to a more mellow offering. No more Downhill MTB thrills, trails have turned into hiking paths.
I have few answers and will have to inquire as their site says currently little and they are still closed. Certainly a blow to the regular avid MTB downhill riders in the province. It was a top spot with few alternatives close by. Let’s hope the times change and it comes back one day.
Future Posts – Now that I have finished the formidable tasks of updating my books and moving my site to another server, plans are to post a few articles on these subjects this year:
- Bike Tune-ups
- Bike Riding Apparel
- Bike Security
- GoPro Cameras
- Other Bike Trail Guides
- Buying an eBike
- eBike routes
- Bike Photographers
Are there any other topics you wish me to write?
Submit a Bike Trail Tale – As with last year, there is again an invitation to submit your own cycling stories. If you have the time (and some of us have plenty) and the writing bug, send me a proposal. Don’t be shy.
Keep pedalling safely and don’t forget to get vaccinated! That’s one of the simplest actions we can take to help things get back to normal.
Wishing you all a great, safe summer outdoors on your bike – Dan Roitner