This guide will give you the lowdown on the current situation, some great places to ride, where to buy a new bike and what bike to buy. Vamos!
With the current Covid-19 epidemic affecting almost every country globally, it has been a challenging time for many industries. Here in Canada, we have seen the 2020 World Cup Mountain Biking event in Mont-Sainte-Anne cancelled. Visitor attractions have closed, retail stores have shut (except grocery), professional services are only available online and people have increasingly been working from home. So, it might not be that much of a surprise to discover that Canada, like many other countries is seeing a lot more cyclists both on the road and off-road due to not being in the office. With people having the opportunity – for many, an absolutely new experience – to work from home, they are also embracing the opportunity to get out there on their bike. And if you had to pick a country that offered amazing off-road routes, legendary scenery and incredible experiences around towns or in the countryside, Canada tops the list.
Stanley Park in Vancouver is now cycling and walking only as well as the Eastbound lane of Beach Avenue; Winnipeg now have 4 streets dedicated to walking and cycling only from 8am – 8pm and in Calgary, some traffic lanes have been given over to cycling. In Canada, the current restrictions mean we can decide for ourselves with responsible cycling, especially after a long winter and the summer breaking. Before we talk about the interesting stuff, it’s important to establish some facts in this current climate:
Don’t go group riding – it’s probably something you wouldn’t do anyway with Coronvirus everywhere but don’t. That includes trails and any off-road cycling!
Now that’s out the way, let’s recap on some absolutely amazing bike rides you can take in Canada before giving you some guides to where you can buy a great bike to do so.
- Rossland, BC – Mountain Biking capital of Canada. 51 amazing runs you can take at your leisure or faster if you are experienced enough
- Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec – yes, we’ve just mentioned it! Mont-Sainte-Anne has a bike park you can practice on and amazing rides
- Hardwood Hills, Ontario–75km outside of Toronto, it has 34km of gentler double track and 50km of intense single track. Plenty of facilities on site too – food, accommodation and bike rentals
- Burns Lake, BC – Burns Lake Trails has some magnificent rides, one of those being named Pigs Might Fly. There are 30 trails here including some world class tracks
- Le P’tit Train du Nord, Quebec – it is 200km long and if you are staying here, they will drop off your luggage each day during your trek. Plenty of villages along the way providing food and refreshments. Much more genteel than other trails listed
- Bromont, BC – yes, this is the ski resort Bromont but it also has world-class mountain biking in summer! They have 20 trails and they range from beginning to expert so there is something for everyone. They also have a waterpark – good for the kids, or maybe the whole family
- Jasper National Park, Alberta – it is one of Canada’s oldest national parks but it has designated bike trails too. You can even hire a bike locally and download a map from Parks Canada
- Whistler, BC – this is an outstanding location for mountain biking. They have alpine tracks here, with a ski chair to help out. They also have the indoor Air Dome for practice! But if you are serious, then the outside tracks are challenging but worth it
- Cumberland, BC – It has 265km of trails and is based of course on Vancouver Island. A great network of trails and anything from beginner to challenging
- Fernie, BC – okay, so it has 701km of trails…..! Fernie has everything from the absolute beginner to complete mountain biking expert. The huge variety of trails, scenery and skill levels make this a must visit destination
- Kamloops, BC – In just one area of Kamloops, you have 470km of riding (at Shuswap). In total, there are 2,400 acres of biking here and you have everything from full on expert to family friendly. With some of the most diverse scenery, you really could go from rainforest and end up in desert
- The Great Trail – yep, this is the big one! 24,000km of biking through 13 provinces and territories. It takes in every element of cycling, from urban to absolute rural and is the world’s longest unbroken network of water and land trails
If those routes interest you and you have a bike, then great. If they inspire you and you want to buy a bike, then you need some good options.
So, during this pandemic, if any of those areas interest you and you can find a bike if you need one, get out there, ride free and have fun.