Is there anything more satisfying than riding a bike in the sun, the wind in your hair and the road straight ahead of you? Yes, there is. It’s getting ahead of the latest trends and making them your own.
After two years of living in a staycation bubble and hiking around Ontario, it’s safe to say a lot of us have realized our province is more beautiful than we imagined. But another season of backpacking? Maybe not. What about bike-packing?
Not that there’s anything wrong with backpacking, but this maybe the summer to tackle Ontario’s incredible bike trails that zig zag from the Quebec border, through Algonquin Park and along our rivers and lakeshores.
Along with all the essentials –think panniers, maps, water, snacks, layers, a spare tire and your CAA Everyday membership (we do roadside Bike Assist* calls, after all) –there are also bikes perfectly designed for your bike-packing pleasure. Look for one with lower gear ratios and multiple mounts for your gear as well as a durable but light frame.
And while you’re kitting up, consider some wearable tech: there are fitness trackersthat auto-sync with third party apps (hello, MyFitnessPal!) and havea big range of downloadable maps, built-in GPS, altimeter (yes, that hill really is that big) and a vast array of sensors. Make sure you’ve also downloaded your CAA Mobile App so you can have your Membership number on your phone if you need itto find a great place to eat or shop that comes with CAA Membership savings.
Hit the (gravel) road
Remember when mountain bikes came out a million years ago and we all raced to get one? They’re still great, but off-road hybrids have evolved with new tech, like hydraulic disk brakes, a more upright frame style and chain bracketthat keeps debris clear. The result? A gravel bike, perfect for off-roading up and down mountain valleys. Some even come with luggage racks for bike-packing, commuting, or blasting down Ottawa’s Sir John A MacDonald Parkway on NCC Sunday Bike Days with the kids. (Look for CAA…we’ll be there, too!)
There's a card for that
Are you one of the 1.2 million Ontario residents who cycle rather than drive daily? It’s good for you and great for the environment. Choosing a lifestyle that isn’t car-centric has plenty of rewards –particularly if you have a CAA Everyday card. Designed for people who chose to walk, run, scooter or cycle, CAA
*Bike Assist offers one call a year within 10km.