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A Perfect Mix: Waterloo Guelph Explorer

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There is always a thrill in travelling to somewhere new. Having long heard about the excellent bike trails, quiet country roads, small town charm and modern city amenities we set out to ride this ultimate looped two day ride itinerary to explore the Waterloo Guelph area.

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Cycle Tourism and Cycling - Fall Survey

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Fill out our Cycle Tourism and Cycling Fall Survey and help us to assess the impact of and participation levels in cycling activities and cycle tourism in this challenging year.

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2020 Cycling In Ontario Guide

2020 Ontario By Bike Photo Contest

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Ontario By Bike's 2020 photo contest is now open for submission. Whether it's in a winter wonderland, the season of bloom, the heat of summer or the cooler temperatures and colourful fall foliage, take a break and snap a few great photos featuring you and your bikes as well as places you stop.

Click HERE for information about submission and last year's winner.

 

 

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Ontario By Bike Blog

Blog coverCredit: Destination Ontario

Read on for inspirational cycling experiences across Ontario. Whether you're looking for rail trails, mountain biking or road riding, we're putting together stories to get you out on two wheels. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates and so we can hear your story. Interested in guest blogging with Ontario By Bike? Shoot us an email!


4 minutes reading time (738 words)

Quick Guide to Cyclocross (aka Tough Mudder on a bike)

Silvergoose CX
You`ve heard of cyclocross, right? Some have probably seen a growing number of `cross`bikes at their local bike shop and wondered, "Why are there nobby tires on that road bike?". 

We wanted to get some of the fundamentals sorted out for you, so we reached out to John Hauser, Event Chief at The Silver Goose Cyclo-Cross Race based out of Midland, Ontario. We connected with John earlier in September and asked him to share his thoughts and what a beginner could expect on this emerging sport.

What exactly is 'cyclocross'?


I like how Gunnar Holmgren from the Transitions Lifecare p/b Garneau Easton team puts it. “It’s like a mix between road and mountain biking, but completely different”. Haha. I often describe it to non cyclists as bike riding meets obstacle course racing, Tough Mudder on a bike if you will.  The racing itself takes place on a closed circuit track, 3 meters wide and 2.5 to 3.5km in length. The courses have mixed surfaces (asphalt, grass, sand) and typically there are obstacles that force a racer to carry their bike (stairs, very steep hills, and so on). The races are full on efforts lasting 30 minutes to one hour. It’s a super exciting sport for both participants and spectators. If you like any two-wheeled sport, bicycle based or motorized, I’d recommend checking out a ‘cross' event.


Who are typical 'cross riders'? Are they just road cyclists with a high threshold for pain?

In Ontario, the typical ‘cross rider' is any person who rides or races a bike and is looking to extend their season. Roadies, mountain bikers, track racers, bmx’ers. Whether you prefer shreddin’ the gnar, or an epic century ride on asphalt, ‘cross' is going to offer you a great riding experience.

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Do I need to buy a new cyclocross bike?

Certainly not. Mountain bikes can be used in most cross races, and with most road bikes these days accepting wider tires, you could put cross tires on a road frame. Touring bikes also work well for a first time ‘cross' racer. Be warned though, ‘cross' is highly addictive, and you know that old adage about “n+1".

Note: In the cycling world the N+1 rule refers to the number of bikes that a person should own. A rough definition: “While the minimum number of bikes one should own is 3, the correct number is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.”

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How do I know I'm ready to sign up for a cyclocross event?

Well, cross is the perfect opportunity to delay getting on your trainer. Haha. But yeah, if your “’cross curious” head out to a weekly series near you, or even try an Ontario Cup race. The 'cross community' is an extremely friendly bunch. It’s a community that loves to ride. No one’s going to be a jerk to you at a cross race, and if they are send me their name and address, haha.

If I was signing up for cyclocross event for the first time, what would surprise me the most?

The amount of fun you’re going to have. The atmosphere at a ‘cross event is a recipe for a hearty belly laugh. You’ll have fellow racers standing on the side lines cheering you on, they might even try to offer you a beer, or bologna on a stick. You’re probably going to hear some brass instrument courtesy of someone on the Lantern Rouge team. You might see someone dressed as your favourite superhero riding. Seriously, it’s a blast.

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Where can I ride cyclocross this year in Ontario?

October 21-22, The Silver Goose in Little Lake Park in Midland Ontario. Ha, I wouldn’t be a race organizer if I didn’t plug my own event, right? There are cross events all over Ontario. Ask around your local club, check the Ontario By Bike event listings, or head over to the Ontario Cycling Association website for weekly rides or sanctioned events. 

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Blog Notes:
All photo credits are given to Kevin Morphet, who has stunning galleries of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Silver Goose Cyclo-Cross Races. Also, a big thanks goes out to John Hauser, Event Chief at The Silver Goose Cyclo-Cross Race, for taking the time to chat about the emergence of cyclocross, his background hosting the race and passion for cycling. 

SilvergooseHere are some ways to connect with the event:

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