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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Pedal power: Biking across Waterloo Region


   One-Tank Trip for May 26/18

    (c) By Jim Fox


   Hop on your bike and ride through Waterloo Region.

   This is the place with a variety of adventures for the “dedicated bicycle tourist” through to competitive cyclists.

   “Competitive or leisure, the scenery just looks better on a bike,” says Waterloo Tourism.

   Whether in competition or out for an enjoyable trek through pastoral countryside, the cycling in Waterloo ranges from urban streetscapes to quaint villages, meandering rivers and forested lands.
Heading out on forested trails are writer Jim Fox, Jenna Hunter and Natasha Borutski. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Drawing attention to “fantastic” biking opportunities across the region is the Ontario Cycling Association’s provincial championships on June 3.
   Known as the KW Classic, this is a 10.4-kilometre race that starts and ends in Hawkesville in the northern part of the region.
   Here’s an overview of cycling opportunities from Waterloo Tourism.

   Off roaders
   - The Guelph to Goderich Trail follows an old railway line for 127 kilometres, passing through the northern portion of the region.
   The eastern portion stretches 45 kilometres from Guelph through Woolwich and Wellesley townships.
One of Waterloo Region’s popular cycling trails includes the West Montrose Kissing Bridge. (Jim Fox photo)
   Known as the Kissing Bridge Trailway, it passes by the famed West Montrose Covered Bridge spanning the Grand River.
   It’s the last covered bridge in Ontario and is better known by its quaint kissing nickname. kissingbridgetrailway.ca
   - Nearly 40,000 annual visitors make the Hydrocut Trails in northwest Waterloo one of Ontario’s top off-road cycling destinations.
   The trails feature boardwalks, bridges and switchbacks with fast lines and technical features to challenge the most skilled riders.
   It includes 26 connected trails that combine for 25 kilometres of off-road challenges. thehydrocut.ca
   - So-called gravel grinders will find many opportunities throughout the region – from the Trans-Canada Trail to the old Grand Trunk Rail line that follows portions of the Grand River.
West Montrose Kissing Bridge. (Jim Fox photo)
   There are also dozens of natural and conservation areas with unpaved trails in both urban and rural areas.

   Dedicated bicycle tourists
   - Waterloo Region is home to two designated Ontario signature adventures.
   One is the African Lion Safari in Cambridge while the other is known as the “Path Less Travelled.”
   Provided by Grand Experiences, the path is a two-day, two-night adventure through Mennonite country.
   The cycling and paddling experience follows trails and back roads around St. Jacobs and includes a canoe trip on the Grand River. grand-experiences.com

   For competitive cyclists
   - Cycle Waterloo hosts competitions throughout the year along with the KW Classic.
   There’s also the Kitchener Twilight Grand Prix on July 27 and the Fieldstone Criterium of Cambridge on July 28. cyclewaterloo.ca
   - The Cambridge Tour de Grand on June 10 is billed as a recreational ride with elements appealing to the competitive rider.
   With 11 routes ranging from 10 kilometres to 160 kilometres, it traverses moderate terrain with short steep hills and moderate climbs. cambridgetourdegrand.com
 
   Enjoying the off-road trails with ride guide Sara Archer. (Barbara Fox photo) 
   Recreational cyclists, commuters
   - Every municipality in the region has designated and signed bike lanes and most have paved trails making it easy to get around.
   A multi-use trail system connects Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
   - June is Bike Month in the City of Waterloo, with a series of events including pop-up information centres and Cycle2School day on June 4.
   The goal is to “encourage residents to use their bicycles” as part of the city’s commitment to active transportation. waterloo.ca/en/gettingactive/Bike-Month.asp
   - Kitchener holds its 6th annual Bike Fest tomorrow (May 27) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at city hall to celebrate the “power of the bicycle in positively transforming our health, environment and community.”
   It includes demo and group rides, bike safety checks, music, food and prizes including two bike giveaways. kitchenerevents.ca
   For more information on regional activities, go to: explorewaterlooregion.com

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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