Summer On Two Wheels
First off, where are you going to go?
There are a lot of trails and places to explore right where you are that you might have no idea about. There are a few places that are great sources of information on what trails you should ride and where they are. Online communities like trailforks, ecmtb.net, pinkbike, nsmb.com that can give you a really great overview of where trails physically are, what their features are like, and how to actually get there. Nova Scotia and surrounding areas have some real hidden gems that you can uncover and explore with the help of these communities. Bike shops are also a great place to visit if you’re looking for a great place to ride. Most people that work in a bike shop do it because they love it so chances are that if they’re not helping you find and ride great spots, they’re spending their time finding and riding great spots. While we’re very happy to sell bikes, and parts, and service them, we’re equally excited to get to share our passion for biking with the community. This means that we welcome people who want to pop into the shop and chat about advice on the best places to ride, even if you’re not shopping.
Whether you’re talking to a bike shop, or part of the online community, make sure you’re honest about what you’re looking for. You don’t want to show up at the kids park when you’re looking for something that makes your teeth chatter and you don’t want to face a dead drop when you’ve just got the training wheels off. Make sure that the people who are going to be riding are going to enjoy the trails and you find that out by asking a lot of questions and giving some good answers. Now if you are deciding to make a real go of your trips, there are a few things that you might want to pick up. Most importantly, how are you getting your bike from point A to point B? If you’re driving, do you have a rack? Where does the rack mount? Do you need regular access to your trunk? If so, you want to make sure that you choose an option that doesn’t mean you’ll need to load an unload bikes constantly. Some hitch mounts swing out and make this simple. Some mounts maker things a lot more difficult. How many bikes are you taking and if this is a big trip, with a big crew, does it make sense to look at a small trailer? If you’re traveling farther, especially if you are going to be flying, do you have a bike box? In our experience they’re the best option for air travel or long trips and many shops (ours included) both sell and pack for you.
If you’re really planning on heading out for a rip, there are a few pieces of equipment that are non-negotiable
First, once you’ve unloaded the bikes, what are you going to take with you on the trail. Hydration style backpacks, such a Camelbak, offer the ability to stay hydrated and pack a few essentials like (obviously water), snacks, a few tools and a tube. With roughly 84% certainty we can tell you that if you do not have a tube and tools or a tubeless patch kit, you will absolutely need one. Don’t let something so simple ruin a trip. Speaking of simple things that can ruin a trip, let’s talk clothes. First off, chamois shorts. Cycling is hard on the undercarriage and when things start hurting, they’re only going to get worse. So make sure you’ve got the right base layer at the very least. Second, if you’re doing it right, you’re not going to smell great when all is said and done. So figure out a way to keep the stuff that smells bad OUTSIDE the cockpit. You’ll thank us. Do a little research about the shops where you’re going. If you tell as good bike shop where you’re going, they’ll tell you what shops you should be visiting there, if they know, which they often do. And you SHOULD visit good shops. Locals know the best places to ride and the best people to ride with. You might make friends and you might get in on some private or group rides. Locals also know the best places to explore, eat, and sleep. If you come to Truro and talk to us, we’re going to tell you that you need to eat and drink at Jimolly’s. We’re going to tell you that there are some great hikes and rides in Victoria Park and a pool… with a shower… which is good to know.
Make sure that you’re seeking out some bike friendly accommodations. Is there space where you’re staying for you and your gear? With options like airbnb you might find a place with the real perks for an overnight trip like maybe on-site laundry and possibly a hose to get the mud off your bike, or you, or whatever you got dirty. There’s a lot to be said for hopping in the car, choosing left or right, and making a go of it. But if you want to make the most of your time, follow these steps for the best summer vacation possible.