Bike Ride Basics

April showers bring May flowers, and what better way to appreciate this beautiful spring weather than by exploring on your bike? Now that spring cycling has sprung, hit Canada’s amazing trails with the best bike equipment available at Sporting Life.

Last week, we broke down some of the new & exciting bikes coming to Sporting Life this season. If conquering the mountains or speeding down the road isn’t your style, a fitness bike may be the best choice for you. Fitness bikes – also known as hybrid bikes – are general purpose bikes that combine the qualities of a road bike, a touring bike and a mountain bike. The result is a stable, comfortable bike that is suitable for a wide variety of riding conditions – perfect for a novice or casual cyclist!

For those looking for a light workout or a casual weekend ride with the family, keep reading – we’re sharing some of the best places in Canada to take your bikes for a spin, as well as the necessities you need to bring to ensure a safe and fun ride.

Where to Ride

Where will you ride this weekend? After you pick up your bike at one of our stores, stop by one of these awesome trails right in the city. Stay tuned for the start of our weekly evening rides based out of select Sporting Life stores – a great opportunity to improve your cycling and get involved in the Sporting Life community!

– Waterfront Trail – Perfect for short or long rides!
– Toronto Island – Flat & manicured, ideal for family fun in the sun or a romantic getaway!
– Don Valley – Stop in at Evergreen Brickworks for a mid-ride coffee.

– Rideau Canal – Right downtown and easy for families.
– Gatineau Park – Plenty of paved trails with beautiful scenery!

– Nose Hill Park – A quiet getaway within the city.
– Bow River Pathway – 48km network of paths; plan your starting point and see where it takes you!
– Fish Creek Provincial Park – Near our Southcentre Mall location…grab your new bike and go!

What to Wear

Make sure that you are properly clothed for a day on your bike. Spring weather may make us want to jump into shorts and a t-shirt, but the temperature can still be unpredictable. Layer up with technical pieces and dress for the sport – cycle jerseys aren’t only for expert cyclists! Jerseys come in a variety of colours and patterns to spice up your outfit, while still featuring moisture wicking fabric and proper ventilation. Padded cycle shorts are a lifesaver on long, bumpy rides, and gloves add comfort while minimizing fatigue.

A helmet is an absolute must, no matter what your skill level may be. Even paved or groomed trails can have unexpected bumps or obstacles, so it is important to keep your head protected.

Don’t forget to accessorize for the weather! A waterproof shell may save you from a damp and miserable ride home, and sunglasses will eliminate glare and keep you safely focused on the road. Any style will help you on a casual weekend ride – pull out your daily fashion sunglasses, or go sporty with a pair of Oakley Prizm sunnies!

What to Bring

Whether you’re riding for an hour or all day long, there are a few things you should have in your pack to keep you riding strong. The most important thing to remember? Hydration! Staying hydrated is important during any sort of physical activity, and you will likely be far away from a water source while you’re out on the trails. Choose an insulated water bottle to keep your water chilled all day long!

Cycling is an awesome workout and your body needs fuel to keep up the pace. Be sure to toss some snacks – such as energy chews or Clif bars – in your bag to refuel partway through your ride. Find some of these delicious and energy-packed treats at our retail locations.

Depending on the type of ride you’re gearing up for, there are a variety of bike accessories to suit your needs. If you’ll be stopping along the way to refuel, be sure to pack a bike lock to keep your bike safe. A safety light or reflector will also come in handy for early morning or evening rides!