Jan 26, 2021
Cycling has been proven to not only improve your physical well-being – but also your mental health. Whether biking indoors or outdoors, we consistently see positive effects on your brain and body. There are multitudes of benefits that can affect all parts of your life.
Exposure to the outdoors has often been prescribed to combat mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Cycling outdoors is no different! Your brain positively reacts to the influx of blood flow and nutrients and enables greater performance. Meaning, consistent cycling in your day-to-day life keeps your brain healthy and young in your later years.
Studies conducted on cycling have shown these are just some of the mental health benefits people experience:
-Decreases in depression and anxiety
-Greater well-being and relaxation
-Enhanced creative thinking
Additionally, you can reap the social perks of this hobby by meeting like-minded people who also greatly enjoy cycling. There are endless ways to connect to these groups: many are on social media like Facebook and Instagram, or even on cycling apps like Zwift and Strava.
It is often recommended to cycle for about 30-60 minutes at a steady pace three to five times a week to enjoy those benefits. This can be done on your way to work, around your neighbourhood, or anywhere else you like to bike. During the winter months, this can be especially challenging, but even getting on a stationary bike helps with your well-being and mental health.
So, next time you’re thinking of commuting to work or wanting to get outside, grab your bike (and helmet) and see the benefits for yourself!
Aug 17, 2020
Go to Google and search e-bike reviews and one of the first sites that comes up is the well done ElectricBikeReview.com, or EBR.
This information source provides unbiased reviews of all sorts of electric bikes available on the market. It is run by Vancouverite Court Rye.
Court is an energetic and knowledgeable e-bike reviewer who has a genuine interest in the environment, health and his community. His background was that he was in product management and did a lot of cycling to and from work. However, he had some previous skiing and surfing injuries, and found the summer heat made it difficult to get to work and still look fresh. That is how he discovered e-bikes.
He bought his first e-bike online, not knowing anything about the technology, weight distribution or power sources. He loved that bike, but it was still heavy and awkward for his needs. He transferred his interest from the corporate world to the e-bike world.
Court now operates his website out of Vancouver, BC. He told me he “loves the local biking community” and enjoys the diversity of British Columbia. He independently reviews all sorts of e-bikes through a detailed summary, photo album and video. He offers viewers tips on best affordable e-bikes, best electric fat bikes, best electric mountain bikes and several other categories.
If you want to learn more about e-bikes, and especially if you are looking to get into one given the advanced technology now available, EBR is for you. Check out the excellent reviews and information.
Written by Lonny Balbi.
May 25, 2020
With the increase of cycling during the pandemic as one of the only ways to exercise, there are significantly more cyclists, runners, and walkers out and about.
Here is a refresher on cycling ettiquette:
Don’t use the wrong side of the path or walk in the middle of the path.
This is an unspoken rule but a lot of people do not stick to the right side of the path. If you don’t stick to an edge, another cyclist might clip you as they pass you because they didn’t leave you enough room.
Don’t stop in the middle of the path.
This is especially important if you are in a group. Move as close to the edge or off the path if it is safe to do so. Not only is this important for social distancing, it is also saves people from having to go around you. The other week when I was out running, I saw a group of young cyclists stop and lay their bikes right on the path and then run into the trees to take a picture. This is incredibly unsafe and disrespectful.
Be aware of those who are around you.
It is important to be conscious of who is in front of you and who is behind you. When you need to pass someone, should check to make sure no one is behind you trying to pass and be aware of who is coming towards you as there might be someone coming the other direction.
Alert someone before you pass them.
Using you bell or calling out as you are passing someone will prevent them being startled by you.
Don’t pass everyone like you’re trying to win the Tour de France.
Slow your roll. I understand the love to go fast but it is also alarming to be passed by someone zooming by you.
Travel single file.
Share the space.
Be safe. Share the space. Happy (distant) cycling!
Apr 15, 2020
With the uncertainty of COVID-19, life is looking different at the moment. Cycling is a great form of exercise and a viable form of transportation. As long as you are following the social and physical distancing protocals in place, it is safe for you to get outside and ride your bicycle.
The temperature is getting up to 18 degrees on Monday and Tuesday (FINALLY). It is an excellent time to take your bicycle in to get a spring tune up. Many people don’t cycle in the winter (but they should, like our founder, Lonny) so your bike sits all winter. Because of this, some parts might not work as well as they should be. Many bike shops are open by appointment only and are doing contactless drop off and pick up.
Some of the bike shops that are open are:
The Bike Shop
Bike & Brew
B & P Cycle and Sports
Power in Motion
Each shop has different policies in place. Please contact them directly for more information!
We are living in a strange time but one positive of the quarantine is that there are less cars on the road. This makes it easier and safer for cyclists to get around the city. Calgary has over 600km of paths and bike paths around the city!
With the beautiful weather coming this weekend, now is a great time to dust off your bicycle and get outside.
Happy (distant) cycling!
For information on Calgary’s pathways: https://maps.calgary.ca/PathwaysandBikeways/
Feb 27, 2020
Canada has beautiful cycling trails from coast-to-coast.
Alberta’s Icefield Parkway from Banff to Jasper
This 230-km stretch between Banff and Jasper takes you through the Rocky Mountains passing glaciers, turquoise lakes, wild life and wild flowers. With spectacular views but a steep incline, it is not for the faint of heart.
Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Trail
Best explored by bicycle or foot, the total length of the Confederation Trail is 449-km. From December 1 – March 31, the PEI Snowmobile Association has exclusive rights to the trail and it is not open to pedestrians or cyclists! The trail is equipped for all skill levels as it travels through PEI’s picturesque scenery.
Nova Scotia’s Cabot Trail
Cabot Trail is a 298-km paved look on Cape Breton Island in northern Nova Scotia. Featuring dramatic ocean views and highland scenery, the Cabot Trail has been described as one of the world’s top bicycle rides. Being quite hilly, this trail will need some serious training before being conquered but it is a great challenge and the stunning views are absolutely worth the burning thighs.
Newfoundland’s Viking Trail
This 600-km route takes you along the rocky, barren coast through a series of sparsely populated but picturesque fishing villages. You will see amazing mountains and cliffs, beautiful shorelines with crashing waters and spectacular views, and flatlands that stretch for miles. The rugged coast beauty rivals many other Canadian trails and the variety of landscapes will leave you in awe.
Quebec’s Route Verte
Route Verte is a 5,300-km cycling network that links all regions of Quebec making it the longest of its kind in North America. This route will take you from calm stretches along the St. Lawrence River to the mountain views in the Laurentides and is the perfect was to celebrate Quebec’s magnificent landscape.
Ontario’s Waterfront Trail
The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail is a route that connects 140 communities and First Nations along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes. Stretching over 3000-km, it is one of the longest cycling route’s in North America. The trail takes you along some of Ontario’s most spectacular landscapes including, but not limited to, rocky shore lines, sandy beaches, farmlands, thick forests, rushing waterfalls, and tranquil forests.
British Columbia’s Kettle Valley Rail Trail
The Kettle Valley Rail Trail takes you on an adventure through BC’s wild spaces and deep history. The old, decommissioned rail tracks create a 650-km trail from Hope to Castlegar. The section through Myra Canyon, south of Kelowna, required the construction of 18 trestle bridges and two tunnels. The Othello Tunnels in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park is a popular tourist destination.
Have you cycled any of these routes? Let us know!