What motivates a person to jump on a bike and pedal distances of 40, 50, 100 or 200 km? Well, for many people the answer would be “insanity!” When I tell some of my friends that I am going to bike around the Cabot Trail, for instance, they fix me with a strange look that seems to suggest that I have more than one head.
But there is a wonderful freedom to exploring our beautiful island by bicycle. And the benefits of doing so are many. First of all a bike is cheap and accessible. Anyone can borrow, buy or find a bike. While traveling by bike, we are brought back to childhood and closer to nature simultaneously. We are burning no fuel, thus reducing our carbon footprint and getting in shape to boot!
This summer, I am preparing to bike around the Cabot Trail for the second time. I will be doing that three-day ride in September. Our group will bike approximately 100 km per day and we will tackle 4 mountains. The ultimate challenge is North Mountain. Last year, I made it all the way up but I had to stop to rest once. This year, my goal is to complete North Mountain in one go. Along the way, I will see moose, bears and beautiful landscapes and I’ll have a wonderful time with the other people who are sharing this challenge with me.
Over the coming weeks, I will be writing about the rides I do in preparation for this event. I will also write about some wonderful rides I’ve had in the past. Each of these rides is an adventure. On Saturday July 11, I will be leading an event called “Bike and Hike” for Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Club. This event will include a short ride from Morien Sandbar to Schooner Pond and a hike at Schooner Pond. We will pass through the beautiful fishing village of Port Morien and by the oldest mining site in North America. Then we’ll see a wonderful ocean vista as we ride from Morien to Donkin. At Schooner Pond, we will hike along the cliffs where we will witness seabirds hunting, seals playing and waves crashing off Flint Island. We will also look at the fossilized remains of a 300 million year old forest. All the while, we will be getting fresh air, exercise and the pleasure of good company. That doesn’t sound anything like “insanity” to me!
Join me for the ride, Saturday July 11 at 9 am at the Port Morien Sandbar. Bring your lunch, binoculars and camera. For details of this and other Velo Cape Breton rides, visit www.velocapebreton.com. And be sure to read my future accounts of my biking and hiking adventures in beautiful Cape Breton Island.