Bike Shorts, May 17, 2021

23 May 2021 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Bike Shorts is published weekly now. You are very welcome to suggest photos, cartoons, stories, events, links, etc. Just send your info to bikeshorts(at)

Quote of the weekWe need only travel enough to give our intellects an airing.

Henry David Thoreau (vaccinated years ago)

1. Safety tip from Monna - Riding in the heat

When riding in hot weather (finally it's here), steer clear of the ‘repair areas’ of cracks and paving seams. They are injected with hot tar or asphalt, which tend to soften considerable in the heat. They can actually 'grab and trap' your tires, much like railway tracks, and cause a very sudden nasty fall. Access to water may now be a challenge - so, don't forget to carry sufficient water with you. Drink before you are thirsty and eat before you are hungry when riding in heat to avoid 'bonking'.

2. A Curated List of Gravel Rides

I hear rumours that some folks are planning on doing some mixed surface (aka Gravel) rides. To help you get started, here's a curated list of great routes to choose from. The first four are the routes I used for a relaxed gravel touring series with the OBC last fall. We had lots of new gravel riders, many riders on 32mm tires, some even on 28mm. Everyone had a great time and folks loved the routes. These routes are designed to be scenic, quiet and to give you a new perspective on villages you've probably been riding through for decades. Larger tires are always better, but 32mm or greater should be fine.

Shorter, scenic "introduction to gravel" routes:

Carleton-Almonte Promenade [Carleton Place]

Larose Bourget Ramble [Larose Forest]

Almonte Petit Roubaix [Almonte] (Gravel)

A wonderful introductory route, when we can ride again in Quebec:

Wakefield Intermediate Gravel [Wakefield]

And some longer routes but good riding for those new to gravel:

Almonte-Roubaix Tour [Almonte] (Gravel)

Fitzroy Harbour Gravel [Carp]

Gilles Corners Gravel [Ashton]

A couple of caveats:

Your average speed will be slower by 3 KPH or so, plus you will want to stop to take in the scenery. Allow extra time.

Gravel roads can significantly change their character (for better or worse) from week to week. Loose gravel quickly gets packed down by traffic. Townships will "maintain" a road, running a grader over it, or adding gravel, turning fast hardpack into loose gravel until traffic packs it down. Another reason to allow extra time, and bring your sense of adventure with you!

If you have questions, or have a great route to share feel free to contact me: Bill Bourne, wbbourne(at)

3. Diversions

Article: New technology will end 'scary' red reverts at hundreds of Ottawa intersections

Article: June is Let’s Bike Month

The City of Ottawa has partnered with EnviroCentre to provide a campaign that encourages people to cycle as a fun and healthy option for getting where they need to go. There are free workshops and cycling resources, prizes and a fun app to track your distance and the impact of choosing to ride a bike. No matter the reason you cycle (this year brings with it many changes in travel patterns), consider signing up and logging your bike trips this June! Let’s Bike Ottawa! For information and to sign-up visit

Video: Cycling is often the fastest option in any city: bike messenger in Cairo (1:34)

Video: Pourquoi pédaler? (0:15)

Geoffrey Gurd, President, KNBC