Bike Shorts, June 8, 2020

15 Jun 2020 9:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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

1. Safety Tip from Monna - Riding in the heat

When riding in hot weather – steer clear of the ‘repair areas’ of cracks and paving seams. They are injected with hot tar or asphalt, which tends to soften considerable in the heat. This 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. More on road IDs

Another option is It's sponsored by Canada Retirement Information Centres in Canada. But anyone can get one.

IPhone set up: Did you know that on an I-phone, if the owner has set it up properly, you can see the medical information and contact info without signing in?

You hit the home button to see the sign- in keypad, then at the bottom left there’s the word “emergency”. Press that, you get a keyboard where anyone can call 911. At the bottom left of that screen is the word ‘Medical”. Hit that and you see my name, date of birth, allergies etc. and contact info.

3. Diversions

COVID-19 News

- You can get tested for free at the test site on 595 Moodie Blvd. This is the D. Aubry Moodie School. The test will not tell you if you have had the virus or if you are immune. It only tests if you currently are infected and are therefore posing a risk to people around you. No reservations required. Just show up with your Ontario Health Card. You get your results in 1-3 days. Open 9am – 4 pm.

You Ride Gravel? Like, on Purpose?!

A small, but growing cadre of KNBC members have taken up the hottest trend in cycling - Gravel Riding. Many long-time recreational cyclists ask - "What, ride gravel on purpose, are you nuts?!". But gravel riding really is a sensible response to the changing nature of our cycling environment:

The budgets for road maintenance can't keep up with the required repairs, so more and more of our paved roads are becoming rough, cracked and potholed. Traffic on main roads is getting busier, and road building cannot keep up. Roads that we regularly used for KNBC rides in the past are no longer safe.

Cycling technology has made rapid improvements in the last decade to deal effectively with rough and unpaved surfaces. Technology originally designed for mountain biking (hydraulic disc brakes and the endurance frame geometry for example) has been re-purposed for road cycling. We've learned how to build compliant frames, design wider tires that are as efficient as narrow ones, and put wide gear ranges on road bikes.

75% of our roads in the region are unpaved. This includes some of the quietest, secluded, and scenic riding in the region.

This spring I've used an aluminum gravel bike with 40mm tires for all my riding. I've noticed my cycling has become significantly more carefree and fun:

  • I feel infinitely safer. I just don't care about cracked and broken pavement anymore. No more swerving or tense moments navigating wide cracks and missing pavement.
  • The bike is more stable, it tracks and corners superbly.
  • The smaller gears make climbing much more fun (if climbing can ever be considered fun!)

It's not noticeably slower (In fact, on rough pavement it feels faster). On a recent loop of the Gatineau Parkway, I set an all-time personal best for the Strava Fortune Lake descent segment, beating my time on my carbon fibre Argon 18 with its 25mm race wheels. I didn't get a PB on the Pinks Lake descent, but I did hit 69kph, which is near my maximum. And I never felt safer on a bike at those speeds.

I can use really nice routes that may require riding a few kilometres of unpaved roads to "connect the dots" to make an interesting ride. Is there construction on the route? I just don't care. Of course, I can also ride the unpaved roads. There is an incredible variety of quiet, scenic riding on roads and in areas I never knew existed. You can ride to California! The Ontario version (it's on Google Maps!) is just south of White Lake and is reached by Darling Rd and California Rd. There is some drop-dead gorgeous scenery riding from Mohr Corners into Galetta on Mohrs Rd across Mississippi. But it's on an unpaved road - I've ridden in that area for decades and never knew about it until last year.

This year, KNBC is experimenting with gravel riding. We've added Gravel Rides to our RideWithGPS route library. Use the tag Gravel to find them. If there is interest, we can add more. If you are interested in trying gravel rides with the KNBC, just let Bill Bourne know. He's organizing an informal KNBC Gravel Interest Group (GIG) and will help introduce people to riding unpaved roads and organize some informal gravel rides

What do you need to experiment with gravel riding?

  • Wider tires. 32mm is the minimum for "gentle gravel" routes. 36mm-40mm is better. A smooth, supple, "file-tread" tire is best. You don't need gnarly, knobby tires.
  • Lower gears are useful when you get into hilly regions like Quebec or Lanark county.
  • An "endurance" or "gravel" bike is ideal, but not at all necessary, as long as you can get bigger tires on your bike.

Bill Bourne

Article: Bill & Angela and Odette’s excellent adventure to Sri Lanka

In January Angela and Bill Bourne and Odette Regimbal joined a few other cyclists on a 2-week tour of Sri Lanka from "Tip to Tail". Bill recently gave a slide presentation on their adventure to a joint virtual Zoom meeting of the KNBC and the Ottawa Bicycle Club. The turnout of about 50 people exceeded our expectations! If you want to watch a video of Bill's talk, or just look at his photos, you can find them online at

And if you are looking for a cycling adventure next winter, Bill and Angela can highly recommend one of Dave Trattle's trips: and

Movies: European Union provides more films to watch online for free! (until June 18)

More movies: Cineplex

KNBC’s FaceBook page

KNBC has a Group Facebook page. Many of you are cycling in small groups and physically distancing for sure! Join our KNBC Facebook page by simply clicking on the icon "join" just below the group photo. Join our Facebook Group, take photos and post them on our Group page. Or send them to Michèle Dextras at mdextras8(at) and she will post them. Share your adventures!

This is the link.

Geoffrey Gurd, President, KNBC