Bikes and Beer in Fredericton
Fredericton can fly under the radar, but it really shouldn’t. This Maritime town straddles the St. John River. Galleries, bakeries, cafés and breweries pepper the place. The best way to see them is by bike. “I’d recommend starting off a ride on the bike paths in the city,” says Jane Mckeown, organizer of Gravel Grind Fredericton. “There’s a lot going on in the city that’s worth checking out.”
Once you head out of the city, there is a mix of gravel and forestry roads, and atv trails for those up for the most challenging rides. Leaving town means going uphill. It’s easy to stitch together 80 to 120 km of riding before returning to New Brunswick’s capital. The tire of choice for the region would be fast-rolling and tubeless, between 35- to 45-mm wide, ideally with some degree of flat protection.
Save your l egs for a bit of an in-town tour by hitting up some of the microbreweries. Graystone is known for west coast ipas, Grimross Brewing for Belgian-style beer. If you like hay or unfiltered drinks, head to Trailway Brewing. The Maybee Brew Company offers up something for everyone.
If beer’s not your thing, there’s no shortage of cafés and bakeries in town as well, including Chess Piece Pâtisserie and Mill Town Roasters. No matter what you choose, bring your appetite.
Matthew Kadey knows Ontario gravel. He designed the Butter Tart 700, a tasty and tiring tour of the province’s south that touches Lake Huron at Georgean Bay and the Great Lake proper. Kadey has a few options for riders looking to head out for day trips northwest of the Greater Toronto Area. “The area I enjoy the most is probably the Headwaters region, between Creemore and Mono Mills,” Kadey says. “There are good roads, unmaintained roads and plenty to see and do.” He especially enjoys 2 Line ehs, which has some large rollers and excellent views as it leads toward Mono Cliffs Provincial Park.
The Butter Tart 700 creator has a good line on bakeries in the Headwaters region. Kadey’s favourite rides include stops at Giffen’s Country Market in Glen Huron. “It’s not pretentious, and they make a ton of awesome food,” he says. There’s a new general store in Horning Mills, while the Hockley Valley General Store is a great source of food and drink. Check out Kadey’s route to find a hidden gem of a road at the 593-km mark of the BT 700. You won’t find this relaxing road on Google Maps, but riding there means being surrounded by verdant forests, on a smooth surface.
For those already familiar with the Headwaters, Kadey suggests heading farther north to the Beaver Valley, west of Collingwood. Lower Valley Road is a must-ride for its treed canopy. With little car traffic, it’s a relaxing way to get to Hogg’s Falls. No spin in the region would be complete without a stop at the Kimberly General Store.