Bikes and Beer in Fred­er­ic­ton

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - FEATURE -

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.

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