CYCLE It’s smooth sailing while you ride along the Shearwater Flyer Trail. THE COAST How to get from Downtown Halifax to the beach with just two wheels and two feet. BY CAORA MCKENNA What if we told you that you can bike from downtown Halifax to the beach? Really. Even if you haven’t biked in years and don’t remember the hand signals. It’ll be a bit sweaty and a bit stressful and you’ll curse at the lack of signage but you can do it—and it’ll be worth it. Haul your bike out of the garage, pump up the tires, grab a helmet (did you know once a helmet smacks the ground you’re supposed to replace it?) pack your water and snacks and don’t forget your swim trunks—or your overzealous enthusiasm. The good news is the worst part is the first part. Bikers definitely weren’t top of mind when the Macdonald bridge was put together—and riding down North Street with the bridge in your sights is a let down. Cyclists are forced to loop down and around the bridge to get on the bike lane. Once over the water (at least there are nice views to distract you from your panting), you’ll come out facing Windmill Road—with zero bike-friendly indication of where to go. Fret not! Get off your bike and cross the lanes of cars to get back on your bike on Windmill Road going south. Once you make it around Alderney Drive to the intersection at Kings Wharf Place, the Trans-Canada Trail awaits. It’ll be just you and one of the best views of the Halifax Harbour you’ve ever seen. That trail will spit you out at the Woodside Ferry terminal parking lot—a good place to drink some cool water and pump yourself up for the next leg. (You’ve got this: The beach awaits, remember?) The 3.8km ride down Pleasant Street to Shearwater is flanked by lupins and big tanks of oil. Cars and trucks will fly by on your left side but where there are sidewalks, there aren’t many walkers—meaning you’re probably OK to ride on them instead of the road. Once you’ve made it to Shearwater, your summer bike adventure dreams come true on the Shearwater Flyer Trail. The gravel path • • The Coast 16 HOT SUMMER GUIDE 2020
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