Halifax Bicycling & Cycling
The bicycle was invented in the 1600s, originally a wood vehicle to be powered by people instead of horses. By the early 1800s, bicycles were consistently being built of metal, with two wheels, and were being driven by one person. The sport of cycling, and more recently mountain biking, has gained in popularity. Many us it as an environmentally-friendly form of transportation.
Cycling provides good exercise, fresh air, and a competitive challenge. It exercises most parts of the body including the legs, arms, hands and cardiovascular system. Cycling is also an Olympic racing sport with track and cross-country events. Mountain biking competitions continue to grow in popularity, combining speed with rugged terrain.
There are thousands of brands and types of bicycles, from touring to mountain bikes, even tandems and unicycles. Costs range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars. It is important to maintain the bike so it is at peak running condition. Check for thinning tire treads, squeaky brakes, sticky cables or a bent frame. Before each ride, squeeze the tires to make sure there is enough air pressure (the tires shouldn't squeeze much).
Riders should also invest in a CSA-approved helmet, with costs ranging from $20 to more than $100. This means the helmet design has completed the Canadian Standards Association's durability testing. Other accessories include a quality lock & cable, a water bottle, and a tire pump. Many cyclists also want toe clips, to improve peddling efficiency. Serious cyclists also invest in cycling clothing including cycling shoes, spandex pants shorts (usually with soft chamois crotch padding) and cycling gloves.
There are a number of recommended cycling routes around Halifax:
- Aspotogan Peninsula - a 51 km hilly route past Hubbards, Chester, East Chester
- Peggy's Cove - a 91 km trip along toutes 3 and 333 from the Armdale Rotary, with small rolling hills to scenic Peggy's Cove
- Sambro - a hilly 64 km trip along toutes 349 and 306 from Halifax past Crystal Crescent Beach, Chebucto Head, to Herring Cove Loop and back.
- Halifax - 14 km hilly route around metro Halifax
- 68 km route from Dartmouth Ferry Terminal along routes 207 and 7 to Conrad's Beach, Porter's Lake Provincial Park., and return.
- Herring Cove - 26 km to Herring Cove viw Route 253 and 349, from Armdale Rotary
- Bedford Basin-Waverley - 48 km along routes 2, 318 and 7 from the Halifax Ferry Terminal to finish at Dartmouth Ferry Terminal.
- Eastern Passage-Cow Bay 34km loop along Route 322, Bissett Road and Route 207, starting and finishing at Dartmouth Ferry Terminal to Rainbow Haven Provincial Beach.
For cycle touring in Atlantic Canada, contact Velo Halifax Bicycle Club (Dartmouth, 902/454-2990)
or for competitive or recreational racing, contact Atlantic Canada Cycling