Year-round cycling

By Devin Trefry, on Sun, 6 Jan 2013 | 0 Comments

Outlandish as it seems, there's a place in the province where you could be shovelling your driveway one day and within the next 24-hours find yourself swinging onto the seat of your bike. Warm snaps are not uncommon during January and February in South West Nova Scotia.

The region is rich in oxygen-pumping routes that leave one energized not only from the exercise, but the vistas they've experienced. Golden salt marshes wave gently in the breeze and whisper secrets as you pedal past. Roads twist and turn, rise and fall beside an ever-changing ocean.

You'll see farmlands and fishing boats, architecture from another era, lighthouses and beaches that beckon for a bundled-up adventure on another day.

A refreshing bonus to biking the majority of routes in the region is the minimal traffic you'll encounter. A 132-kilometre rail trail that stretches from Woods Harbour to Weymouth is well maintained and offers a mostly sheltered journey on windier days.

The Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association has published a downloadable cycling brochure.

The Blue Water Cycling Club is a vibrant and active group that holds weekly recreational rides and is involved in several annual competitive events including the Yarmouth Triathlon and the Sea Level Lobster Crawl, a fast paced 105-kilometre road race on some of the most scenic southern roads of Yarmouth County. The event was initially launched in 2002 by staff at Manser's Bike Shop.

Yarmouth and Acadian Shores cyclists are strong supporters of the annual HeartLand Tour, a public awareness campaign that uses the bicycle as a vehicle to educate Nova Scotians about cardiac and general health risks.The Heartland tour spends one day in each of eight communities hosting fun-filled family events such as healthy lifestyle information sessions, group bike rides with routes and distances for all ages and abilities, along with bike draws, free nutritional treats and giveaways. Yarmouth also has a Trips for Kids chapter, a nationally recognized, non-profit group created to take kids on mountain bike trips. Detailed information on touring the region, as well as many others in the province can be accessed via Walton Walt's book Nova Scotia by Bicycle available through Bicycle Nova Scotia's website.