Summer is winding down. The days are slowly getting shorter and the evenings cooler. Schools will be back in session and the office will be full again with everyone back from their holidays. Summer in Canada is short and sweet. If you’ve been riding your bike a lot, you’ve probably had some pretty great days in the saddle making memories and gaining fitness. With the end of summer in sight, there may still be some bucket list things you’d like to get done before your riding season is over. Here are five things that it’s still not too late to do despite it being the end of summer.
1) Commute by bike to work
Using your bike to get around is a big lifestyle change that isn’t too hard to make. It’ll require commitment and discipline. Perhaps you’ll have to purchase a bit of additional gear like racks, pannier bags and fenders but overall it’s an accessible goal. Changing the way you move around where you live can take some adjustments but getting more exercise and more time in the fresh air is going to come with lots of physical and mental benefits. After your summer holidays as you return to the office and back to school, it’s the perfect time to make a lifestyle adjustment.
2) Ride an event
Finding the time to ride an event during the busy months of summer can be a challenge but late-summer and autumn events are a blast and luckily there are a lot of them across Canada. From gravel and adventure rides to fondos and charity events, find one near you and sign up today. Don’t leave riding an event unchecked on your summer bucket list. If you leave it too late, ‘cross season is just around the corner and you can always jump into a local race to test yourself.
3) Go bike packing
Packing up your bike and heading off for the long weekend is a perfect way to cap off summer on the bike. Bike packing is more accessible than ever with bags, bikes and all sorts of equipment designed for overnight adventures. If bike packing wasn’t on your summer bucket list, add it now before the season is over and you miss your chance for this year. Logistically, planning an overnight bike packing trip doesn’t need to be very complicated. Pick a destination, pack the essentials and head out the door. Even better if you can take some friends along for the trip or head to a cottage.
4) Complete a century ride
A big day in the saddle can be a real challenge and time commitment. While the days are still long enough, map out a route and knock a big metric century ride off your to-do list. Make sure to invite all your friends. You can even make a little informal event out of this one. The long weekend would be the perfect opportunity to get a few friends together, rent a place near a bucket list ride and have a great day with friends out on the open road.
5) Buy a gravel bike
There are more bikes than ever designed specifically for riding mixed-surfaces. If you’ve been looking to extend your season, a gravel bike is perfect because they can accommodate wide tires and fenders. While you may be reluctant to get your road bike all messy, having a secondary steed will allow you to ride in more conditions. Summer may be the best time for riding, but autumn is a great season for adventures and many of the events also feature mixed surfaces.