Last week I spent five fabulous days cottaging in the Laurentians in a little place called Lac-du-Cerf. When I wasn’t by the water soaking up sunshine and forgetting about reality, I was either re-learning how to use a bar-B-Q or making another drink.
I also swapped potholes for sandtraps and saddled up with this cute little number for my first-ever extreme mountain biking experience.
Just like street cycling, off-road biking comes with its own set of rules. At the risk of sounding like a complete dweeby novice (which I am), I am going to share a few things I learned that will help you survive your first mountain biking trip.
Rule #1: Bugspray.
Do yourself a favor and bathe in the stuff before you trek out into the woods because you will soon have a million buzzing insect sucking your blood and flinging into your nose and eyeballs. Better yet, bring a bug net, or a friend who is more tasty than you. The only good thing about the bugs is they kept us cycling at break-neck speed to try to outrun the little buggers.
Rule #2: Don’t stop peddling
Not only does this tip help to keep black flies from nesting in your ears, it also helps keep you on your velo. Loose rocks and sandy patches are everywhere and if you slow down at the wrong time you are inevitably going to have your tires slip out from under you. It is worth mentioning her that sand patches are great skidding, whether intentionally or accidentally.
Rule #3: There are no rules
No stop signs, no traffic, no crosswalks, no hand signals, no roads and no bike lanes. Occasionally you run into a few obstacles (see below), but aside from that anything goes.
Of course, mountain biking isn’t the only way to be your own fuel and travel sustainably at Deer Lake: