So, in my last post I made reference to bikepacking, and the BT700 website…http://www.bt700.ca
Oooops…sorry about that…an adoring fan, I guess…
Anyways…just a day or two after my last post Matt Kadey, creator/composer/developer/keeper/guardian….of said website, and also of many bikepacking routes (and a master bikepacker…obviously) sent out an BT700 related email.
Oh heck…sorry again…just another adoring fan…or something.
Anyways…Matt’s email is chalk (chock??) full of information about bikepacking, and several local bikepacking routes. So, instead of subjecting you to another Riot post…
Sigh….actually, as I was saying (before being interrupted again), instead of another long, boring Riot post, I will post Matt’s email below. It really is interesting, and packed with info. So without further delay, or interruption (I hope….), here is the email. Enjoy!!
And stay posted!
Ontario Bikepacking News from Matt Kadey March 25th, 22
Hope people are starting to get excited about the impending bikepacking season. From what I am hearing, it seems as if many riders have some big plans for 2022. Though not as epic as the Divide, here is some news about off-road touring in Ontario.
The 2022 BT 700 Grand Depart is set for June 19th leaving from St. Jacob’s and has a lofty list of over 100 riders signed up. Very excited for the return of the night before festivities and the not-to-be-missed mass start the morning after. Plus, let’s welcome back the American riders to the start line. Aid stations, free beer and the best butter tart photo contest are all on tap. Riders can also really go big with the BT XL that includes both the BT 700 and GNR routes. Last season’s FKT on that beast was a speedy 84 hrs 17 min by Theo Kelsey-Verdecchia. Here is some information about the ride: https://bikepacking.com/event/bt-700-2022/
You can sign-up here: http://www.bt700.ca/bikepacking-grand-depart.html
There is also the opportunity to test out your bikepacking skills and early season fitness on the 2-day No Winter Maintenance group ride on the weekend of June 4/5. Riders will even be serenaded by a live band at the overnight camp and Rally Beer will be onsite with refreshments. Information about the ride can be found here: http://www.bt700.ca/nwm.html. I’m still trying to sort out overnight parking options in the Orangeville area where the ride starts. If anyone can provide some suggestions for this with this that would be helpful.
My friends over at the Log Driver’s Waltz are running their inaugural grand depart in 2022. It’s slated for August 20th beginning in Almonte, Ontario. A great chance to ride this stunning route with a friendly crew of like-minded individuals. You can sign up at https://www.logdriverswaltz.ca/2022-grand-depart.html
Other bikepacking options from the BT 700 world are the trail heavy Grand Nith Ramble (GNR), the Farmers Folly and the wilderness studded Hasty Highlander. For a longer ride in the dirt, I’ve now combined the GNR and Farmers Folly into one big pursuit: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38519988
Of all the routes, the GNR is mostly likely to be in the best shape earlier in the season.
For most of the routes, there have been new accommodation options listed on the route files.
I’ve also tried to take into consideration the difficulty of the routes, which I’ve outlined here: http://www.bt700.ca/route-difficulty-ratings.html
Happy to report that the Holiday Inn in St. Jacob’s is once again offering special room rates for riders who need accommodation before or after riding the BT 700, GNR, or Farmers Folly. You can find the link to book a room here: http://www.bt700.ca/bt-friends.html
And I have also been able to secure free overnight parking in St. Jacob’s for those in need when riding the BT 700, GNR or Farmers’ Folly routes.
For more bikepacking routes generated by some wonderful riders you can check out www.bikepackingontario.com. Also investigate the expanding Ontario and Quebec route library at http://bikepackadventures.ca/
The ONXL now has nearly 8,000 kilometres of connected routes: http://www.bt700.ca/onxl.html
Need some gear for your next two-wheel tour? My friends at On the Road Bags are offering 25% off their line of stellar bags. Just use the code “BT700” at checkout. https://ontheroadbags.co/
New for 2022 is the chance to ride any of the BT 700 bikepacking routes in style by making use of the shuttle services of Ghost Gravel. They can arrange transportation of your gear and will also provide food services. And their one-of-a-kind off-road espresso cart will keep riders well buzzed. Think of it as the ultimate sag wagon. Details of this service here: http://www.bt700.ca/supported-tours.html
If you want some tasty ideas for on-trail nutrition, you can download my free energy ball cookbook here: http://www.bt700.ca/energy-balls-e-book.html Every flavour to suit every palate.
Finally, I am always eager to hear from potential trail angels who can provide tenting space, water bottle refills or any other services for riders. So if you live in the proximity of any of the routes and would like to join this growing community please let me know. Trail angels report 100% satisfaction.
Matthew Kadey MSc., RD
Dietitian, Nutrition Writer, Recipe Developer, Adventure Cyclist
Instagram: rocketfuelfood and bt700bikepacking
Author: Rocket Fuel (VeloPress 2016); Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses 2012); The No-Cook, No-Bake Cookbook (Ulysses 2013)