MOUNTAIN LIFE - Blue Mountains | Spring 2019

54 ML BLUE SPRING 2019 STEEDS OF CHOICE The BT 700 will work with either a mountain bike or gravel bike outfitted with tires in the 40mm range. This is not a route for skinny tires and arrow bars. The rugged terrain calls for something beefier. Riders can outfit their rig with traditional panniers or new-style bikepacking bags—for instance, a handlebar rollbag and extra-large saddlebag. of this riding was undertaken with my partner Tabi Ferguson since it’s always a good idea to tap into a second set of eyes. Roads that seemed to exist only on the computer screen, private property issues, and new discoveries required what at times seemed like a never-ending metamorphosis of the route. My intention was to create a circuit that employs a variety of riding surfaces and terrain to keep riders excited and challenged from start to finish. On the BT 700 a cyclist will pedal along rail trail, gravel roads, rougher unserviced roads and even some flowy singletrack. Elevation wanders between flat on its agricultural approach to sunny Lake Huron to downright angry in Escarpment country. Beaver Valley, the trails of Dufferin County, the heavily forested approach to Owen Sound and the always reliable Elora Cataract Trailway are among my personal highlights. And I trust that everyone is going to become smitten with Buggy Lane. There are also bounties of microbreweries, cider houses and wineries along the route if cyclists want to say cheers to a ride well done. Local tourism boards have even reached out expressing their excitement about the potential of the BT 700 to bring in new lycra-clad visitors. Participants can tackle the BT 700 however they wish. Some will complete the loop in a pursuit of the Fastest Known Time (no prizes, just glory) while many others will move at an unhurried pace, taking their time to soak in the visual and culinary treasures. On July 14, there will be a grand departure from the village of St. Jacobs—the official start and finish point of the BT 700—where a group of riders will set off en masse. However, I like to think of this as an open-sourced route to be tackled at any time of year, and from any start point. I trust that everyone will discover something new no matter how much time they’ve spent riding in the route’s shadow. For more info, including camping/accommodation options, check I like to think of the BT 700 as an open- sourced route to be tackled at any time of year, and from any start point. MAP COURTESY OF