The bicycle was invented in the 1600s, originally a wood vehicle to be powered by people instead of horses. By the early 1800s, bicycles were consistently being built of metal, with two wheels, and were being driven by one person. The sport of cycling, and more recently mountain biking, has gained in popularity. Many us it as an environmentally-friendly form of transportation.
Cycling provides good exercise, fresh air, and a competitive challenge. It exercises most parts of the body including the legs, arms, hands and cardiovascular system. Cycling is also an Olympic racing sport with track and cross-country events. Mountain biking competitions continue to grow in popularity, combining speed with rugged terrain.
There are thousands of brands and types of bicycles, from touring to mountain bikes, even tandems and unicycles. Costs range in price from under $100 to thousands of dollars. It is important to maintain the bike so it is at peak running condition. Check for thinning tire treads, squeaky brakes, sticky cables or a bent frame. Before each ride, squeeze the tires to make sure there is enough air pressure (the tires shouldn't squeeze much).
Riders should also invest in a CSA-approved helmet, with costs ranging from $20 to more than $100. This means the helmet design has completed the Canadian Standards Association's durability testing. Other accessories include a quality lock & cable, a water bottle, and a tire pump. Many cyclists also want toe clips, to improve peddling efficiency. Serious cyclists also invest in cycling clothing including cycling shoes, spandex pants shorts (usually with soft chamois crotch padding) and cycling gloves.
Prince Edward Island is a place that seems to be made for cycling. Quiet drives in the
photogenic but relatively hill-free countryside, suited for either day-long tours that test skill and endurance,
or bone-shaking terrain that will challenge both bike and rider. A number of organized
cycling events are organized by the PEI Cycling Association at 1-800-310-6550 or (902) 566-5530.
The iggest challenge in the very open countryside is the steady wind. Road shoulders are minimal expect for the /Transportation-Canada and some other primary highways. Cycling helmets are recommdended. Prince Edward Island Terrain
The landscape is classified as hilly, rolling, and level. There are no "very hilly" or mountainous regions, with the highest point at 142 m. (464 ft.) above sea level, at Springton. Hills seldom exceed a 30 degree incline or one-half mile (1 km) in length. Three or five-speed bicycles can handle all terrain, with a 10-speed providing added comfort.
Hilly regions are found in four parts of the province:
Generally level areas are found generally along the coast and from Charlottetown to Montague via Rte. 3. National Park terrain along the north shore is flat for easy cycling, with 5 ft paved shoulders on the Gulf Shore Parkway.
These roads have paved shoulders:
The Charlottetown Area Development Corporation and area municipalities have built 45 km of nature routes and trails in a corridor along the abandoned rail line from the city's waterfront, through Sherwood, Parkdale, past UPEI, the Charlottetown Mall. This trail links up with the Province-wide Confederation Trail network. Eventually the network of routes will stretch from Riverside Drive past the Hillsborough Hospital through Hillsborough Park, past Wright's Creek, the airport, to the University lands. A central corridor will connect all of the other routes from Sherwood and Parkdale and along the way. On the West Royalty side, the plans call for the project to eventually stretch down the Maypoint Rd., to the federal government's Upton Farms and to the North River causeway area.
Royalty Oaks Trail
The Royalty Oaks Natural Area (0.8 km in length) is located in East Royalty off the St. Peters Rd. The trail entrance is between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Belmont House on Northridge Parkway. <
This trail passes wetlands and hardwood groves, goes through quaint villages and meanders along sparkling rivers. the Confederation Trail was completed in August, 2000 as Prince Edward Island became the first Canadian province to complete its section of the TransCanada Trail.
The trail is nearly flat due to its origins as an abandoned railway line, and the finely crushed gravel surface makes it very easy to negotiate both on foot and by bicycle. Bright plum-coloured gates which mark the various entry points. In winter, the trail provides snowmobilers an excellent tip-to- tip network, that even connects to several motels for a door-to-door snow-bound adventure.
When using the Confederation Trail please respect The Code of the Trail:
For details on cycling trails, the following pocket guides are available for sale at many Island bookstores and at some cycling
shops: Nature Trails Of Prince Edward Island and
The Prince Edward Island Cycling Guide