Your guide to the local outdoor adventure scene Ottawa, Ottawa Valley, Gatineau, Quebec
Campsites close to home
Without the pavement
Save gas, take the horse
6 Picnic Sites In the city
Pedal Wine Routes In nearby Quebec
Win a $5,000 kayak
from Trak Kayaks and Ottawa Outdoors Magazine details inside!
Looking to buy a canoe or kayak this summer? take the short drive to:
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4 6 9 11 12 15 18 19
8 Ottawa Outdoors Kudos 10 Ottawa Outdoors Tips 14 Event Calendar and Outdoor Listings 16 Adventure Guide to the Ottawa Valley 17 Ottawa Valley Adventure Directory 22 Ottawa Outdoors Kudos 23 Photography Tips 39 Ottawa Outdoors Kudos 41 Ottawa Outdoors Tips 42 Ottawa Outdoors Tips 43 Cool Gear Hot Clothing 46 The Back Pages 47 The Last Biscuit
How to avoid dehydration 6 picnic sites close to home Respect on the Trails Trail Running without pavement Brome-Missiquoi Wine Routes Deconstructing Fear Why do we cycle? 18 Cool Campsites for Ontario & Quebec 24 The Sea Turtle Story 26 Saddle Up: Nearby trail rides to Ottawa and Gatineau 29 Kettlebells for Fat Termination 30 Pedalling Prescott-Russell Trail 31 Intro to Whitewater Kayaking 34 Paddling Tips 37 Proper Snacking: It can make a difference to your performance 41 Backyard Birding Can Keep Your World Natural 45 Teaching your child to ride Cover Photo: Camping (istockphoto)
Trail Running 101
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Cool Gear 43 Hot Clothing
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PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF DAVE BROWN EDITORS ROGER BIRD, SHEILA ASCROFT MANAGING EDITOR ANNE DUGGAN ILLUSTRATORS KEITH MILNE, GORDON COULTHART CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Gerry Godsoe, Kathleen Wilker, Alec Bialski, Dave McMahon, Dominique Larocque, Sheila Ascroft, Allen Macartney, Anne Duggan, Michael McGoldrick, Rob Harris, Stephen Johnson, James Roddick, Samantha Liepner, Adam C. Smith, Paddy Moore CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS istockphoto-Kameleon007, istockphoto-scotto72, photo by: istockphoto-4774344sean, National Capital Commission, Calgary Tourism, Highland Wilderness Tours, Stag Creek Trails, Prescott Russell Trails LJ Photography, Wilderness Tours, istockphoto.com-MatkaWariatka, istockphoto.comcharliebishop, istockphoto.com-kzenon ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Dave Brown, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Ottawa Outdoors Magazine is an independent publication published seasonally every four months and distributed FREE at sports stores all over the region, as well as at 100 other locations. E-mail: Advertising@OttawaOutdoors.ca Tel: 613-860-8687 or 888-228-2918 Fax: 613-860-8687
publisher’s letter Summer. We hear it’s supposed to arrive soon?? Well, there’s always the fall weather to look forward to. . . with temperatures surely schedule to be in the high-20’s or low 30’s? We wish, as it’d be nice to HAVE summer weather for a change. :-) Okay, enough dribbling. On behalf of all of our writers, editors, photographers and illustrators we hope your enjoy this new DAVE BROWN summer/fall issue of Ottawa Outdoors as we officially enter now Publisher, Editor-in-chief our 9th year of publication for the region. It was nine years ago this summer that we launched the region’s only outdoor adventure magazine and we’re happy to say it’s proven to be a great success and much-enjoyed by all of you. Thanks for the support to our advertisers and to the publication. In this issue you can read about great campsites nearby that will still give you a holiday during these tighter times (see page 19). If you’re tired of paying through the nose for gas, consider mounting a horse and spending some time on a back-country trail ride (see page 26). And if you’re more inclined for physical fitness, check out the articles on pedalling, trail running, whitewater kayaking or using kettlebells. Heck, you can make it easy on yourself and join one of Somersault’s great races that either you or the family will be sure to love. Lastly, as a thank you to you, please enter the contest below as we’re giving away this kayak and the draw is September 15th. Until next time, um . . . stay dry eh?
Dave Brown Publisher, Editor-in-chief
CONTRIBUTIONS Ottawa Outdoors Magazine welcomes story and photo contributions. All photos should ideally be shot with a high-resolution digital camera, but otherwise scanned at 300dpi resolution and burned onto a CD-ROM or e-mailed. No unsolicited contributions will be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Publisher may publish any and all communications with Ottawa Outdoors magazine, and may edit for clarity and style. Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index ISSN No. 1204-69556. © Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any materials published in Ottawa Outdoors Magazine is expressly forbidden without consent of the publisher unless otherwise agreed between partners. Printed in Canada.
Win a $5,000 kayak
from Trak Kayaks a Ottawa Outdoors M nd agazin
ENVIRONMENTAL PARTNERSHIPS Ottawa Outdoors Magazine aligns with local and international environmental groups. Recently Ottawa Outdoors Magazine joined and supports the following groups. We encourage you to do the same.
Leave No Trace Canada is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Leave No Trace builds awareness, appreciation and respect for our wilderness areas. www.leavenotrace.ca One Percent for the Planet is a rapidly growing network of companies that give at least one per cent of their annual sales to environmental causes. Their commitment provides vital resources and awareness to organizations that work to keep us on a sustainable path. 1%FTP provides members with a straightforward and powerful way to become part of the solution. We are proud supporters of One Percent as a movement as well as their members which include Mountain Equipment Co-op and more than 20 other businesses across Canada. www.onepercentfortheplanet.org
Just send an ema
INeedAKayak@Ott awaoutdoors.ca Good Luck! Draw Se pt. 15th
Are you an outdoor enthusiast who would like to contribute? To submit articles or photos, all you have to do is e-mail us at: Editor@OttawaOutdoors.ca.
Wet Your Whistle How to avoid dehydration before it sneaks up on you By Gerry Godsoe
photo by: istockphoto-Kameleon007
Ever been hiking, biking, canoeing, snowshoeing or ice climbing and noticed somebody — including yourself — isn’t quite themselves? The reason could have a lot to do with water. Without it, that off-balance person is likely suffering from mild dehydration, an imbalance between water molecules and other dissolved solutes. While we can survive without water for several days, most of us would be in pretty bad shape if we were without water for even 24 hours. Bread may be the staff of life but “Adam’s ale” (aka H2O) is essential for our bodies and brains to function properly. Among the many functions carried out by water in the body, it helps lubricate the moving parts, clean our cells, digest our food, regulate our temperature and keep us thinking straight. Outdoor enthusiasts (especially those keeners who think nothing of running many kilometres before breakfast or racing 24 hours at a stretch) have probably learned the importance of water and have your own recipes to replace sodium, potassium and other electrolytes. For the rest of us, the need for water may be something that we do not fully appreciate until things start to go wrong. A missed trail junction, a sudden storm, inadequate equipment and a shortage of drinking water and food can combine to make a bad situation worse very quickly. Even a small reduction in the body’s percentage of water is enough to cause irritability, fatigue, headache, dizziness. An early clue is decreased or dark urine. Increasingly severe symptoms are dry mouth, skin “tenting” (dehydrated skin, if pinched, stays pinched), lack of perspiration, grogginess and, near the end, delirium. The best way to treat dehydration is to prevent it. At a minimum, you should drink two litres a day. Mild dehydration can usually be treated with drinking water and rest or at least slowing down a
bit. Diluted sports drinks with electrolytes would be even better. More severe cases may need medical treatment. Yes, you can drink too much water when you have a large supply. But it’s unlikely you’ll drink too much if you are pumping it through a filter or purifying it through boiling or other treatment. Get to know what your body needs under various temperature conditions and activity levels and stick to that need level. For hiking, drink your fill at the trailhead and carry more water than you will need. When canoeing attach a water container to your boat with a carabineer and make it easily accessible. If you are the trip leader (or a parent), part of your job is to encourage your group to keep well hydrated. Be aware that the sense of thirst decreases with age (over 50) and higher altitudes and cold weather require more water. Caffeine, alcohol and snow all exacerbate dehydration. Remember the outdoor survival rules: Tell tell someone where you are hiking. If you get lost, stay put and keep warm and dry. dry. Help searchers find you. And enjoy that extra water you brought along. ~OO
Gerry Godsoe’s outdoor experience comes from Scouting, canoeing, camping and search and rescue. He’s an instructor with the Ottawa Y Canoe Camping Club and a search manager with Search and Rescue Global 1 www.sarglobal1.ca.
The Best Picnics Are Close To Home Here’s six sites for a hot day in the city BY Kathleen Wilker
Ottawa is full of beautiful green spaces, so we’ve lined up a few of them where you can linger and lunch this summer. Pack a blanket, bring the kids, meet some friends and enjoy the urban green. 1. At Dow’s Lake, by the Statue of The Man With Two Hats This huge sculpture was created by artist Henk Visch and donated to Canada by the Netherlands as an expression of joy and a celebration of freedom. An identical statue stands in Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands. Surrounded by impeccable NCC flower beds, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic anytime of the day. And there are tall trees for shade on hot summer days. If you’re tempted to hit the water and cruise down the canal, you can rent
canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and row boats by the hour or by the day just about any boat you please across the road at the Dow’s Lake Pavilion, mail@ dowslake.com. From mid-May until the end of September,. Lifejackets are included in the rental. 2. The Inukshuks near Remic Rapids on the Ottawa River Bike or walk West beside the Ottawa River, past the Parkdale turn off and you’ll find an ever growing public art exhibit in the shallows beside Remic Rapids.
3. New Edinburgh’s Stanley Park on August 8th for the Lumière Festival Picture lantern lit paths, butterfly wings and fairies flitting through trees. On August 8th, Stanley Park beside the Rideau River will come alive with a free community festival celebrating magic and light. Festivities start at 5 and continue after dark. Professional storytellers, stilt walkers, musicians, dancers and acrobats enchant festival goers young and old. Bring your own picnic or choose a delicious dinner from the vendors at the festival. Everyone is welcome and costumes — especially elves, dragons, knights and pixies — are encouraged. For pre-festival lantern making workshops, visit www.luniereottawa.com. 4. Visit Britannia Park and take in the Ottawa Folk Festival, August 21-23 Just before the back to school rush, our family hops on our bikes and rides West along the Ottawa River to Britannia Park and the Ottawa Folk Festival. Free valet bike parking is just one of the perks of arriving on two wheels. Spectacular views of the river, often with sailboats from Britannia’s Yacht Club are a beautiful backdrop to take in this relaxed festival. We usually pack a picnic and set up a blanket at the back of the main stage where we can enjoy the music and the children can run feral. Impromptu games of Frisbee and hackysack are common here.
photo by: istockphoto-4774344sean
Each spring, local sculptor, John Félice Ceprano, begins balancing rocks to create Inukshuks rising out of the river. He works all summer, and each winter the sculptures are washed away to be recreated once again. When the waters warm up, adults and children riding or walking by stop and add to the sculpture village. By late summer there are dozens of Inukshuks of all shapes and sizes to join you as you picnic. Photographers favour this spot for sunset pictures of the spectacular Inukshuks with the Gatineau Hills in the background. Be sure to pack a picnic blanket to avoid sitting in the droppings of the countless geese and seagulls who also favour this spot.
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If you need to stretch your legs between sets, try fossil hunting on the huge boulders at the edge of the river. A children’s playground is just outside the festival gates. As is Britannia’s wide sandy beach. Early bird passes for the festival are $65 with significant discounts offered to the over 65 or under 25 crowd. In true folk spirit, kids under 12 are free. The Working Folk volunteer crew expands each year and is now 800 strong. Apply early to secure your spot on the team. See www.ottawafolk.org for details.
at the top. Some cyclists park at P3 (where Gamelin Street intersects the Gatineau Parkway) where there are outhouses, picnic benches and a water fountain.
6. At Your Favourite Local Park’s Wading Pool or Splash Pad Ottawa is blessed with 57 wading pools, in operation from late June until late August. Most are open from eleven until five, six days a week. Check the city’s website, www.Ottawa.ca/residents/ parks_recreation/seasonal/ss/wading_ pools, for more information on your local pool as most pools have a rotating 5. At Champlain Lookout in closed day. Gatineau Park Join the kids and cool off in the pool or Fancy a big, very hilly bike ride and a splash pad. Lifeguards are on hand at the beautiful view? Pack your panniers full wading pools, but parents must be within of a delicious, lightweight picnic and arms reach of their young swimmers. head for the hills. Champlain Lookout If you’ve got fond memories of running is located at the top of the Gatineau in the sprinkler as a child, you should Parkway. The lookout is beautiful any check out your local splash pad. No time of the day. If you’ve managed to get lifeguards here as there are no bodies of there on your own engine, the exertion standing water. Jet sprays are activated makes the view all the sweeter. by pressing fire hydrants and water sprays For those wanting to prolong their out of tunnels, from giant umbrellas and visit, there’s a short and interesting out of fountains. hiking trail that begins at the lookout and What do youbiking do? The Whiz Easy™. Made for(52 Bayview West) is my Laroche Park offers closer views of nature than women & girls, this sanitary, comfortable and favourite splash pad. With huge shady provides. Although when you’re inching easy to use in any situation, wee anywhere a man trees and the occasional sound of the up some of the steepercan. climbs, you may BluesFest www.ottawabluesfest.ca have the opportunity to closely admire Whiz Easy™ is simply the drifting best solution avoid over to the River from July 8-19, it’s the mossy rocks and creeping thyme a great moments spot for an evening picnic when you’rediscomfort rolling by. and/or embarrassing whether you're enjoying the outdoors, while the humidity is high, the cicadas are Make sure you bring travelling, or just for day to day convenience to singing everyone plentyavoid of water with you unsanitary conditions in anyand public facility just wants to cool off and eat watermelons. ~OO as there is none available or simply when there are no facilities. Order yours at www.whizeasy.com. Readers of this magazine get a special offer... Enter Code: COMTOM
ottawaoutdoors kudos Calabogie Time Trial
Perfect conditions allowed 18 of 38 local cyclists to improve their previous best on this 40km rolling and hilly course. The most improved of these was Mike Dupuis, out on a fast new Cervelo. The fastest woman, Allison McKay, had only ridden this course once before in 2003, placed 14th overall, and was only 40 seconds over the hour. Twelve men broke the hour mark. Rick Sudac set the new male Veteran D record for 40 km.
Knowing Your Stuff Mitch Fallis recently learned that details mean everything in competition. While participating in the Sydenham Olympic distance Triathlon he failed to complete the entire swimming distance after a volunteer misinformed him about the number of lengths required. He learned two things: if you know you are right and the volunteer is wrong, swim around them and keep going and if you realize you messed up, keep riding hard and turn it into a really good, if somewhat expensive, brick workout.
When nature calls outdoors...
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Just the Facts, Jack Progressive Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique Practices According to the East Coast Cycos Bi Rite Newsletter we continue living our lives and raising our athletes on a poor diet of shallow chest breathing habits. The good news is that the poor and ineffective breathing habits can be reversed. With the help of a trained breathing coach, we can to re-learn again how to use and control the diaphragm movement correctly. The key to a DB technique is: 1. On Inhalation: Quick and large volume of the air be taken in. The amount of air being inhaled is always a function of the amount of the air being exhaled. 2. On Exhalation: A prolonged and evenly discharge of the air is maintained throughout the cycle of the motion being executed. A puffing action at the end of the exhalation phase will enable the athlete to completely empty his/her air tank (the lungs). The DB technique must be learned and developed. The breathing process is a naturally occurring, automatic, and a reflex action. During exercise and sport performance, one does not and should not ever think about their breathing action or that performance might be compromised.
Stay On The Trails Respect any fences and close gates behind you by Alec Bialski
ikers ascending a trail have priority. This is because climbing is more difficult that descending and an uninterrupted breathing rhythm is needed when ascending. Step to the side and let the hiker pass, rather than walk along the trail on the grass or moss. This, especially in sub-alpine areas, will prevent the destruction of slowgrowth plants and creation of ugly â€œbraidedâ€? trails. Be courteous and respectful of other users of trails, including animals. When in groups avoid loud talk. Remember that bears have a very acute sense of hearing. Speak normally, do not shout. Be one with nature; do not pollute it with too much noise. Take back with you all your waste, such as hygiene products, packaging materials and so on and dispose of them at home or back at the trail head if there are garbage cans. Do not wash clothes or dishes in lakes and/or streams. You can wash your dishes by taking the water out of the stream; wash the dishes a few metres away from the body of water and dispose of the wash water on the ground away from shore. When overnight in huts, use leftover foods, supplies and fuel, but leave behind the equivalent of supplies and fuel for the next backpacker. Say hello to other hikers on the trail and smile. You share one of the best shows on earth. ~OO
860 BANK STREET, OTTAWA (613) 231-6331
Shoes for Ottawa weather!
ottawaoutdoors tips Canoeing Ontario Outfitters remind canoists to make sure you have good hiking boots. They should have both ankle support & protection and be comfortable (don’t wait until you’re in the middle of Quetico Park to discover they give you sores). Waterproof them with treatment. The most common error is to go on canoe trips with only sneakers and or sandals (take those for sitting around the campfire etc. but not for portages). The number one injury for this activity are cut feet and twisted ankles. [source: www.ontario-outfitters. ca/canoeing-tips.htm
Swimming/Triathlon TriRudy athlete Ellen Dickson recommends allowing more than one day between having your eyebrows waxed and wearing swim goggles to avoid pain. Ouch!
net shelters | insect repellent | after bite gel 366 Richmond Road, Ottawa | mec.ca
DOCKET # PROJECT PUBLICATION SIZE COLOURS
3640 - 2 Brand Ad - Bug Squisher Ottawa Outdoors 4.85” x 4.85” CMYK
#1 INSERTION SUMMER/fALL ISSUE 2008 PROOf DATE Jun 2008 the25, vineyards and PROOf # Friends 1 of the PRINTER N/A PAPER N/A DESIGNER Deb, email@example.com
604.707.4401 149 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5Y 4A6
Vignoble La Mission, Brigham Thematic tasting of local produce every weekend. Picnic area. www.vignoble-lamission.com - 450 263-1524 Cidrerie Fleurs de Pommiers, Dunham Boutique of cider and local produce. Tasting on site. Picnic tables. www.fleursdepommiers.ca - 450 295-2223 Vignoble de l’Orpailleur, Dunham Guided tours, museum, walking trails, picnic area, restaurant Le Tire-Bouchon www.orpailleur.ca - 450 295-2763 INN / RESTAURANT
laroutedesvins.ca 16 vineyards
Auberge Quilliams, Lac-Brome French cuisine. Menu includes local farm products. Country inn. www.aubergequilliams.com - 1 888 922-0404
30 years of savoir-faire
1 888 811-4928 10
367-Annonce_Route_Ottawa_outdoors.indd 1 m a g a z i n e summer/fall 2009
03/07/09 10:27:47 www.ottawaoutdoors.ca
Trail Running Anywhere, Anytime Find your groove without pavement By Dave McMahon
Prisoners of pavement! Free yourself from roads and get a richer, more enduring experience. We’re talking about forest trails, offering runners an all-season, all-terrain, all-natural, clean oxygen-rich experience for body and soul. This is a concentrated totalbody workout for power, endurance, agility, balance and core-strength. Compared with running on city sidewalks, the variety of single track trails – like the Ridge Road along the spine of Gatineau Park – can boost the dynamic range in all your five “cardiovascular zones.” Most road races are done in a high zone 3, but trail races vary from zone 3 (race) to zone 5 (sprint). A run in the woods provides more natural intervals than a structured workout, with less fatigue, greater diversity and improved training effects. You can run a different route every day and never get bored. Negotiating a winding, hilly, narrow footpath at speed is by definition an opportunity for real-time problem solving and mental fitness too. The variety of footing, pace and stride in trail running will add longevity to your running career. To a neophyte, trails may be intimidating. Rocks, roots, mud and steep descents test the nerves, and climbs challenge the heart, lungs and legs. Technical trails can be a seasoned track star’s kryptonite. Neophytes worry about injuries, especially twisting an ankle. They’re maybe daunted by spine-tingling downhills and lung-bursting climbs, and co-ordinating a route through rocks, roots and mud without looking like a marionette. But it’s my firm view that chance of
over-use injuries from repetitively running on hard pavement is much higher than injuring yourself on trails. Yes, people do fall in the woods, but they only make a sound if others hear them. Anyone can run safety downhill or over obstacles if you take it in stages. Start slowly, on easy terrain, while maintaining good running form and a full stride. Eventually those stones, water hazards and logs will disappear beneath your feet. As new trail runners develop skill, they drop the instinct to step on every obstacle. Instead they ignore irrelevant hazards, maintain a full stride and clear Dave McMahon on Wolf Trail. them in the air. They look way gravity to power your motion, absorb ahead, not down at their feet, shocks, prevent injuries – and you get to knowing that good form means you can feel the changing terrain. land on anything. Warm up on the flats before a trail run. They learn to be quick and light on Practise good running form and then their feet, knowing you are safe in the transfer it to more difficult terrain. For air, and only have to be cautious during co-ordination, add skipping (without a contact with the earth. They kick heels rope, while moving ahead), shuttle runs up, especially in mud, maintain tempo (change direction by lowering your centhrough obstructions or changes of tre of balance and rapidly turn around) direction. and cross-overs (running sideways and Ascents require quick, short strides backwards, crossing legs in front and while leaning forward from the hips and pumping the arms. Use the big muscles behind). And stretch after your trail run. in your hips and keep a good posture Trail running is even more amazing – in the spine. For downhills, lower your and safer – when you run in a pack, so join a club and try it. ~OO centre of gravity and stride out. Envision where your momentum will carry you, Dave McMahon was a national biathlon – lean down the hill and run down the ski and shoot – champion and ranked third in the world in the summer run-and-shoot fall-line. Pump your arms to maintain variant of the sport. Together with two-time control and reduce foot impact. Olympian Lise Meloche, he leads free trail On very steep hills, land on the heels running workouts in Gatineau Park. See and absorb the impact in the hips. Stay www.naturalfitnesslab.com relaxed from ankles on up through your legs to the upper body. This allows
The Brome-Missisquoi Wine Route on two wheels What could be more enjoyable than discovering the wine region on two wheels and taking the time to stop to admire the beauty of nature and the breathtaking views? In the countryside of the Eastern Townships, Brome-Missisquoi offers the Wine Route, spanning 140 kilometers. The Wine Route allows you to discover 16 vineyards and their products, with numerous bicycling routes allowing you to make shorter excursions. Its outings, ranging in length from 26 to 48 kilometers, meet the needs of intermediate and beginning cyclists alike. The region is adored for the surprising diversity of its glens and valleys, from which emerge picturesque villages, with the Appalachian Mountains as a backdrop. Brome-Missisquoi offers bike circuits for all calibers of athletes. For those of you with stronger calves, the “Le Tour des Monts Sutton” (Sutton Mountains tour) is clearly marked and even the fanatics won’t be disappointed, since its 77 km offer all kinds of climbing and downhill challenges. Sutton, a renowned four-season outdoor destination, offers a wide variety of activities. For beginners, young families, seniors or just because of the magnificent scenery, the three «flat country» circuits are well worth it. If traveling on the «Circuit de la Gare» (26.5 km) which goes through the quaint small town of Farnham, you must not miss the weekly «Farmer’s Market» or a taste of the delicious cheeses produced at the Fromagerie des Cantons. A Heritage Tour is available or you can visit the Saint-Romuald Church which features paintings by the renowned Osias Leduc. Why not picnic in the Centre de la nature (Nature Center) with a bottle of wine purchased at the Les Pervenches vineyard? The “Circuit du Pont couvert” (35.5 km), covering the Saint-Ignace and Notre-
Dame-de-Stanbridge area, combines nature interpretations, heritage buildings including the unique 12-sided Walbridge barn and two country schools, a covered bridge, the workshop of two renowned artists in textile painting and pottery: a variety that will please each and every family member. A community garden, a bird watching site, a hiking trail, a heritage tour, two art galleries, a museum in an old mill - circa 1830, a pottery, a train station, 2 vineyards are all to be experienced along the «Circuit du Patrimoine» (48 km). Many quality lodgings, B&B’s, inns and condos offer, throughout the region, Wine Route packages including a visit to a winery and a box lunch. Ten lodging
facilities, in Cowansville, Lac-Brome and Sutton, have received “Bienvenue cycliste” (cyclists welcome) certification. TAXI-VÉLO service You are too tired to continue your ride, you have a breakdown or don’t want to retrace your steps? Call a bike taxi service offered 24/7, on road and on bike path alike, for a reasonable cost. No need to
reserve in advance, but expect a wait of up to 60 minutes. The taxis can take up to 4 cyclists and their bikes. Dial: 1 877 766-VELO (8356). NEW – VÉLO-CAMPING Just a short distance from any of the «flat country» bike circuits, the campgrounds are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 7 am to 9 pm. Available services include secure parking, access to washrooms, showers and picnic tables. Parking and shower: $5/p. Camping sites: $10/p. Events to note in your agenda: Rosés en Fête (Rosé Wine Festival) until mid-August throughout the region, the new literary event, Letters from Knowlton August 1st and 2nd in Lac-Brome, Tournée des 20 which allows you to visit the workshops of very talented artists of Brome-Missisquoi from September 19 to October 12, wine harvest and its festive ambiance throughout the fall. It is interesting to note that the Wine Route features a total of 16 vineyards supported by a group of 52 «Amis de la Route des vins» enterprises clearly identified by a pennant. Also, it is possible to obtain a vine and wine calendar which indicates, season by season, exactly what’s going on in the vineyards at that particular time of year. In addition to their wine-making operations, many vineyards offer a variety of other activities such as art exhibits featuring paintings, sculptures and wine labels, restaurant or picnic areas, wine and regional product tastings, gourmet boutiques, walking trails. To discover the bike routes and other features of the Wine Route, go to: www.laroutedesvins.ca or www.brome-missisquoi.ca/. ~OO
JULY 31 â€“ AUG 3, 2009
OF HERITAGE & FUN!
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n z votre om oye g du canal! n v o l et rit le ins
An Aim-for-Zero-Footprint Celebration of Ottawaâ€™s UNESCO World Heritage Site Join in four days of heritage fun, flotillas, canoeing, musical bike parade, environmental fair and green celebrations.
RideauCanalFestival.ca Check online for complete program details and a listing of our Official Rideau Canal Metre Lounges, Official Hotels and Official Restaurants.
Event Calendar & Outdoor Listings 25 July
Mattawa River Canoe Race
Glen Tay Block Race
National Capital Triathlon, Duathlon & Relays
National Capital 5Km & 10Km Run & Wylie Ryan Kids Surf n Turf
RONA MS Bike Tour - Ottawa to Kemptville
Westboro Kids Tri/Du/Fun Du
Raid Pulse Stage AR
Brockville Downtown 5Km Run
Thousand Islands Triathlon, Duathlon & Relays
Algonquin Barron Canyon Trip
Raid the North, Georgian Bay
Frontier Adventure Challenge, Georgian Bay
Canadian Sculling Marathon
Ottawa Orienteering Club, Kanata Lake “B meet”
Summer’s End Century Tour
Canadian 8Km & 3Km Run & Wylie Ryan Kids Surf n Turf
Canadian Iron 226 Triathlon, Duathlon & Relays
Ottawa Terry Fox Carleton U. Start at 9:00 (start anytime from 7:30am and 2pm) — 10km terryfoxrun.org Run 2009 course: Run/Walk/Bike/Rollerblade/Stroll/Wheelchair. Call 613-239-4142
Ottawa Orienteering Club, Lac Fortune “B meet”
Great Treks of the World - Adventure Travel Info Night
Nepean 3Km and 5Km Trail Run
Blast Off 1K &10K
Mont SUTTON Fall Festival : Panoramaduodlacôte
Nepean 3Km and 5Km Trail Run
The Last Chance Triathlon and Duathlon including theSchool Relays, and Corporate Relays
Ottawa Orienteering Club, Cite des Jeunes, “B meet”
24 Hour & 6 Hour Self-Transcendence Races
Frontier Adventure Challenge, Haliburton Highlands
Ottawa Orienteering Club, Camp Fortune “B meet”
CIBC Run for the Cure
Fall Colours Duathlon
Turkey Trot Kids 1 km
MADD Dash 10Km & 5m Run and Walk
Community Project Travel - Adventure Travel Info Night
hiking / biking / sailing / paddling / outdoor / adventure / running / whitewater / winter clubs Ottawa Orienteering Club
We organize and take part in orienteering events in the Ottawa area.
Ottawa Hostel Outdoor Club
A rec club with hiking, cycling, canoeing, skiing, and snowshoeing.
Rideau Trail Association
A hiking club dedicated to maintaining the trail from Kingston to Ottawa.
Ottawa Triathlon Club
A recreational organization dedicated to teaching the enjoyment of tris.
Ottawa Bicycle Club
Offers a range of cycling programs from novice to expert.
Kanata Mt. Bike Community
We ride our bikes, then do something related to bikes.
Ottawa-Carleton Ultimate Assoc.
The largest Ultimate (Frisbee) league in the world.
Ottawa Sport and Social Club
A co-ed, rec sport league, with tourneys and social events for adults.
Ottawa Rowing Club
Come see what rowing is like on the picturesque Ottawa River.
Liquid Skills Paddling Centre
Programs and clinics, kayak lessons, expeditions and teen camps.
Madawaska Kanu Centre
Kayak lessons in-city and on-site. Weekend clinics for the whole family.
Ottawa Sailing School Somersault Events The Running Room TriRudy La RoccaXC Mt.Bike School (Women, Kids) Wilderness Tours Owl Rafting Esprit Rafting River Run Rafting Ottawa Rowing Club
www.boattraining.com www.somersault.ca www.runningroom.com www.trirudy.com www.creativewheel.ca www.wildernesstours.com www.owl-mkc.ca www.espritrafting.com www.riverrunners.com www.ottawarowingclub.com
They offer the highest quality sailing programs and on-the-water adventure. Triathlons, duathlons, and running events for you or the entire family. Ottawa’s running and walking club for team fitness. Website and resource for duathlons and triathlons. Camp for boys and girls, and women keen to enjoy mountain biking. In addition to rafting they offer kayak lessons and adventure camps. Rafting, sea-kayaking, lessons, plus adventure programs. Rafting, canoeing and several training and certification courses. Rafting, family trips, kayaking, cabins and more. Come see what rowing is like on the picturesque Ottawa River.
Deconstructing Fear Getting out from under it can be done By Dominique Larocque
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” –Marianne Williamson
photo by: istockphoto-scotto72
Someone asked me how I could help a super-fit and highly skilled young ski racer be less tentative during competitions. This question provoked another in my mind: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Fear of failure, like fear of success, can have a paralyzing effect on peak performance. Fear is a mental construct that we build in our heads through time. Gaining freedom from the grip of fear can take years. Some individuals never do transcend the fear, pain or hurts of past trauma trapped in their memory. A sports trauma can be anything – falling from a bike in childhood, suffering ridicule after a spectacular crash or a goofy mishap. Sport psychologists and coaches often have to work with athletes who seem unable to break the mindset or heal the emotional scar that keeps athletes stuck in their game or makes them repeat the same patterns. They build confidence and mental toughness through progressive training and competing which embraces visualization, breathing work and reframing. In my late 20s, I participated in a weekend workshop shaped by something called the Avatar program. Participants were asked, “Which comes first, belief or experience?” Then we
got the hint: “What do you believe the answer is?” I had a huge resistance to the workshop’s core message that every belief we hold causes us to create (or attract) the experiences which support those beliefs. The wisdom I acquired that weekend has since allowed me to deconstruct and reconstruct my core belief system. This allowed me to create my life instead of having my life created by external factors perceived by myself as unchangeable. Change like beauty, grace, calm, flow, comes from within. Is it possible for our young skier to release the thought processes (his beliefs about his performing self) that kept him from giving his 100 per cent? The question is not so much whether it can be done, but why is it so difficult to do so. We need to find out what catalytic force can set this action in motion. The human potential movement of the ’60’s is experiencing a huge rebirth at the present. It held that becoming aware of our core beliefs and personal philosophy (I call it “deep ecology”) ingrained in us through socialization is the start line of one’s journey. This process is challenging but necessary to engage in a life that is more beneficial to the health of the whole person and planet. My ABC of success remains to this day Attitude, Belief and Commitment. With a positive attitude, a competitive athlete can unearth her fears, neutralize their venom, and go on to win, on the field and in life itself. ~OO ~ Dominique Larocque is a Gestalt coach and sport psychology consultant. She leads ecomountain bike summer camps for women, children and youth at her Creative Wheel Centre in Val-des-Monts. She’s at www.creativewheel.ca.
Let your sense of adventure guide you to the Ottawa Valley… Famous for its stunning outdoors, cultural and heritage riches and, not to mention a welcoming and hospitable nature, the Ottawa Valley is Ontario’s Adventure Playground. Surrounded by
woodlands, over 900 pristine lakes and four major river systems, the Ottawa Valley is conveniently located west of the Nation’s Capital, stretching for 220km eastwest along the TransCanada Highway and south to the majestic Algonquin Park. Known as the Whitewater Capital of Canada, the area is home to some of the fastest, cleanest, warmest and safest rivers in the country – perfect for serious kayak or canoe action. You’ll find rivers for all skill levels – and with water flowing from March to the end of November you can paddle every season. Want to master your J-stroke? The Valley is also home to Canada’s best paddling schools – kayak, raft or canoe. Several seasoned outfitters offer a variety of guided packages from screamin’ high-adventure rafting to gentle family float-trips, sea kayaking and sport-yaking, canoe clinics, slalom racing and whitewater rodeos. If racing
down a Class III, IV or V rapid is not your style, then slow down and relax as you glide across one of the area’s many lakes. Be sure to pack your camera, the photo opps are endless. The Ottawa Valley appeals to outdoor enthusiasts, where an amazing array of activities awaits you – from camping to waterfall viewing, hiking to cycling, hunting to fishing, ATVing to snowmobiling, golfing to geocaching. The list goes on. Looking for some retail therapy? Shopping malls and professional services
are available throughout the Valley, however, what keeps the visitors coming back are the numerous antique shops, boutiques, galleries and craft stores where the craftsmanship of artisans from across the region can be found on prominent display. For a romantic getaway, family holiday, a day’s shopping, the great outdoors, whatever you choose, let your sense of adventure guide you to the Ottawa Valley. For more information about the Ottawa Valley or help planning your adventure, visit ottawavalley.travel.
Your Ottawa Valley Adventure Directory 1-800-757-6580
Communities Bancroft & District Chamber of Commerce
Bancroft - where adventure comes naturally
City of Pembroke
Heart of the Ottawa Valley - National Communities in Bloom Winner
Town of Petawawa
Petawawa - Dynamic by Nature
Township of Madawaska Valley
Your official “mancation destination”
Outfitters, Recreation & Guided Tours Canadian Voyageur Adventures
Guided eco-tourism voyageur canoe excursions; one/multi-day/custom; beaches, wilderness
Renfrew County ATV Club
Explore a 400km network of trails over classic Canadian shield
Top of the Mountain ATV Tours
Providing the guide, the ride (ATV), and Four-wheeling FUN
High quality canoe & kayak instruction for adults, families, youth
Our guided tours are appropriate for all ages
Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch, Ice Cream & Gift Store
Country fun grows here! Popular agri-tourism attraction. Giant pumpkin boat races.
Pembroke Heritage Murals
Canada’s largest outdoor art gallery with 30+ murals
Bring your family back in time to the Ross Museum
Rockhound Gemboree (Jul 30-Aug 2)
Visit the 36th Annual Rockhound Gemboree
Waterfront Festival (Aug 7-9)
Local Talent. Local Flavour. Local Flair. Celebrating the Ottawa Valley
198 Madawaska Blvd
Blue Moon Retreat
Luxury 4 seasons cottage resort - peaceful lake great value for money
Pine Ridge Park & Resort
A great playground on the Ottawa River with excellent fishing
Red Wolf Retreat
Yurts and cottages nestled in the Opeongo hills
We over look nothing but the Ottawa River
Luxury 4 seasons cottage resort - peaceful lake great value for money
Paddling Schools Paddler Co-op
Attractions & Museums
Dining Wes’ Chips
Serving the best fries in the Ottawa Valley
Campgrounds & Cottages
Hotels & Motels Pembroke Comfort Inn
Lodges & Resorts Blue Moon Retreat
Why Do We Cycle?
it’s part of your daily commute, if it means some touring on weekends too, you’ll lose weight without even trying. 7. It saves time 8. Cycling is built-in double duty – your commuting time is your exercise time. And no lost hours in traffic. By Michael McGoldrick 9. It’s green 1. It’s efficient 10. No surprise here: zero pollution 2. Cycling is the most efficient means and zero green house gas emissions. of transportation for humans. Walking requires 2½ times, and auto11. It’s something new mobiles 50 times, more energy to 12. Like new vacation ideas and cover the same distance. adventures. Thousands of kilometres of bike trails await you 3. It’s cheap here and abroad. It’s one of the 4. If you bike for basic transportation, fastest growing sectors of the travel you save a pile of money. industry, everything from bareJust try leaving your car in bones rides or fully supported, allthe driveway for a week. Gas inclusive tours. savings alone can easily total $50, not to mention 13. It’s active lower maintenance 14. Saddle up, stay young, meet active costs. people. Action breeds action. Cycling can lead to kayaking, 5. It’s healthy cross-country skiing, rock 6. Cycling means you climbing, sailing, snowshoeing, stay fit doing somehiking … thing that is ac09063_SharetheRoad_OttawaOutdoor2.qxd:Layout 1 6/8/09 2:17 PM Page 1 tually enjoyable. If 15. It’s outdoors
Let us count the ways
16. Where you can make the most of summer. Skip the hermetically sealed, air-conditioned life. On a bike you smell the orchards, hear the birds, feel the wind in your face. 17. It’s revealing 18. You cycle the right type of roads at low speed and see the world intimately. You find villages, trails, little enclaves, or hidden beaches that go unnoticed from the major highways. In town, you discover restaurants, stores, coffee shops and bakeries off the beaten path. 19. It’s good karma 20. Cycling promotes freedom and self-sufficiency. You are independent of other people or complex machines. You become a better human being, overcome adversity, avoid spam, escape your evil boss, and leap over tall buildings at a single bound. OK, maybe not all at once, but you get the idea. ~OO Michael McGoldrick maintains a web site about cycling in the OttawaGatineau area and beyond. Find it at: www.gobiking.ca/.
Please obey the rules of the road and be considerate of other users. FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES… � � �
Obey the speed limit. Use caution when passing cyclists. Park only in designated areas.
F O R B I C YC L E S . . . �
Share the road in Gatineau Park Every day, hundreds of users enjoy the scenic parkways in Gatineau Park. Courtesy and consideration on the part of all users are essential to ensure the full enjoyment of the parkway network.
Ride in single file. Keep groups to a maximum of 15 cyclists. Obey stop signs.
canadascapital.gc.ca 819-827-2020 / 613-239-5090 (TTY)
18 COOL CAMPSITES Ontario & Quebec
Every summer we Ottawa/Gatineau outdoor enthusiasts look forward to our weekends. The Ottawa Outdoors team pulled in the experts to compile this list of camping getaways for you. So grab your GPS or map and hit the road!
Yonder Hill Campground
Ottawa’s Poplar Grove Trailer Park
Address: 243 Yonder Hill Trail Haley Station, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.5822499 Long: -76.7979101 www.yonderhillcampground.ca It’s cool because: it’s located on 50 acres of natural forest and facing Olmstead Lake, this picturesque campground offers family oriented camping in a true wilderness atmosphere. Immaculately clean and quiet, Yonder Hill provides organized activities, a sandy beach and a children’s playground. Also close by to several local attractions including whitewater rafting, golfing and Logos Land.
McCreary’s Beach Resort
Address: 6154 Bank St Ottawa, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.2603925 Long: -75.5486237 www.poplargrovecamp.com It’s cool because: this campground proves that you don’t need to go too far to go camping. Just 20 minutes South of Parliament Hill, this quiet and family oriented campground has been highly recommended. Equipped with a children’s playground, recreation hall, horseshoe pits, and an indoor swimming pool, Poplar Grove has something for the entire family.
Address: Box 1401 RR 6 Perth, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.0204091 Long: -76.2188665 www.mccrearysbeach.com It’s cool because: people come to see what this beautiful resort located on Mississippi Lake has to offer! McCreary’s is a fully developed destination resort with both short and long term accommodation and recreation. The resorts recreation facility includes tennis, squash, an indoor pool, spa and an aerobics’ and exercise room. Boating and docking facilities are also available for great fishing on Mississippi Lake.
Cedar Cove Resort
Cedar Haven Tent & Trailer Park
Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA
Address: 423 Cedar Haven Park Rd RR 1 Cobden, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.64516 Long: -76.871982 www.cedarhavencamping.com It’s cool because: it’s situated on the shores of Muskrat Lake, Cedar Haven is a family friendly park with large lots, great fishing and beautiful scenery. Located right in the centre of white water region, the park is close by to several different attractions including white water rafting, golf, and ATV tours.
Address: 609 Pittson Rd RR 1 Cardinal, Ontario GPS: Lat: 44.8596656 Long: -75.4449103 www.koa.com/where/on/55124/ It’s cool because: this gold-rated campground underneath the breathtaking 50 foot pine trees. Get away from the noise of the city and listen to the true sounds of Mother Nature. Cardinal KOA offers crazy kids activities, outdoor movies, heated pool, Chip Stand, an unleashed dog park, splash pad and jumping pillow.
Address: 100 Cedar Cove Rd RR 2 White Lake, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.2619769 Long: -76.5062832 www.cedarcove.ca It’s cool because: it’s beautiful and quiet family resort located just an hour West of Ottawa on White Lake. This fully serviced resort includes a marina, restaurant with licensed dining, pool, convenience store and organized recreation. Rent a cottage or a trailer, or simply set up a tent and enjoy the great outdoors.
18 COOL CAMPSITES Ontario & Quebec
Upper Canada Campground
Cedar Shade Campground
Address: 13390 County Rd 41 RR 1 Morrisburg, Ontario GPS: Lat: 44.9481081 Long: -75.1244191 www.uppercanadacampground.com It’s cool because: a fun-filled campground located in Morrisburg that both your kids and you will love. The whole family will be able to enjoy themselves with different themes every weekend, ranging from pirates to Christmas in July. Cool off in one of the campgrounds two pools or man made pond. Or retreat to the camps newly renovated rec hall on those boring rainy days. The camp is also just three minutes away from Upper Canada Golf Course and Upper Canada Village for an entertaining day trip.
Address: 530 Peladeau Rd Alfred, Ontario GPS: Lat: 45.5802722 Long: -74.8375454 ww.cedarshade.com It’s cool because: situated in Alfred, Ontario, this rustic wood inspired campground welcomes both seasonal and weekend campers. Cedar Shade offers an extremely popular artificial lake that includes a small beach and 2 Tarzan ropes for your children’s enjoyment. The camp also includes a playground, pool, massage service, organized activities, restaurant, convenience store, arcade hall and even a petting zoo!
Camping Ange Gardien
Camping du Lac Simon
An exceptional site offering all services, with mature trees, near the National Capital, the Casino du lac Lemay, cycling trails and different museums. GPS 45° 33’ 21.8556 www.campingangegardien.com
Located in the Ottawa (Outaouais) Valley, in the heart of the Petite-Nation region, just a few minutes on foot from the village of Saint-André-Avellin, our family campground sits alongside the Petite-Nation River. 65% of our sites are for travelling campers. Seasonal campers can find the perfect site, too, for tents or RVs. We have lots of facilities to make your stay a pleasant one, with water games, wireless Internet and rides. GPS 45° 43’ 28.1568 From Gatineau: Rte 148 toward Papineauville. Take Rte 132 N (14 km) toward St-André-Avellin. At St-AndréAvellin, follow the blue tourist signs. www.petite-nation.qc.ca/campingavellin
Pleasure Park Campground & RV Resort Address: 80 Graham Lake Rd RR 4 Mallorytown, Ontario GPS: Lat: 44.5892596 Long: -75.8563034 www.tourpleasurepark.com It’s cool because: it’s an immaculate family campground situated on Graham Lake in Mallorytown. Pleasure Park offers fun for the whole family with weekend activities that include bingo, tournaments, wagon rides, beach volleyball, badminton and lot’s more. The lake offers exceptional bass and pike fishing, a beautiful sandy beach, and a water trampoline for a fun day in the sun.
A lovely resort on magnificent, majestic Lac Simon, in the Outaouais region. Come for the beach, over 2 km long, perfect for water sports. Our campground, tucked away in a white pine plantation and deciduous woods, has 400 sites (79 sites with 3 services, 141 sites with 2 services, 97 unserviced sites and 83 seasonal sites). Many services available at the campground, and this year the focus will be on organized activities for young and old. From Gatineau/Ottawa: Take highway 148 to Papineauville, then highway 321 to Duhamel. www.sepaq.com/ct/sim/en
Is a superb nature reserve located just 15 minutes from Parliament Hill. The Park offers the choice of three campgrounds, open from mid-May to mid-October: i) Philippe Lake – 250 campsites (family, winter and group camping); ii) Taylor Lake – 33 campsites (semi-wilderness family camping); iii) La Pêche Lake – 35 campsites spread out over 12 locations (canoe camping). Costs $30.00 per night. It’s cool because: you can hike on some of the Park’s interpretation trails to discover its landscape and to learn about its fauna, flora and history. Other options include: a 165-kilometres of hiking trails including a section of the Trans Canada Trail; biking on the scenic parkways and mountain biking on the trail network; and 90 kilometres of mixed-use mountain biking and hiking trails that follow the main roads. Be sure to check out Lusk Cave in the Philippe Lake sector. Lastly check off seeing the following this summer and fall: Mackenzie King Estate; Champlain Lookout; Pink Lake; The Eardley Escapement, which is home to a warm, dry microclimate that shelters many rare and endangered plant species. Come the Fall, Gatineau Park’s great variety of deciduous trees creates one of the most brilliant displays of colour in North America. But hey, you’re from the region and you already knew that. :-) www.campingparcdelagatineau.ca
A family oriented campground offering enjoyment for all ages. Come and enjoy their sandy beach, swim and play in Leslie Park pristine waters. Hikers will be delighted by the scenic trails and it’s a photographer’s paradise where sunrises are only surpassed by sunsets. You can also fish in the trout-stocked lake and take advantage of surrounding activities. They offer two private lakes for campers looking for a little more privacy so it’s perfect for group getaways. Two newly constructed 20’X 20’square pine log cabins situated on the Park’s beautiful lakefront are now for rent. Ideal for that special romantic weekend. GPS 45° 51’ 6.5514 www.parcleslie.com
Located in the Collines de l’Outaouais, where nature is in honour, the camping Cantley offers 150 magnificent sites for travellers, permitting us to answer to the needs of all types of campers. A wise choice for the diversity of the sites, the services, the beauty of the nature and its proximity to the cities of Ottawa, Gatineau and Hull. (20 min. or -). GPS 45° 33’ 53.874 www.campingcantley.com
Camping Lac Vert Here’s your chance to enjoy total relaxation. At the Lac Vert campground you can experience all the pleasures of camping on an enchanting site. Fun for the whole family, with plenty of organized activities for young and old, all season long. Ask about our turnkey deals! GPS 45° 53’ 55.8558 www.campinglacvert.com
Val des Bois A destination for the whole family and a peaceful haven at the same time. It’s the lake with its beach, the calm surroundings, nature ... a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. Come for an unforgettable stay, with lots for the kids to do and a quality recreation department. It’s the place you’ve always dreamed of for your vacation! Enjoy the relaxing campground. GPS 45° 54’ 39.7188 www.campingvaldesbois.com www.ottawaoutdoors.ca
Parc national de Plaisance Come discover the Plaisance provincial park, in the Outaouais region. You’ll be delighted with the lush natural setting along the Outaouais River, and the 132 sites (60 of them with two services), pool, community centre, play area for younger campers and 26 km of bike trails for the whole family. Try our turnkey camping packages (4 yurts, 4 trailer tents and 9 Huttopia tents). Make some discoveries! Rent a canoe or kayak and explore our bays. From Gatineau, take Highway 50 East and then Route 148 East to the town of Plaisance. The park is located on Chemin des Presqu’îles www.sepaq.com/pq/pla/en
ottawaoutdoors kudos Wiping Out the Competition at Whiteface Mountain Ottawa’s Sue Schlatter broke a course record by nearly 5 minutes at the June 20 Up the Mountain cycling competition at Whiteface Mountain in New York. She was the first woman to cross the finish line and placed 7th overall in a very strong field. “It is such a mental game when you are used to training on 5 minute climbs. Mostly you sit, standing only to try to loosen up the hamstrings. I got around the last hairpin turn and realized I could break 50 minutes, so I hammered into the clouds hoping that the cowbells and cheering meant that the finish line was very near. You couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead of you. Then I saw my family with 200m to go. Phew!”
A Race Is A Race Is A Race Triathlete Cynthia Wilson recently discovered the joys of road-racing. While recovering from plantar fasciitis she began training to compete in the elite road nationals to replace a lost season of triathlons. One wicked time trial and a tough road race later, she is now an enthusiastic disciple. “Amazing. I want to go back and do it all over again,” says Cynthia.
Meech Lake Tri, Again “I LOVE this race. The Meech Lake Tri was the first ever tri I did two years ago. I love the setting the distance, the volunteers and the overall atmosphere of the event,” explains Jason Billows. A solid warm up and a time that was a full fifteen minutes faster than Jason’s first Meech Lac Tri results two years ago came with the advantage of experience, which neutralized challenges that included foggy goggles, a first time ever speed wobble and nasty stomach cramps.
A Siberian Swim Peter Konecy has a new personal best in the category for best shortest swim but he had to go to Siberia to do it. According to Konecy, Lake Baikal is the deepest and oldest lake in the world. Although smaller in area than Lake Superior, it has more water by volume than all the Great Lakes combined. “Cool,” he says, but maybe he meant frigid. In terms of a workout, it ended up lacking. “My heart rate skyrocketed to about 300 or so. I lasted about 45 seconds, mostly owing to the fact that the water temperaturewas measured at 7 degrees Celsius that day. My swim was a few seconds longer than my foreign colleagues. Actually, swim is not the best word for it; more like flailing around,” he reports.
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Take A Few More Seconds Before You Click
on the subject. Or, zoom in close, filling the entire frame with happy faces and eliminating the background entirely. 2. Show People Doing Interesting Things. Documenting a moment in time is only part of the reason we take photos, and it’s probably the least important reason. No one wants to look at a picture of people standing shoulder-to-shoulder, hands straight at their side, peering at the lens. It tells no story. It’s lifeless. If you’re on a canoe trip, get everyone to hold a paddle above their heads while
Outdoor family photos are worth another look By Allen Macartney
It was eight days between Ottawa and Kingston, peddling through some of the most scenic landscape anywhere – the best thing this side of Paradise. I couldn’t wait to see the photos, but when they returned from the processor, what a disappointment! It was Dullsville. What happened? Shooting pictures outdoors presents challenges, most of them easily met. Five tips could handle some of the basic ones, and make your outdoor photos come alive. 1. Watch the Background. Maybe you’ve seen a photograph with a branch sticking out of someone’s ear. Or a waiter, looking startled, passing behind your table at the moment you went click. That kind of distraction outweighs any other merit the picture may have. Before clicking the shutter, take just a moment to look for distracting elements. You might have to move to the left a step or two to angle out ugly power lines, or shift over to avoid distracting background. If the background is a natural clutter (like the dense branches of a forest), adjust your F-stop to a low (e.g. f2.8, f3.5) setting. This will blur out the background, forcing the viewer’s eye to concentrate
jumping up in the air and cheering. Or if you’re backpacking, shoot from an unusual angle (e.g. straight down on your companions from a cliff). The dramatic angle will increase impact and interest. 3. Position, Position, Position. You can add depth to a group shot by asking subjects to lean subtly towards the lens, or by turning slighting off centre.
Create artificial height by staggering your subjects on rock outcrops. By shooting slightly below eye level, the resulting image sometimes evokes a more personal “feel.” Just as a concert maestro wouldn’t permit an orchestra’s musicians to play from seats they choose, don’t be shy to move your subjects around to add impact. 4. Where Do the Shadows Fall? Have you ever seen patchy shadows cast by leaves on a person’s face and clothes? It looks like camouflage, and distracts, even irritates viewers. If you’re taking pictures when mottled shadows lie everywhere, turn on your flash. It can remove or minimize shadows on faces and clothes. Also, never face a subject into the sun. Direct light will flatten their faces, and cause them to squint – though it’s fun if that’s the effect you want! 5. Know When to Put Your Camera Away. A few photos are fun for everyone, but at some point it’s time to put the camera away, enjoy the moment, and let others enjoy it too. A few candid shots with a telephoto lens might allow you to shoot a little bit longer. Your family and friends will thank you for this wisdom, especially children. Great photographs take only a moment longer, and a bit of thought. In the next issue we’ll explore ways to have fun with your camera by distorting faces, and turning photography “rules” on their ear. You’ll love it! ~OO
The Sea Turtle Story How a young girl from North Bay is making a difference in this world by Jennifer McNutt Bywater When Hannah Bywater was 6-yearsold she decided she wanted to make a difference. As a Christmas gift in 2006 she received a small stuffed sea turtle from the World Wildlife Foundation. Her aunt & uncle made donations in the names
of all their nieces & nephews and the stuffed animals were tokens for the animal they were helping to save. Her animal was a sea turtle that she named “Splash”. During our annual buying trip that winter to Bali, Indonesia, we told Hannah of a sea turtle sanctuary we had visited in Pemuteran in Northern Bali many years earlier. We explained to her that a sea turtle sanctuary had been established to try to help save the sea turtles there. Between 15-30 years of age sea turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs in the sand. Typically, they return to the very beach where they were hatched to lay their own eggs. One problem, contributing to the decline of the sea turtle population, was the fact that the locals were digging up the eggs to sell as food in the market or for their families to eat. To offset egg losses from
this practice, a sea turtle sanctuary and hatchery were established. The first step was for the sanctuary to pay the locals for the eggs so the hatchlings could be nurtured and then released. In this way these turtles are rescued and hopefully will help save the species from extinction. This story proved to be a turning point for Hannah. When we returned to Canada and time came for Hannah’s 7th birthday party celebrations she announced that she did not want any birthday presents. (I’m not sure if you have children but this is definitely not a common thing for a young child to do!) Instead, she told us if her friends wanted, they could donate money towards saving the turtles. The parents who received the birthday invitation with this request were so impressed they gave generously to start Hannah’s fund raising project. Hannah also started two jars and would put half of her allowance each week into the turtle jar. She would do odd jobs to make a few extra dollars and would always share the money with the turtles. When we returned to Bali in Jan 2008, Hannah was able to travel up to the northern part of the island for the first time to see the turtle sanctuary first hand and to hand deliver the $305 she had saved. She and the turtle sanctuary staff were thrilled that a 7-year-old could do this all on her own initiative! She was
so excited too and she exclaimed, ‘well, next year when I come I’m going to give you double!” When we left that day we had to explain to Hannah how much $610 was and asked what ideas she had to raise such an amount. After some brainstorming we came up with an idea. We made arrangements with one of the local Bali carvers with whom we do business with for our importing business in North Bay. We asked him to carve some beautiful wood turtles using a locally harvested wood. The turtle is similar in size to a baby turtle when it is released on its journey to the open ocean. We purchased 100 turtles and thought if she sold them for a $5.00 donation she could raise $500 that way. She could raise the rest doing odd jobs for mom, perfect! We expected friends and family to buy the turtles of course however customers, strangers - basically anyone who heard what Hannah was doing wanted to support the project and bought a turtle. Before long we’d sold out of the initial turtles and we had to have more carved. This kept happening and by the end of the year she had raised over $2,000!! Last year we traveled back to the sea turtle sanctuary and she hand-delivered the money. They were awe struck! We sat with them to discuss how the money would be utilized. Firstly, a 5m x 5m Bio Rock in the shape of a sea turtle is being fashioned out of metal rebar. This structure will be submerged in the ocean and will eventually be the basis of an artificial reef. This artificial reef installation, to be aptly named “Hannah’s Reef” (Bio Boomer), will serve as an educational tool for a PADI scuba diving certification organization’s Reef Gardener Distinctive Specialty course. People from around the world will come to be certified as a reef gardener by being trained to scuba dive to live coral reefs, to collect any damaged and/or broken coral and then attach it to the artificial reef structure. The Bio Rock receives a small electrical current from solar panels assisting the damaged coral to adhere to the artificial reef. In this way coral regenerates at
5 times its natural rate. Hannahâ€™s Reef will be providing a location for the recovering coral to grow, a habitat structure for fish and a feeding ground for the very turtles she and other people from around the world have had the honour of releasing. In 2009 Hannah released 10 baby turtles. In addition to constructing the artificial reef, the Turtle Hatchery will enlarge the pool to house a resident adult sea turtle named Boomer. Now at age 18, he has grown to about Âž of full adult size. Boomer was one of the original hatchlings released from the sanctuary many years ago. He has since been released 5 times but keeps coming back hence the name Boomer, after a boomerang. Boomerâ€™s shell is slightly deformed. The consensus is that he was struck by a passing boat or ship. The turtle sanctuary no longer intends to release him but keep him where he obviously wants to stay. People are able to rub his back and get a good closeup look at this magnificent animal. He absolutely loves this and will twist and turn to ensure you scratch his entire back! They hope to use Boomer in a
captive sea turtle breeding program. Although Hannah is very committed to the sea turtles, she also has a very keen interest in helping to save the Orangutans, another endangered species. She decided to start supporting the Orangutans with some of the money raised, and donated $200 to the Sumatran Orang-utan Society (SOS). With this money SOS will plant 75 rainforest trees in her name. These trees will restore Orang-utan habitat in degraded areas in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Sumatra was the location of the most devastating tsunami of our time in 2004. In 2008 Hannah received a youth environmental award from the North Bay- Mattawa Conservation Authority for her endeavours. Hannah continues to sell her carved turtles and raise money to save the sea turtles and the orang-utans. The turtles are available at Vested Interest in North Bay and Rug A Roo Flooring in Callander. More information can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org / 1-877-215-5565. ~OO
Saddle Up! Nearby trail rides to Ottawa and Gatineau By Sheila Ascroft
f you have ever dreamt of being a cowboy/cowgirl or just wanted to get out in the backcountry by horse, it’s time to stop dreaming and saddle up. Yes, there are places to trail ride in our region. It won’t be quite like riding in the Rockies or the wild west, but it will be a lot cheaper. You can go for an hour to see what trail riding is like, sign up for a full day ride, or set out on a multi-day trip with a guide where you bed down under the stars. And if roughing it isn’t your thing, there’s always the trail ride and cottage option. If you’re looking for something more adventurous for your inner cowboy, here a list of longer trail riding possibilities within a three-hour drive. And there are plenty more ranches with similar horse camping in central Ontario. Details at: www.ontario.worldweb. com/ToursActivitiesAdventures/ TrailRidesPackTrips/. Keep in mind that none of them allow shorts and sandals for riding (see Sidebar 1) and they all provide riding helmets for safety. CAPTIVA FARMS Gatineau, QC Phone: 819-459-2769 or toll free 1-877-459-2769 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.captivafarms.com This is the closest place to Ottawa with multi-day trips. Located near Wakefield, it offers 40 kilometres of trails on 800 hectares in the Gatineau Hills. Captiva features a two-day “light tenting adventure.” You can also just ride for the day and enjoy its bed and breakfast or even stay for a week-long ranch vacation.
Captiva has 60 horses for everyone from novice to expert, from Western to English-style, and experienced instructors and trail guides. The year-round facility has washrooms and change rooms, family activities, a bed and breakfast. You’ll need reservations and cash – Captiva isn’t set up for credit or debit cards. RATES: $30 which includes GST for one-hour adult rides during the week and $35 for weekends and holidays. Family discount for children under 17 is $25 plus GST.
EASTERN COWBOY HORSEBACK ADVENTURES Host: The Cronk Family Parham, ON Phone: 613-375-6467 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.easterncowboy.com/index.htm Offering hundreds of hectares of beautiful riding territory north of Kingston, this places has riding from lakeside to mountaintop across fields and streams. There are one-hour, two-hour, half-day and full-day guided rides. The Cronk family prides itself on strong, well-mannered horses that will safely carry both experienced riders and novices along its trails.
Billy Crystal as Mitch in City Slickers movie
“We have always known that we live in God’s Country and have dreamed of sharing the beauty of our property with other people,” says Lynn Cronk. “We have opened it up to the public through trail riding year round and other activities such as sleigh rides in the winter.” For safety’s sake, riders must be age 10 or older to ride a horse alone on a trail ride, and no matter what age, a rider’s competency will be decided by Eastern Cowboy. There’s a maximum of six riders per guide and a minimum of two. RATES: $30 per hour, $60 for two hours, $85 for three hours. And they rent cottages too.
Photo: calgary tourism
"This guy, Curly, is a true cowboy. One of the last real men. He's untamed. Next to him, we're trained ponies. It'll do us good to be in his world for awhile."
HIGHLAND WILDERNESS TOURS Hosts: Matt and Penny Nicol Maynooth, ON Phone: 613-338-2330 or toll free 1-866-RYD-WILD E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.ridethewilderness.com/ horsebackrates.htm “Horseback riding on the trails near Algonquin Park is a serene experience. Getting close to what is natural – with just you, your mount, and the muffled sounds of the forest around you. It’s so peaceful, that the longer you ride, the further away your “real” life seems.” That’s the view from Penny Nicol, half the team of Matt and Penny, who run
Highland Wilderness. But before riders head off for serenity, the team stages a pre-ride mini-lesson so new riders feel comfortable and have some idea of how to handle the horse before setting out. As well, an excellent range of horses can match all skill levels. This one-hour horseback tour runs on Highland’s wilderness property outside Maynooth, and includes Crown-land trails. The twohour ride heads skirts a lake, where the horses can have a drink. If you want a longer ride, Highland offers three hours, an entire morning or afternoon of trail riding with the undivided attention of a guide. It’s perfect for those who want to ride deeper into the wilderness without having the inevitable stiffness of an all-day ride. Highland provides a pommel bag for your camera on this trip. The guided full-day tour lasts between five and six hours, depending on what riders want, and can handle. Bring your own lunch and stow it in the saddlebags provided, for a peaceful mid-day break on the trail! The journey goes through the wilderness near Algonquin Park and allows true trail-riding freedom. RATES: $40 one-hour trail ride; $70 two-hour; $90 three-hour, $175 full day (add GST for each) The award-winning Highland Wilderness Tours also runs wilderness excursions in spring and fall. These weekend or two-day tours offer Ontario’s wilderness without the effort of hiking or canoeing – the horses do all the work while you enjoy the scenery. It includes home-cooked meals, comfortable base camp accommodations, guides and gear. Just bring your clothes, sleeping bag and pillow. Minimum of four riders required. RATES: $400 plus GST per person. “Old Salty’s Weekend” Sept. 4-6 is for adults who want to have fun chasing a few cows. It includes a team-penning event. RAWHIDE – ADVENTURES Shelburne, ON Phone: 519-925-0152 E-mail: service@rawhide-adventures. on.ca Web: www.rawhide-adventures.on.ca This dude ranch is west of Barrie, Ont. and the longer drive means you’ll probably want to stay over in Rawhide’s variety of accommodations. A saloon
Mitch Robbins (Billy Crystal): Hi Curly. Killed anyone today? Curly (Jack Palance): The day ain’t over yet...”
photo by: stag creek trails
offers relaxation after a day of ranching adventures. There’s a woodstove for cool evenings and lots of table space for visiting and board games. The OK Corral provides a double bed in a cozy room for two, and Boot Hill were up to six people can sleep on two bunks (the lower bunks are doubles and uppers are single). Your stay includes a hearty ranchstyle breakfast. RATES: $45 per person (includes GST). Now for Rawhide’s trail rides. Wranglers Day is a four-hour Western pleasure ride followed by a meal on this working cattle ranch for $150 per person.
Range Riders Night is an overnight package. Day One is a four-hour ride out to the campsite, a campfire dinner, and sleep in a tent or under the stars. Day Two starts with a campfire breakfast including cowboy coffee, followed by a two-hour ride back to the ranch. The rate is $250 per person. Rawhide will also customize a trail riding package for you or even let you help round up the cattle. Rawhide’s horses are schooled in different aspects of ranch work and pleasure riding, and will match your level, or challenge you if you wish. “We take single riders, especially the less confident ones, up to groups of eight,” says “Crusty the cowboy. “We don’t mix bookings, you book the time and it is yours exclusively. We prefer to ride side by side and not trail ride one behind the other,” as the terrain and participant riding skills allow.
STAG CREEK TRAILS and RANCH Gatineau, QC Phone: (819) 422-1410 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.stagcreek.ca This picturesque ranch nestled in the Gatineau Valley just 45 minutes from downtown Ottawa offers one-hour to multi-day trail rides, a bed and breakfast, riding lessons and clinics, carriage rides, swimming, a hot tub, hiking, canoeing, golf and mountain biking. From novice to expert, the horse, the ride and groups are all balanced for ability and experience, and all trails wind through the Gatineau Hills, with open meadows, creeks, forests and stunning lookout points. It also has eight-kilometre and 24-kilometre rides to the local cheese factory and back! RATES: $30 each with four or more riders. Short rides on ponies for children under the age of 10 cost $5 if the pony is already saddled, $10 if staff saddle it for you. On rainy days you can ride in outdoor, indoor and round-pen arenas. Riding packages can be created to cater to your needs if you call for details. You can reserve ahead or just take your chances and drop by. For your safety, there are riding helmets supplied. HORSIN’ AROUND RIDING RANCH Host: Lorrie Tannahill Marmora, ON Phone: (613) 472-2332 E-mail: email@example.com Text: (613) 849-2332 Web: www.horsinaroundfun.com On this ranch north of Belleville, you can ride 22 kilometres on trails and through the bush to a dinner of sizzling steak cooked a camp fire. All meals, drinks, horses and tack, and sport riding helmets are included. A minimum of six riders required. Book with your own group or hitch up with others (talk your friends into going and everyone can ride for less)! RATES: $165 for one, $140 each for two
people, $130 each for three people. The owner promises to match your riding abilities with one of her horses and guide you through a quiet and peaceful tour of the property including an old railway line, fields, a pine forest and a quick jaunt down a country road. Their horses are very well cared for – no more than two rides per day, and no more than four rides per week. This means healthy, happy and willing horses on the trails. As always, the rider with the least experience sets the pace. This outfit does not practise noseto-tail riding – you may ride beside another horse if you want. Horsin’ Around uses Ortho Flex saddles for a perfect fit, so the horses are free from sore backs and your butt enjoys soft seats and cushioned stirrups. Depending on customers’ riding experience, they can accommodate one to 14 riders. (If you are over six feet and/or weigh more than 250 pounds, let them know). If you want to camp for the night, check out the nearby clean, family-style Marmora KOA at www.marmoraKOA.com. ~OO
photo by: highland wilderness tours
what to wear Choose your riding attire for comfort! Yep, your old broken-in jeans are the best choice. Leave the shorts, capris and other pants made of silk/nylon as home or you’ll be sliding all over your saddle and probably onto your butt. Cowboy boots are not necessary and high heels are downright dangerous. Just wear a boot or shoe that covers your toes and has a low heel. Even a good running shoe will do. And wear socks that cover your ankles! Since there is a fair bit of bush riding, a long-sleeved shirt will serve you best. Women may want to wear a sports bra (a loping horse causes the jiggles) and men should avoid boxer shorts so there’s less chance of chaffing – ouch, ouch.
Kettlebells For Fat Termination By Rob Harris
rules of the trail Ride within your ability on a horse that’s properly trained and has the right temperament and conditioning for the trails you’re riding. Respect the trail and stay on it. Avoid tying horses to trees, even temporarily. Use a highline with tree-saver straps to tether your horse. Break up and scatter manure, and fill in pawed holes. Pack out what you pack in. Announce your presence and walk quietly when passing hikers, runners or other riders. Simply put, share the trail. Join a trail-riding club – they work hard to preserve and expand your riding opportunities. From the Ontario Trails Council www.ontariotrails.on.ca
photo by: www.istockphotos.com-GaryAlvis
There are pills, potions, powders, gadgets and machines out there, all promising to put you on the fast road to fitness, but most people know there are no shortcuts. But one road to a longterm physical buildup is via a piece of equipment called kettlebells. Often referred to as a cannonball with a handle, a kettlebell is simple and has stood the test of time over decades. They range in weight (they’re solid iron) from eight to 20 kilograms and if you want to buy one, prices range from $55 to $75 plus tax, depending on weight. It’s one portable piece of equipment that offers a lot on the road to complete physical fitness. Some call it a gym in your hand. Two preliminary kettlebell exercises are intended to improve your energy level and blowtorch the fat off your body. The kettlebell swing is likely the first move you’ll need to learn. It’s the most basic of all of the kettlebell exercises, and creates a firm foundation for other drills to come. It works just about everything on your backside and practically nothing can match it for fat burning and strengthendurance training. The swing is the seemingly simple drill of swinging the kettlebell down and back between the legs, then back up, generally to about chest level, using primarily the hamstring and gluteal muscles. The swing is a continuous movement, so there’s no rest between repeats. This adds to the continuous cardio and fat-loss aspect of the drill. Another advantage is the lack of impact, which makes it easier on the joints than jogging. Great cross training for runners and skiers looking to build a base of strength.
The kettlebell snatch is similar to the swing but more explosive – it elevates the kettlebell overhead in one quick move. There is more technique in the snatch than in the swing, as the kettlebell snaps to the overhead position. It’s complex, but still simpler than the Olympic-style barbell snatch. The snatch will help you build a strong heart and lungs, as well as powerful shoulders and back – and fat loss is of course a welcome side effect. If you want cardio, try snatching a kettlebell as many times as possible in 10 minutes. A standing challenge at Kettlebells Ottawa is for women to lift – over time – 10,000 pounds overhead using the snatch movement and men to double that. So far we have logged two women and two very tired men in the snatch challenge book. You can take care of all of your fatburning needs with just one kettlebell. I’ve listed only two easy exercises, and barely touched on their flexibility and usefulness. You don’t need those pills, potions, powders, machines or gadgets. Just one piece of equipment can outdo them all. ~Rob Harris is a YMCA, CanFitPro, ACE certified personal trainer and a certified Adventure Boot Camp Instructor/Owner. You can join anytime for an intro lesson at www.ottawabootcamp.com or call him at 613-823-3921. ~OO
Pedalling East Of Ottawa 72 kilometres of rural paradise can be found along the Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail By Stephen Johnson
~Steve Johnson is a full time dad, husband and sometimes writer. He is happy that Ottawa has many close destinations that allow time for a diaper change and bottle feeding in between a bicycle ride or hike.
ottawaoutdoors tips Biking Kanata is home to a rugged technical mountain biking to rival any great trail in Canada. Outback is a winding circular trail on the far reaches of Kanata Lakes, otherwise known as South March Highlands. Despite the fact that South March Highlands is closed in by roads, don’t let that fool you - it feels remote, is remote, and you can get lost! This place is wild and you’ll have to work it to keep your flow. It doesn’t feel flat. It’ll buck you off your bike if you can’t ride the rock outcrops or turns. You’ve been warned! :-)
opposite: kayaking on the ottawa river wilderness tours
the Eastern Ontario Agri-Tour, so many farms were holding open houses, which added interest. I started near Plantagenet, where cyclists can park directly beside the trail. There are four such access points along the route with picnic tables, information stands and toilets.
perfect. There is little to no signage along Highway 417 or regional road 17 to promote the trail and there are no bike rentals available close to the trail, something that may improve as the popularity of the trail increases. The trail stops outside city of Ottawa boundaries, which prevents easy access to a large urban population. Innis ward Councillor Rainer Bloess says, “I would like to see the city working with community groups to develop the trail. We could leverage city funding with other funding and complete portions of the trail in fairly short order. Potentially, the trail could run from Ottawa to Montreal, which would be great for tourism.” ~OO
photos by: prescott russell trails lj hotography
The Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail is one of the most accessible but less-known cycling opportunities near Ottawa. It begins about 25 kilometres east of the city near Hammond and extends 72 kilometres all the way to the Ontario-Quebec border. I had a chance to cycle a portion of the trail last fall. It was the same weekend as
Urban cyclists will notice the serenity. You’re more likely to pass a tractor or cows than a traffic light or a Tim Hortons and I saw not a single other cyclist during my five-hour trek. Use a good hybrid or a mountain bike if you can. The trail is crushed stone dust and the overall surface quality was quite good, with some portions paved and conversion to pavement scheduled for the future. I cycled to the town of Alfred and visited the University of Guelph Alfred Campus as part of the Agri-Tour weekend which drew minivans and families. I looked a bit out of place with my mountain bike gear amidst the festivities, but I joined in anyway. We had a tour research diary farm that is part of the university’s Alfred Campus. After feeling reassured about the quality of milk in Alfred, I made my way back to Plantagenet via the trail. Plantagenet has a bakery that specializes in tourtière. The trail passes by the Larose Forest, a vast area of abandoned farmland that has been slowly converting itself to bush for decades, and the Alfred Bog, one of the largest peat wetlands in the province. After your nature hit, if you’re thirsty you can visit Beau’s microbrewery in Vankleek Hill which offers tours and samples of its beer. The trail is a great experience, but nothing’s
There are lots of reasons you should take up whitewater kayaking. Here are just a few:
Whitewater Kayaking By James Roddick
1. The Ottawa area is one of the best regions in the world for whitewater kayaking. Choices range from urban paddling in the shadow of Parliament Hill or at Champlain Bridge, to wilderness paddling on the fringe of Algonquin Park. Our rivers warm up by midJuneâ€”a luxury enjoyed in very few other paddling regions. 2. Kayaking can be a four-season sport, though three seasons is enough for most of us. Advances in technical clothing help to keep you warm and dry despite freezing temperatures. Even if you avoid winter paddling you still have a good nine-month season from April to December. 3. Itâ€™s a lot of fun! 4. You meet great people! 5. The rivers are free!
Getting Started—Go Back To School Kayaking does involve very intimate interaction with powerful, dynamic whitewater. There are risks inherent in paddling whitewater and in venturing into remote wilderness settings. Learn about whitewater and the essential paddling and river safety skills from professionals. Luckily, there are many opportunities for instruction in and around Ottawa. Will I be able to do it? Am I strong enough? These are the most frequently asked questions from people who are thinking about learning to whitewater kayak. Proper technique and finesse are much more important than strength. The strongest person in the world will not roll their kayak upright after tipping without applying the proper technique. Gearing Up—What to Buy The best place to learn about what gear to purchase is at a paddling school or from a whitewater kayak dealer. During instruction you will have a great opportunity to try different equipment before you buy. Your instructors will be a good source of advice about gear selection based on your weight, body type, the type of paddling you plan to do and where you plan to paddle. Good paddling stores have paddlers on staff and many retailers have regular demo sessions where you can try out different boats. There is a lot of good used equipment available as well.
Kayaks: A few years ago kayak design was truly revolutionized. Long (12-14 foot/3.6-4.2 metre) kayaks with round curving hulls have been superseded by short (six to eight foot/1.8-2.4 metre) kayaks with flat bottoms, square edges and squashed bows and sterns. Essentially, designers gave kayaks many of the features of surfboards for planing or surfing on standing waves. The shorter length allows kayakers to have much more fun in large and small river features as they can surf, spin, submerge the ends and do all sorts of neat tricks. The new boat designs are also easier to paddle and make learning easier. Construction is almost exclusively roto-molded plastic that is very strong and durable. With proper care and storage, kayaks will last for decades. Paddles: Very few kayak paddles are made from wood these days. More durable and low maintenance materials have become the norm. Aluminum/ fibreglass combinations are in the lower price bracket. Paddles made of combinations of carbon fibre and/or graphite, and sometimes plastic, fill the lightweight, higher performance bracket. Spray Skirt: A neoprene cockpit cover that you wear around your waist, it wraps around your kayak cockpit to keep water out. These skirts release easily when you want to exit your kayak. Personal Flotation Device (PFD): If you do end up out of your kayak you want to be able to swim to safety, and the PFD helps you get there. It should have pockets for a few essentials: a
whistle, sunscreen and a snack bar. A paddling PFD should have large armholes to permit a complete range of motion for your arms and shoulders. Remember, you will be sitting in a cockpit, and a traditional water ski vest or motor boating PFD will likely be too long to fit properly. It is best to buy a PFD designed specifically for paddling. Paddle Jacket: This basic item of paddling clothing is great on cool or windy days or when the water is cool. It has seals at the wrist, neck and waist to reduce water infiltration. With some added insulating layers, it can be used in spring and fall conditions. For cold water/cold weather paddling a dry top is essential for safe and enjoyable paddling. Helmets: Plastic with foam padding, a skid lid or brain bucket is a great idea when you might be upside down in the water and are likely to encounter the rocky bottom with your head. Buy and wear a helmet. Throwbags: A throwbag is a bag of rope you can keep close at hand for emergencies. To rescue a paddler in need of help, throw the bag of rope, holding onto your end of the rope, and assist them to shore. You will have to learn how to properly use a throw bag so that you don’t end up in the water as well, so practice the technique before you paddle rapids. Odds and Ends: A small dry box or dry bag is a great idea for carrying extra clothes and a first aid kit. Think like a boy scout; be prepared. It’s better to bring water than to risk drinking the river water, so think about a water bottle. Learn the Basics This section is just going to scratch the surface of introductory kayaking, to explain what to expect when you first get into the sport. Please take lessons, buy an instructional book and/or video and paddle with experienced kayakers for more complete instruction and guidance. Never paddle whitewater alone, especially if you are a beginner! Winter is the season for pool sessions to learn the basics and work on your roll. With the warm weather here, get out on the rivers and lakes to learn. Entry and Exit: Brace one end of your paddle across your kayak deck just behind the cockpit. The other end of the
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paddle may be braced on the shoreline, a rock, a dock, the poolside or another kayak. Sit on the rear rim of the cockpit and deck, facing forwards and slide your feet into the bow of the cockpit. Your body will drop into the seat. Seal your skirt starting at the back and working up each side, finally slipping the front section over the cockpit rim. Ensure the pull-tab is protruding for easy grabbing and is not wrapped under the skirt inside the cockpit. Reverse the procedure to exit. Wet Exit: When, not if, you go upside down you will have to wet exit. Relax. Relax. Relax. It is easy to get out of a kayak. Pull the tab of your spray skirt off the cockpit rim at the front. You do not need to peel if off all the way around. Lean forward and push off the cockpit rim so that your body moves forward over the front of the kayak and your legs follow out. Do not push backwards or straight up as you may jam in the cockpit. Even at this early stage try to hold onto your paddle at all times. It is a very important habit to develop. Brace: Use the paddle like an outrigger or a pontoon to improve your balance. Extend it out to one side with the flat surface on the water and apply a little pressure, just enough to stabilize yourself. Forward Stroke: Hold the paddle so that your hands are the width of your shoulders and upper arms apart, and your elbows form right angles. Reach forward, close to the side of the kayak to about the spot where your feet are located, and slide the blade into the water, pulling it down the side of the
kayak to about even with your hips. The other blade will now be in position to slide into the water beside your other foot. Repeat. At first, do not concern yourself with travelling in a straight line. Worry about directional control later. Execute uniform, gentle strokes. Applying too much power will complicate your learning. Remember, it is technique that really determines how well you paddle. Kayak paddle blades are offset and you will have one hand, the control hand, which maintains a firm grip on the paddle shaft. The other hand allows the paddle to rotate during a stroke on the control hand side, and grips firmly when applying power for a stroke on the other side. It’s a good idea to practice the forward stroke on dry land to develop your paddle rotation skill. If you mess up your paddle rotation and slice into the water, please see the above instructions for a wet exit. Back Stroke: Reach behind you with one paddle blade, slide it into the water close to the kayak hull and pull it towards the front of the boat. Take the blade out of the water when it reaches the spot beside your feet. Forward Sweep: Reach far forward near your toes, keeping the paddle parallel to the kayak. You want to push the bow of the kayak away from the paddle, sweep the paddle out in a circular motion and bring it out of the water when it comes level with your hips. This stroke is used for dramatic turns or course direction changes. Back Sweep: The paddle enters the water behind your hips close to the hull.
Sweep out and around in a circle and take the paddle out around the area of your knees. In all these paddling strokes think about using your body’s torso and back muscles as well as your arms. Wind your body up like a spring when setting up for a stroke and use the powerful large body muscles in addition to your arms and shoulders. Think about trunk rotation as your primary source of paddling power. There are many other strokes, and entire books written on the subject. Many of these books are great investments and often have accompanying videos. They are powerful learning tools to help with basic, intermediate and advanced paddling. The T-rescue and roll are important to learn, but this article is not intended to replace a complete instructional course. The new school of kayaking and the rapid growth of freestyle or rodeo paddling have generated many new strokes and manoeuvres that greatly expand the fun, thrill and challenge of paddling. There are competitions for all levels of ability that offer just one more way to enjoy the sport. Once you become a kayaker, you will be hooked for life, and you will never stop learning and improving. See you on the river! ~OO ~ James Roddick is a long time paddler and instructor, international rodeo competitor and graduate of Lakehead University Outdoor Recreation program. During the summers you will find him on the Ottawa River, where he is Director of Ottawa Kayak School at Wilderness Tours. At other times of the year he is paddling or skiing someplace!
Wear your life jacket!
Review the river map.
Yeah, we know. It seems like a pain, and on a hot day through some calm flatwater, it’s really hard to put it on. But the moment you stop wearing it you’ll tend to wear it less all the time. And just when you need it you won’t have it. Every year there are all sorts of people who drown on the river and you can bet 99% of the time they weren’t wearing their life jacket. So get past the “I’m Michael Phelps” thing, and put it on. If you have one of these comfortable, lean and stylish-looking jackets you’ll wear it more often. When you’re at any of the local sports stores, try it on and make sure it’s comfortable. Check your ego at the door and you’ll probably save a life – yours for starters.
When you’re out paddling the river on your next float trip, be sure you know where to get out and a know where the emergency routes are in case of trouble. As well, you want to ensure you understand how to identify and avoid any hazards that are marked on the map. And make your paddling trip safe by ensuring everything about your boat is safe. This includes not overloading it or loading it improperly balanced leading to capsizes; and be smart when your paddling partner is getting in and out... support the boat.
There’s no hash marks on a road to direct a safe distance between boats, so be sure to keep an appropriate distance between canoes so there’s no chance of running into each other. The distance will vary depending on the water conditions; but a good rule of thumb is to always keep the boat behind you within view. If you notice they are lagging behind, pull over and wait for them. The key to paddling in a group is to assign one boat to lead and one sweep boat to paddle in the rear. Both the lead and sweep boat positions should be held by experienced paddlers with knowledge of the river their on. Never get ahead of the assigned lead or behind the assigned sweep boat.
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Snacking It can make a significant difference to your performance By Samantha Liepner
What you eat before, during and after your activity can impact how you feel … either positively or negatively.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com - matka wariatka
Snacking before Eating before exercise has been shown to improve performance and is a great way to boost stamina and endurance. The amount of time required to digest food properly before exercise — to avoid cramps etc. — will vary from person to person. Experiment to see what timing is right for you. Always aim for a snack that is low in fat and moderate in protein and carbohydrates. Here are some snacks that would be ideal before your activity: Plain yogurt and berries A bagel with natural peanut butter Trail mix Fig bars or a low-fat granola bar
Snacking during Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy for your body, especially during exercise. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, along with protein and fat, which supply energy (calories) to the body. Contracting muscles during exercise will stimulate the breakdown of glycogen in your muscles. Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in your body – primarily in your muscles and liver. When carbohydrate stores are used up, protein and fat are used for energy. The body has to work much harder to obtain energy from these sources, as opposed to carbohydrates. You can feel lethargic and lack energy. To avoid this, make sure you include snacks during exercise that are easy to digest, providing you with a quick, available source of energy. Snack ideas during activity: Pretzels Energy bars (low amounts of fat and protein; high in carbohydrates) Carrots Dried fruit or fig bars Bagel
Snacking after You have put your body through stress and it needs to recover properly. Eat something as soon as you can. Your muscles are craving protein, which is essential after exercise. Post-exercise snack ideas include: Trail mix A smoothie made with milk Cottage cheese A hard-boiled egg Yogurt and berries Vegetables and fruits Remember, though – the lower the intensity of your activity, the less food you will need. Don’t go overboard! Excess calories may be stored as fat, leading to weight gain. Carefully planning healthy snacks during your day will improve your performance. Your body will thank you. ~Samantha is a certified fitness consultant, certified personal trainer. She has an Honours Bachelor of Science in foods and nutrition from the University of Western Ontario. ~OO
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There’s More to Summer than Golf... From the outside it looks like another day chasing your ball and cursing on the course. But if you look inside, you’ll see a
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Tell your boss you’re taking the day off and that TRAK is buying you dinner. We mean it. If you’ve finally decided to take a break from the rat race and spend time on the water, with the world’s coolest 16’ portable kayak that fits into a 4’ golf bag, I’ll personally call your boss so you can....
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ottawaoutdoors kudos Rideau Lakes Newbie Finds Kindness Along the Road Anne Paliwal and her friend took the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour challenge this summer, opting to do the Perth to Kingston route. “Being newbies at this we thought everyone left Kingston at the same time on Sunday morning as they did Saturday.” Undeterred that most participants had left earlier to beat the rain the pair persevered until the rain came down too hard. Finding a little shed, they asked the owner if they could use it for shelter. “No problem,” she said. After getting something to eat and to dry off, before we knew it the owner was coming around the corner with a hot pot of tea for us.
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Backyard Birding Can Keep Your World Natural And you can help scientists monitor the big picture
photo by: istockphoto-4charliebishop
By ADAM C. SMITH
Spring is here and the birds are singing. If you are looking to connect solidly with the natural world and help to keep it natural at the same time, look no further than your backyard. Birds are way up on the list of natural attractions, and providing good habitat – food, water and shelter – you can watch and hear them close at hand. With the right feeder and foods, you can attract seed-eating birds like finches, sparrows, chickadees and cardinals, fruit-eaters like orioles, robins, and other thrushes (which love orange halves spiked to a fence), or sugar-water tubes for nectar-feeding hummingbirds. A birdbath is magnet on hot days. Like us, birds enjoy bathing and they have to drink, so set one up, clean it regularly, and sit back and watch the show. Birdhouses, which you can buy or build yourself, can attract birds to nest in your backyard and you can watch flight school in action later on. However you attract them, it’s important to have the bird’s best interest at heart. Feeders should have decent, fresh food (no mouldy bread) and all feeders, baths, and houses should be cleaned regularly and be out of the reach of cats
and away from windows, which birds might crash into. The Ottawa Field Naturalists Club has a code of conduct on its website www.ofnc.ca/birding.php with some of the practicalities of those “best interests” of birds. Another “natural” idea is planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that provide both food and shelter for birds. Native plant species produce food that local birds are best adapted to. It’s not rocket science – think about berries. Trees and shrubs with berries such as black cherry, pin cherry, choke cherry, staghorn sumac, or red osier dogwood provide food for waxwings, cardinals, orioles, and robins. Then there are flowers – good to look at for us, food for birds. Bergamot, fireweed or butterfly weed attract hummingbirds to their nectar. Sunflower, echinacea (purple cone-flower), or New England aster provide seeds for finches and sparrows, and if you leave the dried flower-heads intact into winter the birds will keep coming when they really need them. And ditch the pesticides. In spring and summer the most important food for birds is the insects that live on your plants. Let them do the work, not the chemicals. Insects provide the extra protein that the birds need to raise their young. Drop by the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in the Arboretum near Hartwell Locks to learn more about landscaping for wildlife www.ofnc.ca/fletcher.php. Observing birds in your backyard is rewarding on its own but can also provide vital information for conservation
and scientific research. Whether you’re an expert or have only recently learned to tell a blue jay from a great blue heron, you could contribute observations to databases which scientists and conservation organizations use to measure the size and health of bird populations, how those populations change over time, and how birds respond to changes in the environment. Donating a little of your time to one of these programs, you might observe the birds at your feeder, the nest in your backyard, or the loons at the cottage. Bird Studies Canada www.bsc-eoc.org has information on a whole slew of national and provincial programs. One of them is local. The Ottawa Breeding Bird Count www.ottawabirds.ca has three separate programs for volunteers to observe active nests (like the robin or phoebe nest in your backyard), survey acreage to measure the effects of construction and development on birds, or monitor changes in bird populations over time. And then there’s bird-banding. A key station in Canada’s Migration Monitoring Network is just outside of Ottawa at the Innis Point Bird Observatory (homepage. mac.com/ipbo) upstream on the Ottawa River. Every bird-bander in the world started out as an amateur, and there is no barrier to you getting into it. So get outdoors, open your eyes and ears now that spring is here to the exuberance of birdsong. By providing good habitat in and around the city or volunteering to monitor the locals, Ottawans awaken to the richness of birdlife and help make sure that Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring never comes to pass. ~ Adam C. Smith is a PhD candidate at Carleton University, the co-ordinator of the Ottawa Breeding Bird Count, and a bit of a bird nerd.)
ottawaoutdoors tips Did you know Gatineau Park is an important nature preserve, measuring 36,131 hectares and anchored to the Capital which is the fourth-largest urban community in Canada. It is home to more than 100 endangered plant species, the largest concentration of rare species in Quebec. www.canadascapital.gc.ca/.
ottawaoutdoors tips Running The January 2004 edition of Runner’s World featured motivational tips from everyday runners. “I always brush my teeth before I run. It makes me feel fresh, energized, and ready to go,” reports one reader. Another runner uses experience to remain disciplines. “After running regularly for about 25 years, I have only one tip: Force yourself to step out the door. Once you’re outside, you’re golden.”
Swimming Matt Mann, coach for the 1952 USA Olympic Team recommends the technique of swimming downhill. He says that it is necessary to think of water displacement when swimming. The water moves forward in front of you and sets up a bow wave. It forms a V in front similar to that of a boat when it is under power. As you move forward, the water you have displaced creates a bow wave. The void that is created with the body passing through the water in this manner, then fills in. The ideal way to swim is to get on top of that bow wave....then you will be able to swim down hill. Like body surfing, Mann says, you can ride down the front of the wave.
Fishing According to fishing expert Gary Skrzek, a.k.a, The Trout King, no other sport fish in history has so much folklore and misunderstandings surrounding it. Misconceptions include: You can only catch Lake Trout in spring or fall; You have to use steel wire to get deep enough to catch them; Lake Trout don’t fight very well; Lake Trout don’t taste good; Lake Trout only hit big shinny lures; You have to use a heavy trolling rod; You have to use flashers ahead of your lure.
Kayaking The kayaking experts at race.fit2paddle.com say the canoe and kayak stroke are almost identical except the upper paddle blade is sawn off and you return on the same side rather than alternating sides every stroke. You have to start by thinking of the paddle stroke force as the sum of a linked sequence of movements. In paddling, the sequence is hyper-rotation and reach forward, followed by blade drop, same leg drive, hip rotation, and torso rotation, all with bottom are straight followed by slight elbow bend and chicken wing as the blade comes out between you knees and hip, and you rotate back forward as far as you can go.
cool gear hot clothing
Matin Shooting Vests - 14 pockets - 99% waterproof — $119.95
MSR Hubba Hubba HP Tent– $429
The original Hubba Hubba features a mesh inner body that provides maximum ventilation. The Hubba Hubba HP’s inner body is mainly fabric, for extra protection against wind or windblown sand, rain, or unseasonably early / late snow. Yet thanks to techier fabrics, the HP is lighter than the original. The all-in-one hub and swivel frameset is strong and simple to assemble. Its geometry provides maximum interior space, two stay-dry entrances, and two large vestibules for gear storage and food prep. Like the original, the HP can be rigged with frame and fly alone, or with frame, fly, and the optional footprint as a floor, for even lighter shelter options when season and location allow. Look for it at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
InVEST in outdoor attire. For outdoor photographers, it’s a challenge to carry all the gear they need. It’s also a challenge to keep everything accessible, as well as dry in damp weather. Matin Shooting Vests – constructed from world-famous Teflon material – offer protection from the rain and any other kind of weather you run into. A Matin Shooting Vest succeeds in keeping you dry and everything you’re carrying providing more than enough places to store things. Big pouches store your camera and lenses. Plus, protective sponge is built right into the pockets to shield valuable items against impact. The Matin Shooting Vest is rugged and comfortable. On your next outing, go where you want, carry what you need, and keep your photographic gear (along with other items) dry. Matin Shooting Vests are available at Vistek. Check them out instore or online at www.vistek.ca.
columbia women’s Sunny Sands™ Long Water Short– $42
SENA WALLETSKIN CASE FOR iPHONE - $52
Even outdoor enthusiasts have an urban life, thus this form-fitting case comprised of premium leather providing a soft layer of “skin” to gently protect the iPhone from scratches also has a unique design offering four pockets for credit cards including a semi-transparent slot for a Driver’s License. www.senacases.com
Quick drying shorts that offer plenty of comfort and range for adventures on the river or out on the beach. It’s 100% polyester, sits low on the waist, is Quick dry technology, water repellent and can stretch. Look for it where Columbia products are sold. www.columbia.com The Whiz-Easy - $24.95 The award-winning Whiz Easy™ affords women young or old, highly active, with partial or permanent mobility impairment, the convenience of voiding when and where they want – avoiding unsanitary public toilets. Highly hygienic, medical grade, comfortable and easy to use and is reusable, anti-bacterial, hydrophobic, machine washable. Look for it on their website, or at MEC, Adventure Attic, Wanderlust Store, Valhalla Pure and select travel clinics coast to coast. www.whizeasy.com
Wicking towels – $12-29
It’s been called the “human shammy”, but the super-lightweight wick-er warmup sport & travel towel by Vancouver Island’s Discovery Trekking Outfitters is nothing like any towel you’ve seen. Rather than absorb, this moisture-management fabric pulls water around the fibres, spreading it across the surface where it quickly evaporates. The towels don’t get musty smelling like conventional towels as they contain silver, one of the best antimicrobials known. The wicking towels have extremely high sun protection, and are available in four sizes for everything from swim & travel, backpacking & camping, court sports, running, golf and hockey in the winter. Discovery trekking also sells some very novel “gripping clips” for hanging towels (or anything else) when camping or boating ($2.55). As well, look for crib sheets for the wee one ($45). Look for it at www.wickingtowel.com www.ottawaoutdoors.ca
Put a little colour in your life! Paint your old gear new and give it another lifetime. Contact Bear's Collision Centre to book a makeover for your favourite car, boat, bike, trailer or canoe.
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With more than 15 years experience Bear's Collision Centre is conveniently located at 1638 Cyrville Rd., Ottawa, beside Home Depot, approximately 0.5 kilometers from the Highway 417 bypass at Innes Rd. We specialize in a full line of body and collision repairs, insurance claims and custom paint to all makes and models of vehicles, bikes, boats, trailers and more!
Bear's Collision Centre (613) 742-6466
Gently Teach Your Child To Ride A Big-Kid Bike Take the pedals off and stand back
photo by: istockphoto-kzenon
By Kathleen Wilker
Your big kid has mastered the tricycle. She’s got a two-wheeler with training wheels and she’s learned to brake. No more rocking back and forth from little wheel to little wheel, now she’s riding strong enough for those training wheels to lift off the ground. They’re getting in her way when she turns corners, and they catch when she’s squeezing through narrow spaces. She’s watching the really big kids on their bikes and hoping for the day she’ll be one of them, and she’s sensible enough to stop and wait for you before crossing the street. You’re both ready for the next step. Forget everything you remember about learning to ride a bike. Forget chasing behind your four-year-old, holding onto her seat and waiting for the right moment to let go. Forget falls and scraped knees. There’s a gentle way for your child to teach herself to ride her two-wheeler without training wheels – create a bike minus pedals that your child can scoot around on. Scooting teaches balance, control, steering and turning. When she’s mastered them, put the pedals back on and she’ll add them to the peddling and braking she already knows. Your support will be there, but your child will go at her own pace because she’s teaching herself. Here’s how: 1. Lower your child’s seat until she can sit on her bike with both feet flat on the ground. Depending on how the seat is attached, you may need to use one or two wrenches to do it. 2. Remove the pedals with a peddle wrench if you have one. Or your local bike mechanic may be willing to pop them off for you.
3. Bike helmet firmly on, your child uses her feet to scoot forward and to stop. A paved gentle downhill is a good place to gain enough momentum until she’s going fast enough to coast. We used our driveway, with a parent at the bottom to block an unintended launch into the road. An empty paved schoolyard works well too. 4. Keep scooting. Get your child to scoot and coast the bike to school, on errands with you, whenever it’s possible. Break off below the frustration level. Learning balance, control and steering is hard work. 5. Once your child can balance, turn, coast and stop, encourage him to coast further, a little faster and steer around obstacles, and do it for at least two weeks so she really masters balance and control.
6. Continue practising and don’t put the pedals back on too soon. After a single afternoon of coasting, a friend’s super-keen daughter convinced us to put the bike together before she had really found her balance. A year later her mom is still chasing her up and down the street, holding on to her seat. 7. When you do put the pedals back on, raise the seat slightly. Now your child is going to put balance, pedaling, steering, turning and braking together. We headed for a well packed dirt path with a slight slope in a park to try full-on biking.
Though I spent the first few times holding my daughter’s seat, after a few tries and a couple of falls she only needed me when she started. Within a few days she was riding on her own. 8. Raise the seat a little more. Again, take it easy. A child needs to feel confident more than she needs the pedal power that a higher seat will give. 9. Celebrate! Bike out for an ice cream treat. Call Grandma. This is a big deal and there’s lots of fun in store. Our daughter loved riding to school and locking up her bike with the big kids. And Sunday mornings when the Parkway was closed to traffic she biked with me running alongside and discovered the wind in her hair. ~ Kathleen Wilker loves to be outside with her family. Skiing, cycling, running, camping and canoeing are her favourite ways to enjoy nature.
the back pages
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Your dream vacation.
the last biscuit
Clear summer skies By Paddy Moore
There wasn’t a parental “helicopter” to be seen in the August twilight. I didn’t really notice this absence at the time, but looking back, it was this lack of surveillance that made the escapade so memorable. All I noticed on that warm August evening was that the resident osprey was nowhere in sight as my friend Chris and I set off along the beach to the river. No, all we saw were gulls flying to the island, probably going home after a day of scavenging and harassing fishing boats. Boring. We were 12 years old and we were on an adventure! In so many ways it was like the dozens of times we had made the short trip, from my parents’ log cabin on New River Beach to the jumping-off rock on the small river of the same name that empties into the Bay of Fundy. But this time the trip felt different and was different. I don’t recall why we got the idea. We had just spent a month at a boys’ camp and maybe we wanted to practise our newfound survival skills. But probably not. I hated that camp – allboy goofiness, bad food, rules, unforgiving schedules, and tent mates who barely acknowledged my presence. Though it was located on a beautiful lake, I was used to the unadulterated expanse of the beach, the endless possibilities of the Bay of Fundy at low tide, the playground of sand, tidal pools to search, rocks to climb, waves of the rising tide to jump and surfing! (At least that’s what I thought it was. I had a boy’s delusion that I was surfing when really I was riding a piece of Styrofoam and giving myself a wicked stomach rash.) But most of all our own beach meant freedom. The freedom to set my own course for the day (well, usually, depending on what my mother had up her sleeve), to pick and choose what order I might like to do things in and for how long. Camp paled in comparison on that point alone. www.ottawaoutdoors.ca
So there we were, carting our bags, towels, tent, matches and food for breakfast across the beach and up the river to swimming hole. We were excited – camping out on our own. No adults. We would camp by the river and survive, perhaps having to keep wild animals at bay. Or maybe we’d see an owl swoop in and silently carry off a rabbit. For sure we would stay up late and see a zillion shooting stars, because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was mid-August. My mother let us go with no argument. Looking back, I recall how she used to recount fondly the time she camped with her brother and two friends on the point, a peninsula at the other end of the beach. When she was young there were no trails to the point, so they climbed out along the rocks at low tide and slept overnight on a rock ledge halfway up a cliff. So, no battle with my mother and our campsite was ours for the night, and it was going to be great. And it was, though there were no wild animals and no owl. There were stars, but we didn’t stay up all night. We woke up to a chilly morning and made a pathetic fire. Our Bisquik never cooked and was completely gross. Inedible. Just as this failure was becoming apparent, my older brother arrived to laugh at us (he was probably just checking on us, but he sure enjoyed our breakfast fiasco). So, with empty stomachs we packed up and headed back to the cabin. I ended up schlepping everything home. Nobody else was carrying anything. The great hopes, the great freedom had collapsed into hunger and humiliation. But all the way back I thought of the walk out the night before. My hopes for adventure and for something truly memorable hadn’t panned out. But that feeling of possibility had gripped me, and it was liberating. That was the thing – the possibility in independence. I did not understand at 12 what I know now as a parent: How great the pressure is to fly a parental helicopter patrol around your kids, even when they are looking to cut loose. My mother had the good sense to resist – the skies were clear that day and I am glad, perhaps even a better person, for it. Paddy Moore lives, works and writes in Ottawa. He enjoys time spent with his three children and is not a very good helicopter pilot.
Published on Nov 14, 2012