Wednesday 10 September 2014

Cycling Fredericton NB & Rose Bay NS

So when looking for a weekend getaway, my wife and I set off to tour the east coast of Canada.  Since it was a road trip and our vehicle was equipped with a bike rack, bringing bikes with us seemed like a great idea.

We weren't sure if the paths were paved or off-road, so we decided to bring four bikes with us (a hybrid and road bike each).  Our rack could hold four bikes and we managed to Tetris (yes, I'm using that as a verb) them on.  Yes, it was a bit excessive.  Yes, people teased us about it. Yes, we'll probably do it again.

Hybrid Riding in Fredericton

Our first ride was on an off road trail that was part of the Sentier NB Trail.  We had heard there were a few rough parts so it seemed a good time to put the hybrids through the paces.  The trail exposed us to a lot of the beautiful wilderness New Brunswick has to offer.

As we headed into Fredericton, gravel paths eventually gave way to paved trails.  We got to ride over the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge.  They even had a Bicycle Center that had washrooms, cold water, cycling maps and up to date info (weather, list of current city events, etc.).  The maps showed bike paths all over the place.

One of the trails listed was an off road trail that ran along the St John River.  It seemed like it would be a fun trail but not too challenging for the bikes we had.  It was a lot of fun!

The only thing that I disliked was one trail that went through town.  It felt like it had stop signs every 30 feet.  And several of those stops were at streets with an obscured view.   But the other trails more than made up for it!

Road Riding in Fredericton

So for our second ride we took out the road bikes and took to the roads towards Fredericton.  We picked a secondary highway that seemed to have something of a shoulder.  And it did, most of the way.  There were some patches where it got a bit iffy.  Fortunately people in New Brunswick tend to be extremely courteous and most drivers gave us plenty of distance.

I'm not kidding about the extreme courtesy of the drivers.  At one point I had pulled to the side of the road so I could check my map and have a snack.  I looked up and noticed drivers on both sides of the highway stopped, looking in my direction and smiling.  They thought I wanted to cross the road!

I found the roads on the outskirts of Fredericton to be very hilly, a stark contrast to our ride in on the off-road trail.  Since its fairly flat around my place, I found the change to be refreshing.

On the way back I started having problems with my chain.  If I changed gear with my front derailleur, it would just fall off.  Then it happened a second time.  I got off the bike and tried to adjust it with my (non-existent) bicycle repair skills.  It seemed alright at first but the chain fell off a second time.

When we got back to our stopping point, my wife turned off the highway while I continued on.  I probably should have exited with her but I really wanted more of a workout.  I was so focused on the workout that I forgot I had those chain issues.  The chain slipped off again while I was heading uphill and my luck ran out as my front chain ring bit into my leg, Jaws Style.  Didn't even notice until I finished the ride.

Road Riding in Rose Bay Nova Scotia

Before heading out I had messed with my derailleur some more and it seemed to be working good.  I really wish I had just taken the time to get a bike shop to check it out before hand.  But I was far from my favourite bike shop and having too much fun visiting with people.

We ended up near Rose Bay and thought we'd have a ride into Lunenburg.  We used a nearby ferry as part of our route.  To say the scenery is amazing would be an understatement.  I'm looking forward to checking it out again one day.  Wish I had taken cameras but I couldn't find my action cam at the time.

Unfortunately our ride didn't last long before my derailleur ran into issues again.  This time it had slid loose and began grinding on my front chain ring.  While trying to get things fixed up, we realized that there was no cellular reception.  My wife left to try to get some help while I tried to get the bike running, even if in just one gear.  I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but I definitely don't have any bike mechanic skills... yet!

After some time I got back on the bike and headed back the way we came, hoping to meet up with my wife.  Some people from the road waved me down and told me she went back to the ferry.  I found out why -- no cellular reception at all!  So after waiting for the next ferry, my wife came to the rescue with the car.

I got pretty grumpy as I really wanted to cycle in the area.  But we had a great consolation prize, lobster dinner in Lunenburg!


  1. The Saint Johns river looked nice little gem.

    Misaligned front derailers are a pain. I think your bike is trying to kill you.. Like an untamed horse.

    Overall, looks like a good get away. Glad your wife is involved with your riding. Makes these types of trips that much more enjoyable.

  2. Looks like a beautiful area to ride! Wish we had some of the green down here in Texas.

    For repair, take a look at, it's been a good goto reference for me, even with years of bike wrenching behind me.

  3. Mike: Hopefully it doesn't have too much of a taste for me! Also being able to ride with my wife is great. But it does end up doubling costs of anything I buy, because she wants one too.

    Dave: Thanks for the repair link, I've been reading it. Riding through the green areas are awesome. But let me tell you, in about 2 months I'll be wishing for Texas weather! :D