Since the inception of the point to point spring race/ride "Paris to Ancaster", there has been a huge growth in particpation for the event.
Today there are two starting points to chose depending on how competitive or fit you are, which has opened the opportunity for alot of people with less hours on the bike to still enjoy the race and be as competitive as they'd like.
The common discussion within all levels of riders is "what's the best bike to ride?".
The answer depends on your priorities and the depth of you personal stable of bikes!
Those racing at the front historically ride a cyclocross bike as it's the fastest and lightest bike that will still deal with any off-road sections and/or poor conditions.
The problem for most is that they don't own one yet.
That said, this is one of fastest growing categories in our store over the last 3 years, as more people are realizing the vast opportunities for multi-surface rides in this region, with the Conservation Areas, extensive "Railtrail" system and lots of good back roads to link it all up!
The mountain bike is not as fast on the road and packed trail which constitutes most of the race, but most people have one. So, how to make a mountain bike more suited for the Paris to Ancaster? Tires.
Whether 29, 650b or 26, standard mtb tires offer great traction at the expense of roll-ability. Switching to a cyclocross style tire (which a 29er will readily accept) with minimal tread will greatly reduce rolling resistance for this race, and can be used any time in the season for a good non trail adventure.
Suspension systems can be locked out to avoid wasting pedalling energy and depending on the bike, some systems are more active than others.
Preparing the bike for this event usually requires using a wet lube for the chain as weather can be a game changer at this time of year. Fenders can also help keep your face out of the elements, although those around you can make a mess!
Packing gels, energy bars or other food, as well as dressing for all possibilities has always been a saviour depending on how the day goes.
The race is later this year, but so is spring so far!
Have fun with whatever bike you ride, and good luck!