It’s been almost four years since we took our first self-supported bikepacking trip through Hastings County, just north of our home in Belleville, but lately I’ve been thinking about dusting off the route for an Ontario gravel cycling renaissance. We have begun to adapt to a slower pace of life and plan to camp more this summer than we have been able to in previous years.  There’s a lot of sentiment – at least in the content circles that I’ve surrounded myself with – that there’s no better time than now to try something new. We know that our backyard is full of prime Ontario gravel roads, so why not immerse ourselves in nature on two wheels?

Hear me out: I know that there are many things that are better off delayed, but this pandemic pause, or rather, rethinking of what we'd become accustomed to as regular life has, if nothing else, afforded me the brainspace to consider a variety of pursuits I wouldn’t otherwise entertain.

Marrying the owner of a bike shop has also seen me considering things I’d never imagined myself doing. Riding a bike? Loaded with camping gear? For hundreds of kilometres… in October? Apparently it’s a thing.

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