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YQL a Cycling Mecca!

Posted by Keith Pushor on 19 October 2021

Lethbridge is the recreation destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over Southern Alberta and beyond! In particular, we are becoming a vibrant cycling community. And it’s not just since COVID. Did you know that there are over 177 km of paved pathways, and almost 60 km of natural or gravel trails throughout our urban landscape and glorious river bottom? The most famous of these is arguably the Bike Boulevard which runs East-West from the heart of the London Road district all the way to Henderson Lake along 7th Avenue South. Improved infrastructure is connecting all parts of the city (North, South, and West) creating a fabulous, linked network for cyclists, walkers, runners, and scooters alike. Mixed surface paths will take you through hundreds of acres of parkland and greenspace, past lakes and ponds, into many diverse neighbourhoods, and provide countless opportunities for 2 wheeled sight-seeing.

Fancy the blacktop? Our city offers gorgeous routes for road biking. Follow the above-mentioned paved pathways to do a phenomenal loop around the entire city, or roll on out past the city limits in any direction for some extended miles along the several primary and secondary highways. A fresh spring morning, hot summer evening, or crisp autumn afternoon make for the ideal inspiration to settle into a steady cadence, and top off your speed as you spin the day away. If you want to amp things up a bit head out to hit our famous “invisible hill”…the toughest climb you’ll ever do on a flat road. (ask me what the heck I’m talking about here).

Mountain biking has really exploded in recent years. To have access to such phenomenal trail systems like Six Mile Coulee, Coalbanks, Bull Trail, and Pavan right out our back door is truly a gift. Apps like All Trails and Strava can give newbies great directions to discover epic singletrack, or simply rolling out “blind” and exploring uncharted trails can satisfy your daily dose of adventure. Be it a short 30 minute rip, or a full day excursion along The Oldman River, getting out and riding will guarantee to yield an ample dose of self-care and mental well being. On any given ride you can enjoy smooth flowy flats, challenging climbs, adrenaline producing descents, and of course an excellent chance of wildlife encounters. Watch out for the porcupines at sunset.

As the YQL cycling scene has grown, so too has the market that serves that scene. Ascent Cycle, Alpenland Ski and Cycle, and Bert and Mac’s Source For Sports are the local bike shops (LBS) that will take care of your 2 wheeled desires. Whether it be Road, Mountain, Cross, E-bike, Fitness, Cruiser, or Gravel the quality of sales and service will not disappoint from any of these vendors. If you are wanting a little more structured cycling experience, are hungry for learning opportunities, and enjoy meeting new people then consider joining Headwinds Cycling Club. Headwinds offers weekly group rides, organized destination rides, road bike rides, mountain bike rides, and a youth division too. There is truly something for everyone interested in “getting on their bike”.

The cycling scene in Lethbridge is just one more reason why our quality of life is so high, our population is steadily increasing, and why we continue to have one of the most sustainable real estate markets in Western Canada. See you out on the trails sometime soon. We might even talk about buying or selling a home!


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