Biking It: 400 to Tally Ho - Swords Road (Part 1)
After taking a motorized ride on the Seguin Trail from the 400 Trailhead to Sprucedale as part of the "Do It For Dads" ride, I have decided to ride the whole trail on my bike, bit by bit as time permits. I'm an enthusiastic cyclist for more than five decades now, but certainly not competitive in any sense of the word. Cycling is a way for me to get out and enjoy the outdoors that is slow enough to catch the details, but fast enough to cover considerable ground. My Tales from the Trail contributions "Biking It" will offer a little bit of perspective on the various sections of the trail in hopes it might provide some insights on what to watch for, and what to watch out for.
This past Wednesday, July 8th, I took my first bite of the Seguin Trail, starting from the PetroCan area trailhead just off Highway 400. It's possible to park in their parking lot, or a few hundred metres closer to the trail, right at the trailhead sign.
It was later in the day and I had a couple of hours before it would start to get dark. That turned out to be just enough time for the ride and stops to take photos.
Heading east on the trail from the 400 the trail is essentially a well maintained gravel road. And because it is a former rail bed it has only very gradual slopes, at least where there is no requirement for a trestle. In this ride, from the 400 to Tally Ho - Swords Road there is only one up/down hill section where I imagine there was a trestle that was removed long ago. It's not too steep, but it's gravel covered and sometimes you lose traction going uphill if you aren't 'sitting' on your back tire.
That first stretch of road like conditions is perhaps 4 kilometers in length, and then you are presented with more typical trail conditions, hard pack for the most part with some puddles. There are a few sandy stretches that can be hard to ride, but they aren't more than ten or 20 metres in length.
The ride is pretty leisurely, but you need to hang on to your handlebars. Rocks that wouldn't budge an ATV will quickly grab a bicycle tire and lead to a fall. It's also hard to get much speed on the trail. It isn't particularly smooth and you regularly need to steer around different ruts, holes and rocks. For the whole trip, including stops for photos my average speed wasn't much more than 12-14 km/hour. For perspective, I'm usually riding in the 20-30 km/hr range when I'm on paved roads and not stopping for photos.
The scenery alternates between big sky and forested areas. Each have their own charm, until ..... you hit the big puddles. (Part 2 follows.)