#CelebrateWild – Spotlight on Arc’teryx

Arc’teryx has been a staple brand for both outdoor enthusiasts and the Sporting Life community for years. Defined by “Design, Craftsmanship, Performance”, Arc’teryx continues to innovate and create smart, technical pieces that will help you perform your best in the great outdoors.

Arc’teryx is built on the principle of obsessive, precise design and production. A Canadian brand (we love to support fellow Canucks) based out of North Vancouver, Arc’teryx is designed just minutes away from skiing, climbing, and harsh mountain environments. What better setting to inspire the best innovations in technical clothing? Arc’teryx is known for their high quality Gore-Tex hardshells and ergonomic fit, among many other praise-worthy design features.

Since its inception in 1989, Arc’teryx has stayed true to its statement of purpose:

At Arc’teryx, the goal is to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions. Simple solutions to complex challenges; this is the essence of minimalism and our philosophy of design. Reducing the effects of weather, streamlining use, and moving efficiently creates a timeless, outdoor experience. 

Simple solutions to complex challenges. This is so important to those of us who love the outdoors – Mother Nature is complex enough. Your clothes don’t need to be.

Wild spaces challenge, invite, heal and provoke. They are spectacular, intimidating, soothing , ordinary and vulnerable. They evoke our humanity, the feeling that we are where we belong, and we belong to where we are. From city to ice climbing, to the deepest powder snow, the wild spaces of winter.

Fall/Winter 2017 carries on the brand’s tradition of superior craftsmanship. #CelebrateWild in the new styles and revisions – click below to explore some of the beautiful new pieces available at Sporting Life!

Shop Arc’teryx. New Styles Arriving Daily!
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Benefits of Yoga for Cross Training

Article by guest blogger Andrew Obrecht.
Photos by Blush & Branch.

Your body does a lot for you, especially if you put it through tough cross training workouts. Yoga is the perfect active recovery workout for your non-training days to let your body grow and lengthen, while also benefiting from the meditative side. Like anything, results improve when there is a balance and breaking out of a routine. Yoga will help balance out your strength training workouts and use muscles that may be getting missed. If you can’t make it to a yoga class, incorporate yoga poses into your post-workout stretch routine. Adding yoga consistently to your fitness routine has many benefits for cross training.

1. Increases flexibility and range of motion
Start with a beginner’s class or restorative poses to get your muscles used to the different movements. Just like any sort of training, your body will evolve into the movements the more you practice. Stretching out your muscles and joints will increase your flexibility and improve your range of motion for your other workouts. This will help you push past plateaus and goals in your other workouts because your body will be able to do more, and reach farther.

2. Improves stamina, balance, and stability
Continually moving and breathing will help train your muscles to work longer and hold the poses. It’s a different kind of muscle training and will help with your stamina in your other workouts. Not only will holding poses help your stamina, but it will challenge your balance and stability as well. In yoga, your core is the key to staying up right and moving into more challenging poses. Without having to do endless sit ups, the whole yoga workout relies on your core to keep you balanced. Strengthening it will improve your balance and stability which you will see as improvements in your other workouts.

3. Prevents injury
Yoga helps improve muscle imbalances, relieve muscle tightness and the increased flexibility will help prevent injuries. Yoga helps strengthen all muscles including the little ones that don’t get used as often in regular day activities and other workouts. These muscles often surround the bigger muscles and other joints; strengthening them will help protect your bigger muscles that get used during your other cross training workouts and help prevent you from getting injured.

4. Improves posture and breathing
Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or body builder, similar and routine movements can affect your posture. Stretching out your body during yoga can counter-act those movements and encourage your body to have proper posture during cross training workouts and your every day life. For example, if you’re an avid cyclist all those hours spent hunched over on the bike can be paired with chest opening poses and hip openers.

Similarly, the breathing practiced in yoga can be transitioned into your cross training workouts to improve your movements. Breathing can be overlooked and not thought about while you’re running or lifting, but it’s just as important to practice breathing as it is to open your body through yoga.

5. Boosts other workouts
All the benefits of practicing yoga will boost your other workouts. Increased flexibility, balance and range of motion will allow you to lift more, run faster and workout longer. Incorporating yoga into your fitness routine will balance out your body, muscles and movements which benefits not only your workouts but your every day life as well. As long as you don’t push your body past it’s limits, even while stretching, you will see the benefits of yoga for your cross training in no time.

2016-09-16_-_YYC_Cycle_--_1L2A1448Andrew Obrecht is one of the Founders and Motivators of popular spin studio YYC Cycle. The studio was founded by three ambitious, born-and-raised Calgarians who saw an opportunity to offer an innovative, dynamic form of group exercise that breaks the mold of traditional indoor cycling. Along with their team of Motivators, YYC Cycle provides the community with an incredible fitness and lifestyle experience that extends beyond the studio doors. There’s a reason Andrew has been described as a Fire Starter, Passion Seeker and Connector: Much the way he does in spin class, Andrew will inspire and motivate you in all areas of your life.

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Brand Spotlight – Cannondale

Founded in 1971 above a pickle factory and named after train station across the road, Cannondale has emerged as the leading brand for all things cycling. From top notch innovations to a relentless commitment to being the best, there is a reason that Cannondale dominates the industry! Read on to learn more about this essential cycling brand and browse some of the best urban bikes available at Sporting Life this season.

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The History of Cannondale

1971 – Inception of their first cycling product – the legendary Bugger, first bicycle towed trailer

1983 – The first production oversized aluminum frame. The lightweight efficient stiffness of this frame set a new standard for performance and kickstarted the era of aluminum!

1992 – HeadShok – set a new bar for front suspension performance. The patented technology in the HeadShok carries on in the current model as well as the Lefty fork

1997 – Cannondale became the first US bike manufacturer to sponsor a European Pro Road team(Saeco/Cannondale) who went on to win the Giro d’Italia. This success further proved the superiority of the Cannondale aluminum frame.

2000 – The introduction of the iconic Lefty single-sided front suspension. Lighter, Stiffer, Stronger, Smoother than any fork in the world. True then, true now.

2010 – OverMountain – Ideally suited for the growing Enduro race scene, as the travel, dampening and geometry of the bike can be adjusted to suit climbing or descending.

2013 – The Synapse emerged as the ultimate Endurance Race Bike – it was named “Most Wanted” by Bike Radar in 2013 and “Bike of the Year” by Cycling Plus in 2014.

2016 – The CAAD12 105 Road Bike was named “Bike of the Year” by Cycling Plus.

This Season’s Best Urban Rides

For 2017, the iconic Bad Boy just got Badder. The original urban minimalist bike just got a ground up redesign. Both the Bad Boy 2 and 4 offer a rigid Lefty fork and urban armor, a reflective top tube bumper. New fatter tires on 650b rims are quick but offer greater comfort on harsh urban streets. In addition, the Bad Boy 2 features a light pipe Lefty with cleanly integrated LED lights. Take the city by storm on the Bad Boy!

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Bad Boy 2 Urban Bike
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Bad Boy 4 Urban Bike

For the fitness cyclist or downtown commuter, hop on the Quick this spring! All new for 2017, the Quick features 360 degree reflectivity, making it perfect for urban rides. Its SAVE micro suspension features have been updated to build more comfort and compliance in the frame, and with supremely stable, confident handling, the Quick is the perfect tool to get fit around the city.

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Quick 3 Disc W Fitness Bike

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Quick 3 Disc Fitness Bike
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Get Race Ready, Ottawa!

You’ve trained hard, raised money for an amazing cause, and it’s time for the Sporting Life 10k! With less than a week to go, we’re sharing our last minute tips to help you get race ready. From the right gear to day-of tips, we’ve got you covered, Ottawa.

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Packet Pick-Up

The first (and probably most important!) step to getting ready for the 10k is to pick up your race packet! Come to our Lansdowne Park store at 125 Marche Way on Friday May 12 9:30am-9:00pm or Saturday May 13 9am-9pm. You need to get your bib in order to be able to run. Come early to pick up your bib and shirt! You will need your bib number, which will be emailed to you on Wednesday May 10. Please bring a piece of photo ID or printout of your registration confirmation email. Can’t make it? You can send a friend to pick up your gear for you! All they need is your bib number(s). They will also need an e-mail stating that they can pick up your bib and shirt on your behalf or a copy of your email registration confirmation.

Plan Your Day

Be sure to have a plan on race day! The route starts and finishes on Colonel By Drive, at Echo Avenue, just west of the Bank Street Bridge. All participants will access the start/finish line area from Echo Avenue off of Bank Street.

Arrive EARLY! Plan to arrive at least one hour prior to the start. Remember there will be 2,500 people in this event, so everything from toilets to driving will take longer than normal. There is limited parking at Lansdowne Park. We strongly recommend that you carpool, cab it or take the OC Transpo options. If you want to check your bag, you can do so at the Horticultural Building at Lansdowne Park from 6:30-7:30am. You can check your bag for free, however a donation of $2 per bag is suggested with all proceeds going to CHEO.

Visit the Sporting Life 10k website for a full rundown of race day!

Gear Up

With Saucony sponsoring the Sporting Life 10k, you don’t need to look to any other brand for your perfect running outfit! It is best to be prepared with layers and technical running attire. A water repellent outer layer is crucial for a morning run – 10k won’t be fun if you’re soaked! If you decide not to wear the official Sporting Life 10k tee, be sure to pick a top with moisture wicking fabric. Tights or shorts should be breathable and comfortable as well. While you may not want to get brand new shoes a week before the race, there is still time to break in the perfect new pair of runners! The Triumph ISO3 provides enhanced energy underfoot with an increased EVERUN landing zone, while the ISOFIT System delivers a dynamic fit that adapts to your stride.

Be Prepared

It is important to fuel your body before and after you run. It is recommended to eat about 1.5 hours before your run to give your body time to digest and provide your body with needed energy. Fuel tired muscles with our GU energy drink mixes, gel and chews created for daily training. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Try Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles for an energy boost on the go.

Hydration is just as important as being well-fueled. Drink up to 20oz of water prior to your run and continue to drink water as you run to avoid dehydration. There are hydration stations along the route, but if you are concerned about getting thirsty, there are plenty of hydration packs available to easily carry with you through your run!

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Get Race Ready, Toronto!

You’ve trained hard, raised money for an amazing cause, and it’s time for the Sporting Life 10k! With less than a week to go, we’re sharing our last minute tips to help you get race ready. From the right gear to day-of tips, we’ve got you covered, Toronto.

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Packet Pick-Up

The first (and probably most important!) step to getting ready for the 10k is to pick up your race packet! Come to our Yonge Street store at 2665 Yonge Street from Tuesday May 9-Friday May 12 9:30am-9:00pm or Saturday May 13 9am-6pm. You need to get your bib in order to be able to run. Come early to pick up your bib and shirt! You will need your bib number, which will be emailed to you on Monday May 8. Please bring a piece of photo ID or printout of your registration confirmation email. Can’t make it? You can send a friend to pick up your gear for you! All they need is your bib number(s). They will also need an e-mail stating that they can pick up your bib and shirt on your behalf or a copy of your email registration confirmation.

Plan Your Day

Be sure to have a plan on race day! The start line is four blocks south of Sporting Life, 2400 Yonge St (at Yonge St. and Roselawn Ave.). From there, the course heads south (downhill) on Yonge Street all the way to Richmond Street. It then turns west on Richmond St. W, through the Entertainment District, continues south on Peter St./Blue Jays Way past “Gretzky’s” to Front St. The course then goes west along Front St., south on Bathurst St., and then west on Fort York Blvd. to the finish line!

One of the tricky things about getting ready for the 10k is finding your way to the starting line. This is the largest run in Toronto and will provide you with an experience like no other! Remember to give yourself plenty of time as there will be 25,000 people in this event, so everything from toilets to driving will take longer than normal. We suggest plotting your route before Sunday morning, and we strongly recommend that you carpool, take a taxi or take the TTC Yonge St. bus as there is only limited parking available on the side streets surrounding Sporting Life. ALL PARTICIPANTS must be in their corral 15 minutes prior to the start of their “wave” – be sure to arrive early to get settled! If you want to check your bag, you can do so just North of our Yonge Street store from 6-7am.

Visit the Sporting Life 10k website for a full rundown of race day!

Gear Up

With New Balance sponsoring the Sporting Life 10k, you don’t need to look to any other brand for your perfect running outfit! The forecast currently calls for rain, but who knows what Mother Nature will decide to throw our way! It is best to be prepared with layers and technical running attire. A waterproof outer layer is crucial for a morning run – 10k won’t be fun if you’re soaked! If you decide not to wear the official Sporting Life 10k tee, be sure to pick a top with moisture wicking fabric. Tights or shorts should be breathable and comfortable as well. While you may not want to get brand new shoes a week before the race, there is still time to break in the perfect new pair of runners! The Vazee Pace V2 by New Balance offers excellent support and style, allowing you to run faster and feel stronger than ever before.

Be Prepared

It is important to fuel your body before and after you run. It is recommended to eat about 1.5 hours before your run to give your body time to digest and provide your body with needed energy. Fuel tired muscles with our GU energy drink mixes, gel and chews created for daily training. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue and decrease muscle damage. Try Honey Stinger energy chews and waffles for an energy boost on the go.

Hydration is just as important as being well-fueled. Drink up to 20oz of water prior to your run and continue to drink water as you run to avoid dehydration. There are hydration stations along the route, but if you are concerned about getting thirsty, there are plenty of hydration packs available to easily carry with you through your run!

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5 Brands to Wear To & From the Club

Tenniswear designers now offer fashion forward pieces in a variety of colours and styles. It’s time to put away your tennis whites and embrace colour to step up your style game! We’re sharing 5 of our favourite brands to wear at the club, both on and off the court.

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Lacoste
How can we talk about tennis style without talking Lacoste? That iconic green gator is not only in style on the courts, but on the streets as well. This season’s palette is bright and fun, adding a refreshing pop  of colour to classic tennis whites. Make them stop and stare on the courts with a flirty Tennis Dress or a neon Ultra Dry Polo. While you’re relaxing at the club, get fashletic with a tennis themed graphic tee!

Trina Turk
Founded in 1995, Trina Turk‘s beautiful line of athleticwear is inspired by the California’s multicultural mix, creativity, craftsmanship, architecture, and landscape. We totally see this in her colourful aesthetic! With bold signature prints, you will be the star of the tennis court – we love the unique print of the Pop Camo Leggings, which will transition seamlessly from court to street.

adidas by Stella McCartney
Blending the effortless style of Stella McCartney with the cool athletic vibe from adidas, this line is the epitome of “to and from the club”. Add a pop of colour to the courts with the Climalite Tennis Dress, which will keep you cool and dry on the hottest of days. After your game, toss on the Barricade Jacket, which embodies one of our favourite styles for spring: the bomber jacket! Modern and sporty, this jacket will keep you warm and add a hint of style to your pre or post game ensemble.

L’etoile Sport
L’etoile Sport is one of our favourite new brands for spring tennis. Designed by Yesim Philip, the brand’s motto is “play all day” – exactly the lifestyle we are looking to exude! The focus of this multi-purpose collection is on and off court appeal that fuses fashion and function. With pops of orange and dainty mesh, the Pointelle Mesh Lace Top will keep you looking & feeling cool during a match; toss on the chic Windbreaker Jacket with a pair of jeans after your match, and these fashion forward silhouettes will take you straight from the club to weekend brunch.

Under Armour
The ultimate technical sport brand, Under Armour offers lightweight, moisture wicking pieces that will allow you to play your best on the courts. Off the courts, these comfortable tech pieces are easily layered to keep you comfortable on the go. We particularly love the pink hue in this season’s collection, as well as subtle details like the open triangle back of the CoolSwitch T-Shirt – talk about fashletic!

 

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Top Five Tips for Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Riding

Article by guest blogger Andrew Obrecht.

When the weather starts to warm up, we’re all eager to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  Fortunately, summer can be a great time to move your exercise routine outdoors, especially if you enjoy being on the bike.  For those thinking of making the move from indoor to outdoor riding, I’ve got five tips to make your summer transition a little smoother.

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1. Build up your base

Getting out on the road can be intimidating, and not having the cardio base before you do can make it even scarier.  Before you get out on the road, find a group fitness class to build your cardio.  It doesn’t have to be a spin class, but it can be helpful to try something with similar motions to outdoor riding.  If you’ve never used clip-in pedals before, spin classes are a great way to practice clipping in and out without the risk of wiping out.  Try downloading the Mind Body app to find spin studios or group classes near you.

2. Choose your riding style

Decide what kind of riding you want to do.  Whether that’s a four-hour road ride, or a 45-minute cruise on a pathway, each style has different requirements when it comes to skill and equipment.  Road biking, casual riding or mountain biking are all a lot of fun and have their own communities regardless of skill level.

3. Get the right gear

Once you’ve chosen your riding style you’ll need to get fitted with the proper gear.  Bikes can range in size and fit depending on the brand, so it’s best to have a professional set you up on the proper bike.  Sporting Life has an incredibly educated team that can help you get set up.  If you’d like an idea of what Sporting Life has available before you come in, check out www.sportinglife.ca.  After you’ve got your bike, you’ll need a helmet, shoes (if your bike has clip-in pedals), the right clothes and protective pads if you’re trying out mountain biking. Make sure you know how to use the gear as well.  If you’re going out for more than a leisurely ride, it’s a great idea to watch some videos on how to change or patch a tube so a flat doesn’t ruin your day.

 
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4. Know the Rules

Take some time to refresh your knowledge of signals and cycling etiquette.  Plan your route and make sure it’s suited to the type of riding you want to do.  There are plenty of route planning apps like Strava, or “Calgary By Bike” by local Calgarian, Mike’s Bloggity, for more leisurely rides.  Calgary has an amazing network of paths and trails for all types of riding.

It’s also important to know your limits.  Don’t get out on busy roads if you’re not comfortable with the basics.  There’s nothing worse than a scary experience to set you back from outdoor riding!

5. Make it social

If you’re transitioning from indoor to outdoor riding, there’s a good chance one of your favourite parts is the social aspect – this can still be the case for outdoor riding.  The Calgary riding community is a tight knit group and there are plenty of ways to find riding buddies.  Try reaching out to friends or people you spin with, or ask the Sporting Life team for recommendations and community rides that they put on every Tuesday and Thursday evenings this summer.  A quick search on Google can also bring up plenty of great options for riding groups.  There’s a wide range of groups with different skill levels and interests, from those who like to take it slow and bike to a spot for lunch or ice cream, to those who enjoy being a little more competitive.  There’s no shortage of options in Calgary to keep riding fun and social.

I hope you all have the best summer of riding and hope that some of these tips will lead you to an amazing season of exploring our incredible outdoors.  But, if you’re ever craving that adrenaline rush, thumping beats and lights of the studio, I’ll always keep a bike open at YYC Cycle.

2016-09-16_-_YYC_Cycle_--_1L2A1448Andrew Obrecht is one of the Founders and Motivators of popular spin studio YYC Cycle. The studio was founded by three ambitious, born-and-raised Calgarians who saw an opportunity to offer an innovative, dynamic form of group exercise that breaks the mold of traditional indoor cycling. Along with their team of Motivators, YYC Cycle provides the community with an incredible fitness and lifestyle experience that extends beyond the studio doors. There’s a reason Andrew has been described as a Fire Starter, Passion Seeker and Connector: Much the way he does in spin class, Andrew will inspire and motivate you in all areas of your life.

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Stay Safe From Commute to Cubicle

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Bike Month officially starts on Monday – be safe from commute to cubicle! Ride in style on Ride to Work Day (May 29) with the best bikes and apparel for the urban cyclist. Ready-to-wear reflective pieces paired with our tips on manoeuvering city bike lanes will have you flying from point A to point B in no time, all while being seen.

Have the Right Equipment

One of the simplest ways to stay safe on the road is to have the right bike accessories. This one speaks for itself – wear a helmet! As we discussed in this post, many helmets are now equipped with MIPS, which protect your head from multi directional impact. We hope you won’t need it, but you’ll be happy you had a helmet should something happen!

If you are riding within an hour of sunrise or sunset (which you likely are when it comes to a work commute), the law requires you to have a light on your bike. Your bike must also be equipped with a bell. These things seem like common sense, but they really do make all the difference when it comes to staying safe on your bike.

Pair all of these safety additions with a lightweight, comfortable bike from brands such as Cannondale, Giant and Liv, and you’ll be cruising with the best of the city cyclists.

Ride Smart

There are a few ways to ensure that you are safe while riding your bike to work:

Ride in the middle of the lane when appropriate, or at least a little to the left of the curb. If you are riding too close to the curb, cars at intersections ahead may have trouble seeing you. This also can keep cars from passing too close on a narrow road, or keep you from colliding with an open car door.

SIGNAL! Be sure to use proper road signals when making a turn. Just as you would in a car, you don’t want your movements to take other drivers by surprise. A mirror can also be helpful when it comes to shoulder checking.

Go old school and leave your headphones in your bag. Of course this is a personal choice, but it is best to minimize distractions and be fully aware of your surroundings while cycling in the city.

Avoid busy streets wherever possible. Sometimes the fastest route isn’t always the best – rush hour traffic can be dangerous for cyclists! If at all possible, try to map out a route that keeps you on side streets to encounter fewer & slower cars. This way you can cross busy intersections as opposed to riding on them.

Reflect, Reflect, Reflect

Add extra flair to your ride with reflective cyclewear. While many of our athletic cyclewear is reflective for road safety, Sporting Life carries a few key pieces that will keep you safe and take you straight from commute to cubicle.

Arc’teryx isn’t just for climbing wear and technical outerwear. The new A2B collection is designed for everyday living and urban commutes. As the first Gore-Tex garment in its category, the Women’s A2B Hardshell Blazer features a zipperless front design, integrated stowable reflective surfaces at the cuffs and under the collar. Made from soft, and sheds rain and wind, making it perfect for the urban cyclist. Learn more in this product knowledge video:

Levi’s Commuter is another favourite when it comes to urban cyclewear. The Men’s 511™ Commuter Jean features water resistant and dirt repellent NanoSphere® technology with Sanitized® odor protection, reflective tape on interior cuffs, U-lock storage, and utility pockets. Pretty much everything you could want from a pair of jeans!

SHOP URBAN CYCLEWEAR

Arc'teryx Women's A2B Hardshell Blazer
Arc’teryx Women’s A2B Hardshell Blazer
Arc'teryx Women's A2B Skort
Arc’teryx Women’s A2B Skort
Levi's Men's 511™ Commuter Jean
Levi’s Men’s 511™ Commuter Jean

 

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Adjust Your Altitude: Hiking 101

While our Calgary community is lucky enough to have scenic mountain trails and some of the best hiking in Canada, Ontario has some beautiful hiking spots that are perfect for the beginner hiker. You don’t have to be an experienced outdoorsman to get out and enjoy nature! We’re sharing some of the best places in the Toronto area to go for a hike, some tips for the first-time hiker, as well as the gear you will need to make the most of your adventure.

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5 Beautiful Beginner Hikes in the GTA

Scarborough Bluffs Park
Before leaving the city entirely, why not stop by the beautiful Scarborough Bluffs Park right here in Toronto? The Bluffs offer stunning views of Lake Ontario and the beautiful bluffs. The trails are not difficult and are easily accessible, and sandy beaches await you once you’re done your hike.

Webster’s Falls Conservation Area
Who knew that some of Ontario’s most stunning waterfalls were located just outside of Hamilton? Take a walk down beautiful trails towards Webster’s Falls and Tew’s Falls – totally Instagram-worthy! After chasing waterfalls, hop on up to Dundas Peak for a beautiful panoramic view of Hamilton.

Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area
While you probably won’t see any rattlesnakes, this conservation area in Milton allows you to seek some extra adventure. If you’ve been practicing your hiking and are feeling a bit more advanced, explore some of the hidden caves or partake in some rock climbing! While this hike is most beautiful in the fall, it isn’t the worst thing to look out upon miles and miles of green trees!

Elora Gorge
Elora is a bit off the beaten path for Torontonians, but it is totally worth it to make the trip this summer. This trail is perfect for all age groups – ideal for a family weekend or a beginner hike. While you’re there, stop by the Elora Quarry and take a dip in the blue-green water, or partake in some kayaking!

Bruce Trail
Did you know that the Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest foot path? This trail stretches for over 800km from the Niagara River all the way to Tobermory! You can enter at various points throughout Ontario, and walk for as long or short of a distance as you like. The closest entrance point to Toronto is just outside of Milton near Kelso Conservation Area, and the views are out of this world!

Hiking 101: Tips & Tricks

– Proper hiking gear is a must, especially for spring hikes. The weather is unpredictable, and you need to be prepared for whatever comes your way! Be sure to have these items in your wardrobe to make the most of your adventure:

  • Waterproof/windproof outer layer.
  • Base layers – moisture wicking fabrics to keep you warm (or cool!) and dry. This goes for socks too; bring extra, and go for a smart wool to keep your toes dry.
  • Hiking shoes – these don’t need to break the bank, but they are absolutely crucial for both seasoned and first-time hikers. Good shoes are the key to a fun and safe hike; keep your toes and ankles protected, especially on uneven terrain.
  • A lightweight, sturdy pack…especially when you need to shed some of those added layers!

– Convertible pieces can be your best friend…who doesn’t love pants that turn into shorts and back again? Adjust your outfit to suit the conditions at hand without leaving anything behind.

– As with any physical activity…HYDRATE! Be sure to bring enough water, no matter the length of your hike. Whether you prefer a colourful S’well that keeps your water cold for up to 24 hours or a hydration pack to keep your hands free, make sure you’re stocked up on H20.

– Similar to hydration, your body needs fuel to get through your trip. Give yourself an energy boost on the go with gels, chews or waffles available at our retail locations. They contain carbohydrates to keep you fueled, electrolytes that aid in hydration and amino acids that reduce mental fatigue!

– We mentioned the importance of a solid hiking shoe; be sure not to embark on your hike with brand new, stiff boots! Our friend Leigh from HikeBikeTravel.com wrote a post about breaking in your hiking boots on her blog – check it out!

SHOP HIKING GEAR

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Road Bikes and the RTCC

For 10 years, The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer has raised money for incredible causes devoted to ending cancer. This decade has seen breakthroughs in cancer research and saved countless lives – the 2017 ride serves as a celebration for all of those successes! Join thousands of other Canadians – and the Sporting Life community, if you’re riding in Ontario or Alberta – and ride towards the common goal of conquering cancer in our lifetime. Register for the Ride to Conquer Cancer here.

Sporting Life is proud to sponsor both the Ontario and Alberta RTCC. We are also proud to have all of the essentials you need for this two day, 200+ km ride; it is crucial to have the right bike and the right gear to keep you riding strong all weekend!

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When selecting your ride, pick the road bike with the right features for you. We delve further into the hottest bikes for 2017 here – there is so much to consider when choosing the perfect bike! The Giant Contend SL1‘s disc-brake integration means confident braking in variable road and weather conditions, making it an ideal choice for a Canadian road race. The Specialized Roubaix Elite allows you to ride longer and ride fresher – its disc brakes offer greater consistency and control, perfect for a weekend of hard riding. The Cannondale Synapse Disc 105 offers comfort, performance, and versatility, making it the ideal ride for a long race. The Cannondale CAAD12 105 is the ultimate performance bike – it is not just the finest alloy racing bike ever made, it is the only choice for those who know bikes!

Proper cyclewear will be your best friend during the RTCC. As you ride strong towards that well-deserved finish line, your apparel needs to be there to support you. Moisture wicking, highly breathable fabrics will keep sweat away from your skin as you charge towards your goal, and a high quality bib short will maximize comfort on a long day’s ride.

 

When it comes to bike accessories, there are a few things that you can’t forget when heading into race weekend!

Helmet: As always, a helmet is a must – especially when you are riding amongst thousands of other riders! Keep your head protected with the right helmet (MIPS is recommended!)

Cycle Shoes: The right shoes are also important for the RTCC. You need something supportive and resilient while also being flexible and lightweight. Your energy should be put into your pedals, not into foot pain or discomfort!

Bike Light: For a weekend ride, you will also want to look into a light for your bike. With early morning start times and unpredictable weather conditions, a lightweight and water resistant light will ensure you are visible at all points of your ride.

 

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