2023 Bike Packing Ontario Update

by | Jan 1, 2023 | Training

Our friend bike packing extraordinaire (and Registered Dietician!) Matt Kadey sent along some great update for the 2023 Bike Packing season — What events will you be at? What routes will you do?

Don’t overlook the couple of recipes for home made fuel AND the gravel routes that many of these bike packing routes provide!

Check out our past Podcast episodes with Matt Kadey here


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It’s time for the annual Ontario bikepacking newsletter.

The 2023 BT 700 Grand Depart is set for June 18th leaving from St. Jacob’s. Last year was the biggest turn-out yet, so hoping for an even larger event this season. Expect some of the same perks including aid stations, amazing prizes and pre-event festivities. I am also working on securing a group camping option in St. Jacob’s for the night before the ride. You can sign-up here:

The BT 700 course has been tweaked in a few places so riders can expect a bit less of the rough hike-a-bike stuff. With that said, I’ve created the BT 700 XL route which includes even more of the ‘wild’ terrain and singletrack riding. It’s for the rider who really wants an adventure on two wheels and who thrives on testing their limits.

I am once again running the bikepacking weekend on the No Winter Maintenance route. It will run the weekend of June3/4 starting in Orangeville. Last year was a big success. Riders will be serenaded by live music at the group camp at Bowering Lodge and Rally Beer will be onsite with refreshments. For this year, I am also working on securing an on-site dinner option for riders. Oh, and the route has been improved with the addition of even more flowy singletrack fun. You can sign-up here:

Other bikepacking options from the BT 700 world are the trail-heavy Grand Nith Ramble (GNR), the Farmers Folly (perhaps my favourite) and the wilderness-studded Hasty Highlander. In 2023 I’ll be working on a route for the Bruce Peninsula. Of all the routes, the GNR is mostly likely to be in the best shape earlier in the season.

For more bikepacking routes generated by a varied group of riders, you can check out If you have any ideas for routes you want to add to the site please let me know.

The ONXL now has nearly 8,000 kilometres of connected routes:

My friends over at the Log Driver’s Waltz are running their grand depart once again in 2023. It’s slated for July 29th beginning in Almonte, Ontario. Despite the epic rain last year, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the stunning and challenging route during the grand depart. You can sign up at:

Also, the folks at Log Driver’s Waltz are hosting a couple of virtual bikepacking seminars that should be helpful and informative. Dates are Jan 25 and Feb 1. You can register here:

And here is some big news – The Canadian Shield Bikepacking Summit. Here is the sales pitch: The Canadian Shield Bikepacking Summit is an opportunity for bikepackers to gather with like-minded people and share in their passion for adventure, riding bikes and spending time in the wilderness. This weekend event will include group rides, bikepacking related presentations, a chance to make new friends and door prizes.

It will be held in Chelsea, Quebec on the doorstep of trail-studded Gatineau Park and I am hoping to attend. More information and sign-up can be found here:

Chris is also running a grand depart on his excellent Canadian Shield Bikepacking route on Sept 9th. You can learn about the route options and also sign-up here:

Consummate Athlete is now offering bikepacking specific training programs. It’s never too early to start training properly for those testy inclines and big days in the saddle. More information on this program can be found here:

You now have the chance to ride any of Ontario bikepacking routes in style by making use of the shuttle services of Ghost Gravel. They can arrange transportation of your gear and will also provide food services. And their one-of-a-kind off-road espresso cart will keep riders well buzzed. Think of it as the ultimate sag wagon. Details of this service here:

I am always eager to hear from potential trail angels who can provide tenting space, a bed for an evening, water bottle refills or any other services for riders. So if you live in the proximity of any of the routes and would like to join this growing community please let me know. Trail angels report 100% satisfaction.

I’ve been working on my biggest cycling project to date. A proper cross-Canada bikepacking route that makes use of some existing routes from coast to coast. It’s going to be massive. Here is a sneak peek of how it is coming together (now more than 10,000 km): (Note that nothing on the route is finalized yet.) I will be looking for riders who are interested in testing out certain sections along the route in any of the provinces as well as the portion that dips down into the US. The goal would be to have a route that is ready to roll by 2024. If interested in helping out with this project in any way let me know.

Finally, if you want some tasty on-trail nutrition, you can download my free energy ball cookbook here: Every flavour to suit every palate.

Matthew Kadey MSc., RD


Get The Consummate Athelete Bike Packing Training Plan Here


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