Biking Adventure Across Canada: Evan Mant
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
Who is Evan Mant?
Queen's University; Born and bred on the North Shore of Vancouver BC, Evan Mant is a bike enthusiast. In his teen years, he raced mountain bikes semi-professionally, most notably winning the U21 Boys Overall on the 2016 B.C. Enduro Series. From fixie (fixed gear bike) tricks to Cross-Canada bikepacking and everything in between, it's safe to say Evan loves riding two wheels.
Q1. How did you get into biking?
"I was lucky enough to be introduced to the sport from a young age. In the beginning, I improved slowly, only riding from time to time at my local mountains. I started to really get into it once I downloaded Strava and began competing to get some of the faster times on popular segments. I continued my progression by entering some local races and ended up being picked up by a racing team for a couple of years. Ever since I've been hooked on bikes."
Trip of a Lifetime:
Q2.What is your greatest adventure on two wheels?
"Probably my trip across Canada on my bike last summer. The trip took 29 days from Vancouver to Kingston Ontario. Overall, it was 4,850 kilometres with 34,350 metres (112,700ft) of elevation gain. I was by myself, which was nice because I could go at a pace that was comfortable for me." --> Check out the journey on Strava
Q3. What did you bring?
I took three shirts, one chamois, riding shorts and a couple of pairs of socks. For sleeping, I brought a one-man tent and sleeping bag, but no pad. Funny enough, after the trip, I couldn't sleep in a normal bed because I was too used to spending my nights on the ground. All of this equipment fit in a large frame bag on my bike and I chose to ride my fixie (a road bike with only 1 gear) because it's lightweight, stylish, and requires less maintenance. All said and done, the gear and my bike weighed roughly 50 pounds.
Q4. What was your biggest high and low of the trip?
Times were tough whenever there was a headwind (wind blowing against your riding direction). With a headwind, I'd not only have to use more energy, but the drag would also stifle my progress significantly and I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere.
Across the prairies, the exposure of the landscape and my lack of riding companions were a real mental test.
I would say the whole trip (minus headwinds) was a highlight in a way. Traveling by bike is a super rewarding way to visit places. You can take in more of the scenery than when you are driving and can move much quicker then if you are on foot. As cliché as it is, it was about the journey, not the destination. The thrill of not knowing what was beyond the next hill or around the next corner made it all worth it.
Q5. What does biking mean to you?
Riding is great for my mental health and helps provide an escape from the stress of day to day life. Time in the forest helps me sort through my life and calm me down. I also love its challenge; there are so many ways to push your limit. From big trips like the across Canada fixie trip, to weekend warrior sends on my local mountains, I like pushing myself and seeing what is possible.
Q6. Do you have any recommendations for people getting into the sport, or looking to take their riding to the next level?
"I’d say just go for it. A great example of this is my trip across Canada. A weekend bikepacking trip to Vancouver Island was my only training run.
"I didn’t plan where I was eating, sleeping, and only had a rough idea of my route. Don’t get lost in the logistics. In riding and life, it’s important to take the leap of faith. Go out there and make some memories."
Follow Evan Mant on Instagram @bikeboiiii
More videos of Evan Mant here: