Climbing Hills is a Blast!

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Climbing Hills is a Blast! By Lisa Pottier Are you intrigued by hills but doubt you can do it? Did you ever try one but feel you almost suffocated? Or maybe you can’t even get your head around why anyone would ever want to climb a hill on a bike, and how could that possibly could be positive? Read on to learn how I learned to love hills! Why hills are the way to go  The aesthetic Whether on a bike, hiking, or in a car, rolling or steep landscapes almost always beat flat ones as far as astonishment, surprises and character. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely love flat landscapes, but the twisty roads with varying elevations that allow last minute glimpses to a wonderful barn, lake or field are the ones that steal my heart the most. Clifftops […]

A Healthy Dose of Fun with Private, Small Group Cycling Tours!

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A Healthy Dose of Fun with Private, Small Group Cycling Tours! This is the summer of the private, small group cycling tour. Move outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, spin your legs, see the sights and taste the local fare with a group of close friends. Building your own bike tour allows you to decide where you are going, when, and with whom. It keeps things fun, safe and healthy!  Add in some custom support such as luggage transfer and other services and the trip becomes relaxing, low-stress vacation for everyone. Where to ride? Ontario offers every type of cycling in every corner of the province. There are many great resources for some big picture planning, such as Cycle Simcoe, Ontario by Bike and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. At Humdinger Bicycle Tours, we operate in Ontario’s loosely-defined “cottage country”, […]

Keep the legs spinning all winter, part 1: Give Zwift a chance!

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Zwift makes indoor riding suck less. A lot less. As a cyclist who disdains the trainer, I previously limited myself to one spin class per week and chose instead skiing, snowshoeing or running as winter activities – anything to get me outside and off the stationary bike. But last year, Mr. Humdinger and I decided to buy a smart trainer and try Zwift. And despite having been a confirmed skeptic known to openly eye-roll when Zwifters pontificated, I fell for the game almost instantly. I fell for the experience points, the sweat droplets, the ride-ons, the sprint and KOM/QOM challenges, the “close the gap” messages, and, I am more than a little embarrassed to say, I even fell for the garage. The garage is where you dress your avatar and buy new equipment. Of course, more kits and accessories are […]

Summer Summary and Looking Ahead to 2021

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Thanks for a great summer! A huge thank you to everyone who got out cycling this summer and supported local bike businesses, cafés, restaurants, breweries/wineries and all other manner of small businesses along your routes. In an obvious understatement, it has been a crazy few months.  Like almost everyone else in the tourism industry, March and April were marked by booking cancelations and sleepless nights. Fortunately, with the COVID-19 reprieve over the summer and a renewed interest in cycling, we were able to run tours. To meet 2020’s unique needs, we focused on local day and weekend trips, and custom tours. Pedal, Pints & Pubs Orillia We were really lucky that Orillia and area suddenly became home to two craft breweries this spring, where previously there had been none. This presented an opportunity to introduce a Pedal, Pints & Pubs […]

The Chef, the Guide, and the Boss-Lady: Adventures in Bruce County

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During this year of ups and downs, three of us recently had a few fabulous “up” days in Bruce County. The Beautiful Bruce County Bike Tour is new to Humdinger for 2020, and as we are planning to run it at the end of September, we thought we should finalize some of the details. Chef Fiona joined Guide Alec and me to ensure we were well nourished throughout the expedition. We explored from Point Clark to Pike Bay on the Huron shores before heading over to the Georgian Bay side of the Bruce Peninsula to check out Dyer’s Bay, Lion’s Head, and Wiarton. The upshot? The riding is excellent, there is no shortage of cool places to stop, and the scenery is spectacular. Kincardine and Point Clark From Kincardine we did an out and back ride to Point Clark. The […]

Sunglasses in Haliburton Cycling Route

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Post pandemic planning continues… This week we are checking out the Sunglasses route in  Haliburton Highlands. It is so named for its shape, and it was developed for our Hills of Huntsville & Haliburton tour. A flattish section makes an appearance on our novice-oriented Pedal, Pints & Pubs tour. The route is 68 kilometres and has almost 600 metres of climbing. It starts in the town of Minden and makes a figure 8 that includes South Lake Road, Kashagawigamog Lake Road, Gelert Road, and Bethel Road, and a wee excursion down Deep Bay Road to add on the arm of the sunglasses- see mapmyride link at the bottom of this post. As with all of our routes, this one has great scenery, including a chance to view paddlers at the Minden Whitewater Preserve. Stuff to know before you go There […]

Towards sustainability and beyond

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Sustainability has been part of the vision for Humdinger since day one. However, if the truth be told, I did not initially know what that meant or how to implement it. Since Humdinger’s inception in late 2017, I have learned a lot about sustainability, and what is and is not feasible to implement in the current context. As part of our sustainability journey, we were certified recently as a living wage employer by the Ontario Living Wage Network. I am so proud of this! Now seems like a good time to talk about sustainable business practices and sustainable development in general, and what I am trying to accomplish with Humdinger Bicycle Tours. A commonly used definition of sustainability, from The Bruntland Report, is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own […]

Add some science to your goal setting

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Happy New Year, Happy New Decade! It seems to have become an annual tradition that I write something about goal setting and goal achievement to kick start the year. For 2020, here is an overview on what the current science says about goal setting. What is a goal? Quite simply, a goal is a target, an aim, or an objective. It is something you want to do. It is not a wish or a need, but rather a more concrete entity that results from the conscious consideration of wishes and needs. Often the goal is articulated or written, but it can also be kept in mind without being externalized. Just having a goal is believed to impact our actions. We become energized and motivated, and we focus more on activities that are relevant to the goal. Does goal setting work? […]

Rent versus Schlep

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If you are flying to your next cycling destination, you may be asking: Should I schlep my bike or consider bike rental once I get there? I went through some thinking on this a few years ago, crunched the numbers, and the definitive, mathematically-derived answer was to schlep the bike. We found carbon frame road bikes for ~500$ per person per week, or about $1000 Canadian dollars for a couple. Or, we could bring our own for a $50 charge on Air Canada. Done. Oh, wait. Fifty dollars each way. Per person. So the cost was now $200 versus $1000 for bike rental. Who wouldn’t schlep to save $800? We could borrow one hard case box from a friend, and rent the other from our local bike shop for $5 a day. We were up to $235, but still well […]