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 […]

Family Cycling Vacations

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Are you in need of a fun family getaway after months of isolation and virtual schooling? With many usual summer spots not operational, you may want to consider a custom cycling tour. You can design an adventure within 30 minutes or 3 hours from home, on quiet roads or bike trails, and with as much or as little support as you need. And the best part for 2020 – it is outdoors with minimal exposure to people outside of your social bubble. While cycle touring is not for all kids, many love the sense of independence and freedom they get from having control over their own transportation. On bikes, it is easier to get parents to stop to check out a sight or sample some ice cream than it is in the car, where adults often whizz by, either notified […]

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 […]

Lake Rosseau Loop

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Once we are allowed out to play again, here is a Muskoka route to consider… If you have half a day to spare, are up for spectacular scenery and challenging hills, and enjoy a well-placed mid-route coffee shop, then the Lake Rosseau Loop is for you. This is another one from our fully supported and guided Georgian Bay – Muskoka 6-day trip, our signature tour. The Lake Rosseau Loop is about 65 kilometres and includes 917 metres of climbing. It is a loop, so of course you can start wherever you like, but Port Carling is a good choice as it is well-serviced for any pre- and post-ride needs you may have. It has several great food and beverage choices, and you will have earned your lunch by the end of this ride! Stuff to know before heading out Start […]

Tiny and Tay Route: A Trail of Two Dogs

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Tiny and Tay townships in north Simcoe County are known for their rich history, adjacency to Georgian Bay, and… being the namesakes of dogs owned by the wife of the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1818-1828. Today I am sharing a route that is  part of our Georgian Bay – Muskoka tour, so you can start planning ahead for easier times. It is  a delightful, moderate-difficulty point-to-point trip that cuts through both townships, starting just outside of Waubashene and ending in the town of Wasaga Beach, with an optional extension to Collingwood. It is mostly flat, with the notable exception of a hill out of Midland. Much of the ride is along the scenic shores of Georgian Bay. The route is 75km one way. There is a route map and link to a mapmyride file at the end of […]

Ten benefits of e-bikes

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In the Limburg region of the Netherlands a couple of years ago, I found myself cycling behind an elderly woman on a heavy-looking touring bike, laden with shopping bags. I assumed I would catch up and pass her on the moderate slope we were climbing. I did not. If the truth be told, she gradually pulled away from me despite my increasingly desperate efforts to close the gap. When I got to the top, winded from the ego-bruising chase, Mr. Humdinger said, “You know she was on an e-bike, right?” No, I did not know… Since then, e-bikes have been turning up in my world very regularly, and causing me much less frustration. At last winter’s Montreal and Toronto bike shows, many large manufacturers had them front and centre in their displays. Humdinger guests have brought e-bikes on tours, either […]

Considering a cycling tour in Ontario? Consider fully supported and guided!

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I have been an active tourism industry consumer essentially my whole life, starting in the 70s, bouncing around untethered in the very back of a fake-wood-paneled station wagon on Ontario’s Highway 401, with thousands of other eastbound families planning to spend March Break skiing in the mountains of Quebec or Vermont. Cycling tours started later, about 1992, when I went on a bike-packing trip to Denmark. It was a self-guided tour. We planned our trip around where we wanted to go in Denmark, not where the cycling would be best. I learned that Denmark is mostly, but not entirely, flat, and that the winds off the North Sea are, well, windy. Since then, I have had the joy of many cycling trips and tours, including road biking in the Netherlands and France; seeing Berlin on a cruiser bike on a […]