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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Summer Summary 2018 and Next Season Sneak Preview

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Happy Labour Day!  This unofficial end of summer seems like a good time to reflect on our very first season. It started off with a bang in June when an enthusiastic group tackled the Haliburton Pedal, Pints, and Pubs (PPP) tour head-on. The three day tour started off with a fairly gentle ride on Day 1, with, admittedly, a couple of “slopes” that provided a nice challenge to kick things off. The group rode hard and caroused even harder for three days, enjoying beer tastings and great food, and providing Humdinger with a fantastic, formal launch.  PPP ran again in July, and despite persistent pleas to the Universe for fair weather, Day 1 came with heavy rain. We had a number of indoor back-up plans in place, but this game group of women wanted to ride, and ride they did. […]

Beyond setting goals…

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Ah, the New Year, and its barrage of advice on resolutions, self-improvement, and goals… I apologize for jumping on the New Year’s goal-setting bandwagon, but it is as good a time as any to get some things off my chest on this subject, particularly about some the more nuanced concepts of mastery goals versus performance goals (aka ego goals), and a perhaps more important piece about using metacognition (planning, monitoring, and evaluating) to ensure you actually attain your goals. Mastery versus performance goals An example of a performance goal or an ego goal is “I want to be the fastest rider at our club” or “I want to win this race” or “I want to get an A in calculus”. By contrast, mastery goals would be “I want to ride the Rosseau Lake loop 5 minutes faster this week” or […]