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 […]

The devil is in the details: Building the Georgian Bay-Muskoka 6 day tour

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The short version of this post? The Georgian Bay-Muskoka 6 day trip is cool. The last couple of weeks I have been making phone calls, sending emails, and going on field trips to finalize various details, and can confirm that this trip is a humdinger. It visits not one but two UNESCO biosphere reserves (Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands and the Niagara Escarpment), the oft-National-Geographic-featured Muskoka, and the world’s longest freshwater beach, Wasaga (part of Cycle Simcoe’s 7 Beaches Route). It has over 400 kilometres of cycling on scenic, mostly low-traffic roads, boutique accommodations, boat cruises, delicious food, and so much more! The trip has a soft start with a meet-up in Orillia and a van ride to Parry Sound. Then things get busy. We have to fit in a trip to the very cool Parry Sound Bikes (and a visit with the […]