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 […]

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 […]

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 […]