Summer Summary and Looking Ahead to 2021

Posted on

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 […]

Build Your Own Bike Tour

Posted on

Are you seeking a fun, close-to-home, safe and physically-distanced holiday this summer? Look no further than cycle touring. Move outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, see the sites and get a wee bit of exercise. This summer, as we cautiously start to reopen after the long isolation of COVID-19, a self-directed tour might be the way to go. Building your own bike tour allows you to decide where you are going, when, and with whom. Adding in some custom support such as luggage transfer and other services can transform the trip into a vacation. Where to ride? Ontario offers every type of cycling in every corner of the province. Two great resources for some big picture planning are Ontario by Bike and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. At Humdinger Bicycle Tours, we operate in Ontario’s loosely-defined “cottage country”, where Ontarians […]

Sunglasses in Haliburton Cycling Route

Posted on

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

Posted on

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 […]

Rent versus Schlep

Posted on

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 […]

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

Posted on

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 […]