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 […]

Rent versus Schlep

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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!

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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 […]