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  1. #1
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Interest Check on Toronto to Niagara Weekend Ride

    I've noticed a couple of threads this past summer on people interested in riding down to Niagara. I was wondering if there is any interest in a Toronto to Niagara return self-supporting trip? Basically, cycle down to there, admire the gushing water, find a bathroom immediately afterwards , camp, head back next day to Toronto? ie. Saturday/Sunday ride.

    This would be late September or early October (whenever the trees are changing colour). The route would be the mid-peninsula one which swould have more scenery and, more importantly, fruit stands.

    We could break it up into a "fast" group and a "slow" group if need be.

    Also, if you live in various spots along the way, you'll be more than welcome to join up for any part of the ride you like.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Out of 27 views and only one reply? I'd better check my deodorant.

    I'd also like to point out to any oeniphiles that the mid-peninsula route will include a few wineries that you can stop in at. You're responsible for hauling your own goodies though.
    Last edited by IronMac; 09-03-06 at 04:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    I'd go with you, if I wasn't so far away! Make sure and stop at Maleivoire winery. Their 2004 Moira Vineyard Chardonnay is supposed to be very good. It's also organic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
    I'd go with you, if I wasn't so far away! Make sure and stop at Maleivoire winery. Their 2004 Moira Vineyard Chardonnay is supposed to be very good. It's also organic.
    Yeah, this winery would be on the mid-peninsular route to the 'Falls. So far, i've got one person signed up for this so it's not bad. I'm going to start planning a bit more than simply knowing the route. That's the easy part.

    FYI, no need for anyone to fear that we're going to tackle the Niagara Escarpment. I'm not planning on it but if you want to do it I may be able to point out a short route that will take you to an old working watermill nearby.

  6. #6
    wheezer geezer
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    FYI, no need for anyone to fear that we're going to tackle the Niagara Escarpment. I'm not planning on it but if you want to do it I may be able to point out a short route that will take you to an old working watermill nearby.
    Which old working watermill are you refering to? The one at Balls Falls or the one at Decew Falls. Just wondering.

    Balls Falls
    http://www.infoniagara.com/recreation/hiking/balls.html

    Decew Falls
    http://www.infoniagara.com/recreation/hiking/decew.html

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    It's the one at Decew Falls called the Morningstar Mill.

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    A good friend of mine has suggested that we could always have an option where people who don't want to do the full trip can take the GO train out to Oakville (or wherever) and meet up there. Or, even, take the GO train back.

    So, we're going to try to be very flexible here. He also said to watch out for "macho" riders so if you zoom ahead and become lost you're on your own. hehehe

  9. #9
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Hmmm, my wife was wondering about doing this. Do you have a route already? Can you put it on Gmap so we can have a look.

    And how slow is the slow group? She did a 100km ride this weekend at 16km/h average.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspar_s
    Hmmm, my wife was wondering about doing this. Do you have a route already? Can you put it on Gmap so we can have a look.

    And how slow is the slow group? She did a 100km ride this weekend at 16km/h average.
    Hiya Caspar,

    I don't have a route set just yet. I'm thinking that it will be the same as the route that I did a month ago to get into the 'Falls since it does incorporate part of the Winery Tour/Route. But, I am considering altering part of that for a variety of reasons that includes more fruit stands, better road conditions, more wineries, and skirting closer to the Escarpment. I will see if I cannot do some personal scouting this coming weekend of an alternative route. All routes will end up in St Catherines and go from there onto the Welland Canal Path and, then, into the 'Falls' area.

    As for speed, loaded down I can only dream of doing 16km/h!

    Cheers!

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    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    All routes will end up in St Catherines
    It's St Catharines with an A, eh?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
    It's St Catharines with an A, eh?
    Oops! I'm not even sure if there is a period after St!

    As an update, I went to the Ontario Tourism office nearby and picked up some materials to help plan out the route so I will get to work on that tomorrow and should have something up on Google Maps for everyone to check out. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask them which weekend are the trees most likely to turn colour. One thing is for certain, this trip will not take place over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

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    Hi ,I did it about a month ago , just to see if touring is for me, I went to Niagara On The Lake, and then I took the parkway to the falls, it was about 157 KM, becaus I missed a couple of turns....lol... got my self a motel, went to the Casino, and took the bus back to Toronto, I would love to do it again, sign me up.

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    I would love to do it. It would depend on the dates. I have already paid for a trip to visit my daughter in California and go hiking at Yosemite. We will be gone from 9/22 to 10/2. My non-packed cycling speed is comfortably 15-17 mph. I have only gone on supported week long rides, so I don't know how much slower loaded touring will be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by outashape
    I would love to do it. It would depend on the dates. I have already paid for a trip to visit my daughter in California and go hiking at Yosemite. We will be gone from 9/22 to 10/2. My non-packed cycling speed is comfortably 15-17 mph. I have only gone on supported week long rides, so I don't know how much slower loaded touring will be.
    My non-packed speed is about that too. Realistically, I just knock off about 5 km from that.

    The following is a tentative route using Google's Pedo-Map thingy:

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=417363

    For most of the peninsula I am working from the VQA's Official Guide to the Wineries of Ontario booklet. The route from Winona to Jordan is exactly the same one that I've used before. There are eleven wineries, including Lolly Pop's suggested Malivoire Winery, within easy reach of this particular stretch. It's almost entirely flat (as in bike flat not car flat) with the exception of at least two steep ravines/valleys just west of Jordan. I'm going to leave the remainder of the route unfinished for now because I want to see if I can ride down there this weekend (not sure since my right ankle has developed a sharp pain since Monday) and check out a road called Pelham Rd. which may be pretty scenic.

    Stay tuned as I develop the route a bit more but I wouldn't worry too much about it...as I've noted before all roads in the area seem to end up at the 'Falls.

    Right, I would also like to get some details as to how many people have tents/camping gear/etc. and who will be willing to carry what? Like I said before, the plan is for this to be a self-supporting bike camping tour. Of course, if you want to check in to a motel/hotel, that option is open to you too.

    P.S. One last thing, my friend who's done a lot of this, says that participants should NOT drink any wine during the ride itself - not even a glass. Something to do with oxygen and sapping all of your energy. No, it's not because you're drunk. LOL! So, best thing to do is to buy a bottle or two and bring it to the campground. Of course, if you want to test out his hypothesis, go right ahead.
    Last edited by IronMac; 09-06-06 at 10:57 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    The Hamilton lake trail thing goes all the way through Confederation park and then you get onto side streets and a path that ends at Millen Ave if you want to cut a bit off the Barton Road (8). The curvy "road" at the lakeshore end of Millen is actually the bike path that Google maps has misidentified.

    Went to Winona for the peach fesitval 26th August.

    The wife and I are interested - we've got a tent, etc all ready from this weekend. That 16km/h was her loaded and on her mountain bike - and walking up the hills.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Iron Mac -- things are moving along! Pelham Road is nice, but only south of Glendale. North of it is narrow and busy. South is rural and scenic.

    Have fun at the wineries. The Grape and Wine Festival is on soon.

    I agree about not drinking. Get a bottle to go instead.

    As for the trees changing colour, you should be okay any time before Hallowe'en.

  18. #18
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    Caspar, yeah, Google isn't perfect which is why I prefer doing "on the ground" site visits.

    I missed the Winona peach festival...I think it was because of bad weather and something else. I love ripe peaches...what am I saying? I love ripe fruit, period!!!

    I've also got a couple of tents (2-and 3-person) but I need to test them out first. No, I'm only willing to carry one of them! Also have a Whisperlite stove but my cooking set is meant for one hungry tourer so will need more/bigger pots/pans unless we do individual meals one after the other.

    Lolly Pop, yeah, it's snowballing fast and so far it looks like we've got 5 people in total and we've still got a couple of more weeks to go before people really can decide.

    I thought Pelham ran west to east?

    We have to schedule the weekend of this tour against Thanksgiving and the Toronto Fall Bike Show (need new gloves, tires, etc.). I'm not even going to consider Oktoberfest! Although, if this tour works out, then, maybe next year a trip to Kitchener/Waterloo for Oktoberfest and its attendant fatty foods.

    Right now, only worried about the weather. Hate for this to be rained out. Maybe if they say 30% chance of rain we will still shoot for it although I ended up taking those odds a couple of months back and ended up with enough rain that it was puddling two inches high on the bike path.
    Last edited by IronMac; 09-06-06 at 06:47 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    Good luck Iron Mac! Hope you get the perfect weekend with those crinkly crispy leaves on the trail, dry of course. I miss the fall weather there so much!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
    Good luck Iron Mac! Hope you get the perfect weekend with those crinkly crispy leaves on the trail, dry of course. I miss the fall weather there so much!
    Thanks Lolly Pop. I thought that Ireland had that sort of weather too? I've got a friend who's touring right now over there. He's on Arran's main island of Inishmor or is he now in Gallway? I'll have to check his email again.

  21. #21
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    Hey IronMac - drop me a line if you need any suggestions. I live in St. Catharines (St. Kitts) and ride the area quit a bit, many different routes to take pending your like/dis-like for traffic.
    Just a few notes regarding the above posts:You will have to tackle the escarpment to get to the Nia Falls but depending on the route it's not too bad. Balls Fals and Decew Falls are great sites to see - both are on top of the escarpment though. Pelham Road does run E-W. The Grape and Wine now called the Niagara Wine Festival runs from Sept 22 to Oct 1 - Montebello Park in St. Kitts has a lot of vendors set up for vino and food and the parade is on the 30th. The Confederation trail is OK but can be very busy with peds, the N Service Road from Stoney Creek all the way to St. Kitts has a bike lane but the route is along the QEW and not the most scenic except for the lake. Travelling the Regional Road 81 is OK but it has no bike lane and is a narrow road with ditches and very little shoulder in some areas.
    As a suggestion you could travel the N Service Road from Stoney Creek all the way to Pt Dalhousie (the northern part of St. Kitts), then take Lakeshore Road to Nia-on-the-lake (NOTL). Lakeshore Rd is scenic and has a bike lane once you get on the East side of the Welland Canal. Travelling along Lakeshore you will go by fruit stands and wineries. From Nia-on-the-Lake you go south on the Niagara Parkway (road) or on the paved trail that travels along the Niagara River from NOTL to Ft. Erie and the trail goes right through Nia Falls. This will be a more direct route but everyone likes something different. FYI from the N Service road you can ride south up to the wineries (such as Maloviere) that are dotted along reg Rd 81 - depending on where you are it's only a couple miles one way. There are approx 60 wineries in the Nia Peninsula, not all of them are on the wine route map - any route you take will run you by wineries and vineyards. Harvest is just starting so you may see your share of harvesters.
    Let me know if you need any help or suggestions and if you let me know the dates I might come ride with you for a while.
    jim

  22. #22
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Hi jisaak,

    Thanks for the suggested route and you're more than welcome to join us on part of this tour. We could take the route along Niagara-on-the-Lake on the return portion or vice versa. I don't seem to have really encountered the escarpment on my rides with the exception of Decew Falls that one time. When I rolled into the 'Falls, the only big hills I saw were near Jordan and Glendale(?) road.

    FYI everyone concerning the date for this; it will be on the weekend of October 14-15 which is the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend before the Toronto Fall Bike Show. I'm hoping that the colours should be good at this time.

    I've yet to narrow the camping accomodations but almost all of the campgrounds in the area end their season on Oct. 31st. Problem is that they all have shockingly onerous cancellation policies. I'm leaning towards the KOA or the Jellystone campgrounds because the loss would be only $10 per campsite for cancelling 48 hours ahead of time with full loss of course after that. They're both closely situated southwest of the 'Falls and are easy to get to.
    Last edited by IronMac; 09-13-06 at 11:14 AM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Lolly Pop's Avatar
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    You are gonna have such a good time. That is the perfect weekend to go. Have a blast!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
    You are gonna have such a good time. That is the perfect weekend to go. Have a blast!
    Thanks Lolly Pop! The only fly in the ointment is the possibility of rain and the fact that you can't make it!

  25. #25
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    IronMac - FYI there is hostel in Niagara Falls if you want to avoid the rain when camping. It's located north of the falls on Bridge street.

    jim

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