Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-03-03, 05:41 PM   #1
stokell
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
stokell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: On the Road
Bikes: Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Trail trip

Many of you know I have been planning a trip along the Lakefront Trail from Toronto to Hamilton and then along the rail trails to Lake Erie and back to Toronto along the Lakefront Trail.

DAY ONE
Toronto to Hamilton. What can I say about the Lakefront Trail? It appears and disappears, sometimes leaving you in harms way, but I donít know how else you would get from Toronto to Hamilton. It is worthwhile picking up a copy of the Waterfront Trail Mapbook from MapArt at $CDN 10.
http://www.mapart.com/

In Burlington you get an option of going into Hamilton or heading south along the Lake. I took the former as one of the great pubs in our country is in Hamilton. I also have relatives there. I would suggest avoiding going down Spring Garden Road and instead head out onto Plains Road. There is a pseudo bike lane most of the way along and you can avoid two killer hills.
If you decide to go into Hamilton check out the Winking Judge on Augusta, right near the GO transit station. They are bike friendly. If you have a very expensive bike you can bring it in and leave it near the bar. They always have a real ale on a hand pump and have a great selection of otherwise unobtainable ales on CO2.
This time they had Corporal Punishment on the engine. The publican told me the ABV, and itís in the 8% range but I had three so I have now forgotten. For the more sober they usually have Scottish Irish Session Ale. At around 4%, this is a great beer that wonít bite back. A real treat. Dark, malty with a hop bitterness that would make a hop farmer blush.

DAY TWO
I had already checked out the start of the rail trail in Hamilton. I started through the Corktown Park on a rainy cold Thursday morning. The trail takes you up the side of Hamilton mountain, more properly known as the Niagara Escarpment. Trains are notorious for not liking hills, so the grade doesnít get more than about 5%. I did it in10th gear out of 21. The views are of the Ďdark satanic millí variety as, letís face it, Hamilton is a very ugly city.
Once at the top, the trail leaves the old rail bed and heads over to a park where it ends. I spoke to a couple of locals who directed me to Rymal Road to catch up with it again. They said it didnít connect because of an expressway. Rymal Road is like a narrow two lane expressway so I rode on the wide dirt verge until I found the trail. It headed back towards the old trail, but I didnít investigate to see if I could have avoided the detour.
The trail abruptly ends at Haldibrook Road, some kilometres from the advertised Caledonia on the map.
I decided that since I was fighting a headwind and losing time like a drunken sailor, that I would then head directly to Smithville where my reserved Bed and Breakfast was. Good choice it was too, as I didnít get in until around 4:00 and was really exhausted.

DAY THREE
This entire area is packed with vinyards, so if you want you can easily turn a trip into a wine crawl, although I would not consume alcohol while biking.
I left Smithville just after 8:00 and hit County Road 14. It wasnít too busy, but it got really foggy and cold, so I was thrilled to get to Mud road. It is paved and has a .5M wide lane that made me more confident when I heard a truck behind. I was warned by the B&B lady not to go down Park Road because it was too steep. I headed down Woolverton and found the descent acceptable. I then hit the North Service Road paralleling the QEW. Itís not as bad as you might think and soon I was in Hamilton where the Waterfront Trail starts again. With all the new trails, it was all off-road from there until I hit the GO Transit train in Burlington.

Last edited by stokell; 05-03-03 at 06:23 PM.
stokell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-03, 01:01 PM   #2
pinerider
bici accumulatori
 
pinerider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ottawa, Maberly, Apsley, Ontario
Bikes: 1985 Nishiki International Touring Bike, 1992 Vitus 979 road bike, 1996 Bianchi Premio road bike, 2002 Thin Blue LIne CO2 mountain bike, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa touring bike, 1964 CCM roadster, 1959 CCM Motorbike, 2002 KHS FXT mtb + more to fix!
Posts: 855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by stokell
. I started through the Corktown Park on a rainy cold Thursday morning....
The views are of the Ďdark satanic millí variety as, letís face it, Hamilton is a very ugly city.
Sorry, Stokell I have to disagree. We may have some unsightly spots, but overall Hamilton is very scenic and a nice place. When you're looking through a "cold rainy day", it is difficult to see the good sometimes. It's too bad you weren't here on a nice day.



The "dark satanic steel mills" are only a small part of the scenery here. The rail trail you were on provides some spectacular views of Lake Ontario. Too bad your eyes were stuck on the steel mills.
pinerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-03, 09:13 PM   #3
juciluci
Senior Member
 
juciluci's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Toronto,ontario,Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 299
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
3 days?...sounds almost like a pub crawl i did once in London..lol but that's another story ..Did you make it up to the Horseshoe?.. the niagara parkway is incredible.. there is a PATH not a trail.. and its pretty messed up.. but if you take the road, there is some amazing views.. tour Buses can drive a little to close for comfort tho.
Where the time trials for the worlds will be held is amazing.. Scenic Driveway(pkwy?) i believe it is called. I don't see how you missed the Lake. ..

glad you had a good time
juciluci is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-03, 09:23 PM   #4
Gordon P
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Quote:
Sorry, Stokell I have to disagree. We may have some unsightly spots, but overall Hamilton is very scenic and a nice place. When you're looking through a "cold rainy day", it is difficult to see the good sometimes. It's too bad you weren't here on a nice day.
I agree pinerider that Hamilton does have its nice spots, I found the hiking great around the city. The thing I had a problem with was trying to find a place to eat on a Sunday morning.

Stokell glad you had a good pub-crawl and that the cycling was good. What is your next tour going to be?


  Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-03, 11:12 AM   #5
stokell
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
stokell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: On the Road
Bikes: Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Two words:
Burlington Street.

I certainly hope Hamiltonians were not offended by my remarks. I plead pros. 'Dark satanic mills' is from a poem by Willaim Blake. I thought it fit well as through the fog, all I could see (and smell) were the steel mills.

I like Hamilton, but it is not good to be in denial about its' short-comings including a 'hole-in-the-doughnut' downtown and its lunch bucket origins. I am quick to point out that I stated that it already has one of the best pubs in Canada.

I will be volunteering at the 'Worlds' in Hamilton this October. This alone should be seen as a sign of my support.
stokell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-03, 08:08 PM   #6
claire
Senior Member
 
claire's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Paris, France
Bikes: Mikado De Champlain, Decathlon Cobra 600, Orbea Enol
Posts: 401
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did something quite similar last summer: Toronto-Hamilton-Fort erie (going along the GRand River- very nice)- Niagara River- back on the Lakefront. I must say it was a very nice trip (took us about 4 days). One funny thing happened to us in Hamilton: we had left Toronto in the morning and we wanted to go up the Escarpment before seeting up the camp, but it was pouring rain really bad and we were getting very worried for our sleeping bags to get wet. So we stopped at the bottom of the road that goes up the Escarpment hoping that the rain would stop soon, and had a few coffees in a little neighborhood bar. I don't know if you guys ever tried to ask some advice to the locals who never ride a bike about the road to bike (actually most people don't wait for you to ask), but we heard the most funny advice, like "go on Highway whatever", or "yeah, the campsite is not far, it will take you half an hour (it's actaully half an hour by CAR)... This day I learnt not to trust people who see everything from their car driver point of vue...
Other than that, it was a great little trip!
claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-03, 06:32 AM   #7
pinerider
bici accumulatori
 
pinerider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hamilton, Ottawa, Maberly, Apsley, Ontario
Bikes: 1985 Nishiki International Touring Bike, 1992 Vitus 979 road bike, 1996 Bianchi Premio road bike, 2002 Thin Blue LIne CO2 mountain bike, 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa touring bike, 1964 CCM roadster, 1959 CCM Motorbike, 2002 KHS FXT mtb + more to fix!
Posts: 855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by claire
This day I learnt not to trust people who see everything from their car driver point of vue...
Just gives more credance to the credo "never stop to ask for directions" that is genetically embedded in all males of the species.
pinerider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-03, 07:49 AM   #8
stokell
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
stokell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: On the Road
Bikes: Custom built tourer, custom electric bike, beaters everywhere
Posts: 1,260
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Claire: This used to happen to me all the time in Britain. I'd stop to ask directions to say, York and they would say: "Go up to the Punch and Puddle (pub), turn right and take the number 37 bus." When I explained that I was going by bicycle they would say "Oh, don't know. Never been to York by bicycle before. I always take the bus."

In North America, the car mentality is so imbedded that some people think we ride on the highways just like they do.

I've also been offered rides. Car drivers seem to think I'm biking long distances out of some sort of economic deprivation.
stokell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:10 PM.