Ontario By Bike E-News: May
We hope that you our valued readers and fellow cycling enthusiasts will make use of the info and resources below as well as online to inspire and plan your bicycle trips and outings whether that be locally, or when the time is right, and as restrictions allow, to destinations and bicycle friendly businesses around Ontario. 
Until we connect again, 
enjoy the read, visit our website, stay in touch on social media 
and most importantly stay healthy and fit.

Rolling on the Rail Trail:
Cycling the K&P from Sharbot Lake to Calabogie

Photo Credit: Tanner Pare

Last year, avid cyclist and musician Jonas Bonnetta set himself an ambitious goal. Before the leaves turned he wanted to ride a 380km loop in three days from Sharbot Lake to Calabogie and back. And so the Choo Choo Loop was born, a homage to the railway lines the route follows. Read our new guest blog and learn about this fantastic route. Discover the beauty and sceneries of the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County, where you will find quaint towns, rich history and lots of great places to rest and fuel up.  

Click the button below to read the full story and get inspired for your next trail ride.
Discover Art and Toronto Flavours by Bike
Photo Credit: Destination Ontario

Summer hits Toronto hard, sending Torontonians out on the streets and in to parks to eat, drink, and be merry, making the most of the season. And there's usually a bike in there somewhere, too. With an impressive number of bike lanes and an increasing number of bike share bicycles popping up across the city, Toronto is a top destination to be explored on two wheels. Make plans this summer to jump on a bike and head out to visit the city's vibrant art scene. Stop along the way for world class food from a multitude of ethnic cuisines as well as local craft breweries to quench your thirst. 

Whether you are looking for urban trails around the parks and ravines or want to cycle down the bike lanes through the buzzing downtown core, Toronto offers a ride adventure for everyone. 

Read our new blog and start planning your next city ride. 

ActiveTO - If you live in Toronto you may want to take advantage of and get out and ride this weekend, May 15 and 16, the Lakeshore West closure. This may be the only weekend it closes this summer as this most popular highway ride route from 2020 was not scheduled to return due to nearby road construction. Find updates on all weekend closures HERE. 
Bike Advice: From Local Bike Stores

As a cyclist you have likely heard by now about the serious bike shortages, supply chain issues and challenges local bike stores have been experiencing meeting the huge increase in demand. To help you have a great ride season we reached out to a few bike stores and got the following useful advice to share:
Bike Maintenance
  • Where possible, do all you can to self-maintain your bike in good working condition, helping make your bike and all parts last longer.
  • Clean you bike and all moving parts frequently especially after a dirty ride. Don't store your bike wet and dirty.
  • Regularly oil chain to keep parts moving.
  • If you think there is a problem with your bike, don't delay in taking it to local bike store for repairs as it could end up causing more damaged parts, which may be hard to purchase and take longer to repair.
Find useful bike cleaning tips HERE and see bike repair tutorials on Park Tool Youtube channel.
Bike Sales, Accessories & Parts
  • Purchasing a new bike at this time will be a challenge due to shortages. If you see something you like, act fast. Otherwise expect to preorder for delivery dates in 2022 or 2023. 
  • If you don't find the accessories and parts you need now, they may be restocked in summer months.
  • Keep any used parts as you may end up having to reuse them.
  • If you get a flat tire, try to patch the tube before replacing it. Bike stores now have limited stock of new tubes. 
Bike Security
  • Sadly with increased demand, bike thefts are increasing too. Make sure your bike is kept fully secure and locked or indoors safely at all times. Use a high quality bike lock.
Visiting Your Local Bike Store
  • Check their website before visiting or phoning. All bike stores are operating at extreme capacity now, and this is expected to continue with no summer slowdowns. They may be taking appointments or doing service on a first come first serve basis.
  • Be patient, flexible and kind.  
  • Support your local bike store. 
Thank you to the following stores that shared info and insight: 
Ideal Bike in Belleville & Wellington; Heritage Bikes in Perth; Cyclepath Danforth in Toronto.

2021 Award Winners: 
Ontario's Best Bicycle Friendly Businesses

We are pleased to announce the 2021 Best Bicycle Friendly Business Award Winners. This is the third year of our awards, where we select one Ontario By Bike certified bicycle friendly business from each of the 13 tourism regions in Ontario.

Find a full list of all 2021 winners at: OntarioByBike.ca/2021AwardWinners

Over the coming months and in each enewsletter we will feature each award recipient. Consider stopping in at one of these locations on your next cycling adventure in their region as they have all taken the extra steps offering services and amenities to welcome cyclists. 

An ideal place to start and end a ride in Ottawa Valley, is Hugli's Blueberry Ranch. Welcoming cyclists to use their large parking lot as a base, also find bike tools, washroom and water access at this seasonal country market and store. 

Work up an appetite riding the nearby 45km Beachburg Loop or explore Pembroke cycling the Kiwanis Way, Ottawa River waterfront trail.  Back at the Ranch, make time to sample some of the tasty treats, ice creams and smoothies, blueberry milkshakes, coffee and fresh baked goods from their large scenic patio. BlueberryRanch.ca

Located just 1km from the beautiful Tay Shore Trail, a 28km paved route that hugs the Georgian Bay shoreline and is part of the longer Simcoe County Loop Trail, cyclists staying at this friendly B&B are guaranteed to find all they need. 

From loaner bikes to campfire sing songs, and an outdoor hot tub to rest any weary legs, this tranquil spot is well versed in meeting cyclists needs, with past guests hailing from Europe, USA, Mexico and across Canada. With extra bike tools on site, if you get stuck out and need more, a ride to the nearest shop is readily offered. TuckedInntheHarbour.com

In addition to the award winning bicycle friendly places to eat, sleep and visit there are a number of bike businesses that provide services and/or tours located in each region. To recognize all they offer, in 2021, special mention and an award goes out to the following in the Ontario's Highlands area:

Heritage Bikes - Located in Perth, this full service bike store has a range of products for sale as well as local T's and bike art, plus in regular years offers bike rentals and tours. Stop in to talk to enthusiastic staff who are always happy to share their favourite Lanark County local ride routes and stop awhile in the pretty park adjacent to the store. 
Explore Ontario's Southwest on a Themed Ride

Photo Credit: Ride Elgin

Cycling lends itself well to be paired with a variety of other activities. Ontario's southwest is rich in natural and cultural heritage, local foods and its diverse landscapes make it the perfect destination for a ride that offers so much more than just pedalling. Below are three themed rides to help you discover all that and even more.

Tour for Foodies - Oxford Cheese Trail:

If the combination of cycling and cheese sounds like a perfect pairing to you, then the Oxford Cheese Trail is the route for you. The self-guided tour includes 24 stops featuring cheese, dairy and other great locations for visitors to experience. Visit cheese makers, restaurants, local food producers, museums, artisans and boutiques while pedalling through pastoral farmlands, along quiet country roads, enjoying the agricultural scenery of Oxford County.

Tour for Sunbathers - Port Stanley Beach Tour:

Jumping into a lake after a hot day on the bike is definitely a great way of cooling down. Take it easy post ride and add a few hours at the beach soaking up the sun and going for a swim. The quaint little waterfront town of Port Stanley in Elgin County is the perfect location to explore the local shops and sandy beaches around Lake Erie. Visitors can use the town's bike share network with four convenient locations near the waterfront.

Tour for Nature Lovers - Middlesex Trails

Located in a natural diverse area, the county of Middlesex boasts a large number of conservation areas, wetlands and parks that can be explored by foot or bike. Home to many native species of flora and fauna, the natural habitats are fascinating places to visit and learn more about plants and wildlife. The Middlesex Trail Guide provides in-depth information on trails, permitted activities and points of interest.

Insider Tip: For those who would like to ride their bikes with kids, be sure to check out Rate the Route for many great family friendly or leisurely ride ideas across southwest Ontario.
Ontario By Bike Ride 2021 

Thank you to all that have booked to ride with us on an Ontario By Bike Rides this summer. We can't wait to ride with you. 

While we are optimistic that all rides will proceed as planned, we will be reaching out directly to all registered riders well in advance of each ride date with any updates as required. 

2021 Rides & Updates

June 19-20
Sold out
Email on status will be sent to all riders

July 3-4
Limited space available
Distance: 162km
Price: from $259
August 14-16
Sold out
August 29-29
No new bookings
Waitlist available Further notifications be sent in June
September 11-12
Sold out

To book the July Ride, get on a waitlist or for more information on your booking click on link below. 
For all other inquiries contact us directly at: [email protected] 

With our TICO-licensed partner  OK Cycle & Adventure Tours
who offer a wide range of cycling tours in Ontario and world-wide! 
We invite you to see and make use of our current ride routes and past legacy itineraries,
so you can enjoy one of our rides independently and self supported at: OntarioByBike.ca/Itineraries 
Stay Connected with Ontario By Bike!
Share using the hashtag #OntarioByBike & #BikeON!
Bikepacking Experience - From Home

Check out this ride from the comfort and safety of your own home and get inspired to adventure out when the time is right, cycling a small segment or the Grand Nith Ramble in its entirety. 

Youtube link HERE, and see full details about the route from the link above.

If you are interested in finding out more about bikepacking routes in Ontario read more HERE

June is Bike Month in Ontario

Following this yearly tradition, once again Ontario will be celebrating Bike Month from May 31 to June 30 but this year with a twist. The pandemic has forced many event organizers to get creative and so this year's Bike Month will be featuring a variety of virtual webinars, workshops, and community events to celebrate our favourite mode of transportation. 

Celebrate Bike Month across the GTHA and find all that is going on listed at BikeMonth.caFor those living in the Ottawa area, join Lets Bike Ottawa and participate in the annual campaign that fosters cycling as a healthy and ecological friendly commuting alternative. 

While there are still many uncertainties in regards to Covid-19, warmer temperatures and careful evaluation of the situation has slowly enabled event organizers to plan events for the coming months following the important health and safety guidelines. Below you can find a list of events that are planned for May and June indicated if they are held in a virtual format. Due to uncertainties and possible changes, we advise that you visit the event websites as linked to confirm status directly with the event organizers.

Virtual Ride
Month of May
Spin the Lakes
Virtual Ride
May 3 to May 29
Tour of Kincardine
Virtual Ride
May 8 - Sep 30
Virtual Event
June 4 to June 27
June 1 to June 6
June 6
June 14 to June 15
June to August
June 12 to August 29
June 1 to June 30

For events later this summer, please visit OntarioByBike.ca/Events to stay up to date with changes and newly added additions. 

If you do have any updates we should be aware of in regards to event dates please feel free to email us as we are eager to assist in helping events get back online and cyclists participating as soon as it is safe to do so.
Cycling in Ontario 2021

The 9th annual edition of our Cycling in Ontario guide is now available. On 48 pages you will find more than 50 day trips and multi-day ride ideas and itineraries for all different ride types, which will provide you with lots of inspiration and information for when we are able to get out and explore more of Ontario this cycling season. 

Digital Copy Available at: OntarioByBike.ca/2021

To Order Print Copy
  • Click on our email address [email protected] and include your mailing address
  • If you would like a French edition or multiple copies to share, let us know.
Please note that due to ongoing restrictions our processing times for individual mailouts may be longer than usual. We will send you a copy as fast as possible and thank you for your understanding. 
In The News: Bikes & Travel

From Louisa & Simon 

Ontario By Bike Network 
Project of Transportation Options 
850 Coxwell Ave ~ Toronto, ON ~ M4C 5R1 
Office: 416-827-2774 
Toll-Free: 1-866-701-2774 

Want to read more: Link to our e-Newsletter archive HERE