Ontario By Bike E-News: September
Ride Southwest Ontario

Credit: Tourism Oxford

Fall is one of our favourite times of the year to ride. Whether its the cool mornings, the infallible fall foliage or the autumn harvest tastes, sights and smells while riding in rural Ontario; fall cycling delivers in a big way. 

Explore the mountain bike trails at Komoko Provincial Park in Middlesex County. This is a day-use only park, so pick from several certified bicycle friendly accommodations in southwest Ontario to make as your base camp.

All aboard! Overnight in St. Thomas, also known as Railway City and ride south on the Whistlestop Trail. This off-road paved route incorporates paved shoulders and bike paths following a historic rail line. At just over 12km between St Thomas and Port Stanley, a charming beach-side resort town, this is a perfect day out for recreational cyclists!

Or challenge yourself on the Oxford Century Ride! An ultimate milestone ride at 156km, this route is ideal for goal setters and those training for longer distances.  You've been riding all year for this, but if this is longer than you'd typically ride don't fret. There are 11 other routes featured on the Ride Oxford Cycling Map

We Need Your Input - Developing Cycling Route 

Ontario By Bike / Transportation Options is currently work with partners on the development of the Voyageur Cycling Route. This route, when complete, will be 630km stretching from Sudbury to North Bay to Mattawa to Petawawa to Carlton Place to Ottawa.
 
We are looking for input from cyclists to assist us with assessing the appeal of the route and to better understand the needs of cyclists while riding the route or portions of it, once complete.
 
We appreciate your assistance and thank you in advance for completing this brief survey.
 
If you would like to know more about the route visit: www.DiscoveryRoutes.ca/vcr
 
Beer Edges Out Ice Cream 
 
In our September enewsletter we posed a vital question to you - our readers - asking what is your favourite post-ride indulgence?
 
And surprise surprise we found out that beer was the number 1 pick ! Closely followed by ice cream. Baked goods and coffee followed far behind these top picks.
 
Favourite places listed for a cold post-ride beer were stated as pubs or craft breweries local to ride end, with many also keen to dig into supplies from their own cooler. Some craft brewery mentions included: Rambin Road Brewery Farm and New Limburg Brewery both near Delhi; Fairweather Brewing in Hamilton; Chapter Two Brewing in Windsor; and Beau's in Vankleek Hill.  For listings of certified bicycle friendly breweries in Ontario visit  www.OntarioByBike.ca/Breweries
 
Some top ice cream stops mentioned included: O'Mally Kourt Fudgery in Brockville; Beachconers in Ottawa; Hutch's on the Beach in Hamilton; Lost Acre Variety Store in West Montrose; Slinky's in Windsor; and London Ice Cream Company.
 
Having a tasty treat option to look forward to at the end of any distance ride or at a turn around point is a great motivator to get out there ride more and explore Ontario by bike.
CycloCross Season is Upon Us
 
Credit: Kevin Morphet

Fall 2018 is jam packed with cyclocross events in Ontario and we couldn't be more excited; as cyclists and as spectators. The sport is not only a thrill to participate in, but also to watch! 

If you need a quick guide to this popular and growing segment of cycling, check out the  Q&A on our blog with The Silver Goose Cyclo Cross Race event organizer John Hauser to get his thoughts on the sport. 

The 'cross season typically kicks off in September ( although events do happen earlier) with weekly events running until November. From Eastern Ontario and  Durham Region to Simcoe County and  Oxford County, cyclocross is gaining the interest it deserves as this sport blends  technical, challenging riding with fun, speedy cycling - sprinkled with dirt and grit. 

Other major provincial and national cyclocross events are taking place this year in Ontario and include the  Pan American Cyclocross Championships & Silver Goose CX in Midland on  November 3rd & 4th, as well as the  Canadian Cyclocross Championships & Lift Lock Cross in Peterborough on November 10th & 11th. 

Consider putting those few weekends in your calendar as both are going to be very entertaining to watch!
3 Great Hamilton Fall Escarpment Rides

Hamilton Brantford Rail Trail

If you are looking for some great views and perhaps a glimpse of changing colours this fall there are a number of Escarpment rides in the Hamilton Dundas area that will surely deliver.

Hamilton has a variety of pretty off-road trails that hug the Niagara Escarpment yet are not too challenging with hill climbs. The 7.5km Chedoke Trail runs from downtown Hamilton to the smaller village of Ancaster with plenty of vistas across the valley area while following the limestone crags and waterfalls along a pretty tree-lined route.
 
Nearby and running out from Dundas is the start of the Hamilton Brantford Rail Trail, which in it's entirety is 40km, with an easy cruising and interesting route through conservation lands. To take in both trails try the 23km Escarpment Expedition Loop, a part of the Greenbelt Cycling Route.
 
For more serious cyclists looking for some hill climbing training there is no better way to get to the top of the Escarpment than a run up the Sydenham Road. Also known as 'Clara's Climb' where Olympic athlete Clara Hughes spent many hours riding up and down, this hill is small and mighty at under 2km with a grade that ranges between 7-10%. Use the lookout spot half way, if a break is needed on the way up or down, before heading on to quiet country backroads for a longer ride and/or returning to the village of Dundas for refreshments post-ride.  
 
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Fall Bicycle Sale

Each October the biggest bike sale takes place with dozens of bike retailers coming together at Exhibition Place in Toronto for the Bicycle Fall Blowout Sale . One day only, Saturday October 13, doors open at 10am. While there is always a line-up to get in early, there are still amazing deals to be had later in the day. For those that need a little Saturday sleep-in, don't sweat the line-up, arrive when you can. 

Look out for our Ontario Cycle Tourism Information Centre at the sale, and be sure to drop by and say hi, get some new ride ideas and show us your deals.
2018 Cycling Events in Ontario

Join a cycling event in 2018 and discover one of the best ways to explore a new area by bike. Here is a list of some of the cycling events coming up over the next couple of months.

September 16
Discover L&A Ride 
September 22
  Beau's Oktoberfest Bike Ride
September 22 
Pedal for Portage
September 22
September 23
September 23
September 23
Fall Colour Fondo 
September 23
 MEC Barrie Century Ride
 September 29
Essex Region Conservation Bike Tour  
September 29
 Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series
September 30 to November 25
  Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred
September 29


Now updated for 2018, be sure to visit www.ontariobybike.ca/events for more complete listings and search over 100 cycling event listings with something for every type of cyclist! 

Do you know of an event that isn't listed on our site? Send an email to info@ontariobybike.ca and we'll add it!
Ontario By Bike Blog

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