Repeating a short weekend bike tour I did in June, Jen and I took off east of Toronto for the weekend. With our bikes loaded with camping gear, we hopped a Friday evening GO Train to Oshawa and then rode to Darlington Provincial Park.
We camped at the park Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday we did a day trip to Port Hope, about 50km away, and then rode back to Toronto on Sunday. I had a great time doing this little tour again, and Jen seemed to enjoy it too!
We were thinking that next summer, preferably in June when we have the most daylight, it would be fun to get a whole bunch of cyclists to do this trip together. The Saturday ride loop can be shortened or lengthened to accomodate different riding preferences, and when riding back to Toronto on Sunday people can bail out at the Pickering GO station, or a TTC station once we get back to the city. I will probably start planning this next spring!
Plenty of photos and ramblings about this trip can be found, starting here.
This past weekend I decided to get away from the city and go on a short 3-day bike tour to Darlington Provincial Park, just east of Oshawa. On Friday after work I rode down to the Port Credit GO train station to catch a train to Oshawa. From there, I rode to Darlington Provincial Park, about 13km away. On Saturday I did a day trip by heading east along the Waterfront trail past Bond Head and out to Port Hope. And on Sunday I rode all the way back from Darlington to Etobicoke, mostly along the Waterfront Trail.
It was a fantastic weekend. Getting a head-start on the GO Train to get out of the city on Friday Night is a great way to start the weekend. I think I'll have to use this method more often.
Riding along the Waterfront Trail east of Oshawa is spectacular too. The trail is a mix of on-road and off-road riding that sort of zig-zags all over the place, so it's not the best place to ride with a loaded touring bike. However, it's great for doing a day ride through the countryside. The roads are mostly empty, the views of the fields and Lake Ontario are excellent.... For me it was a much needed perfect weekend getaway. I will definitely have to do it again.
Of course, I have plenty of photos and more commentary about this weekend. You can see more of it by starting here.
Bike Camputing. Yes, I spelled that right. Bike Camping + Commuting = Camputing.
I'm already fantasizing about the summer and bike touring season. But since certain pesky things like work get in the way of constant bike touring and camping, I thought I might try to combine my regular daily life (riding to work in Mississauga) with my favourite summer hobby (bike touring and camping).
My plan is basically to live at a campground for a week, and commute to work from there in the mornings and return to sleep under the stars at night. I would also use the evenings to explore the campgrounds, go swimming, do some hiking, cooking by the fire, etc. I would also take advantage of the weekends before and after my week of camputing to tour to some other places, visit friends and family, etc. Plus, the campgrounds are usually less crowded and noisy during the week.
To make life easier, I would probably stash a week's worth of clothing and frozen lunches at work.
I already know of two campgrounds that are close enough to work so that the campute wouldn't be too far. One of them is closer to home, but the location isn't very appealing otherwise. That's the Indian Line Campground, which is bascially where Toronto, Mississauga, and Brampton come together at the corner of Finch Ave. and Highway 427. The ride to work from here would involve going around Pearson Airport, crossing at least two major highways, and generally riding through the ugliest parts of Mississauga. Not too appealing, although I'll have to keep that campground in mind as a potential launching point for other tours.
The better option would be to camp at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, on the border of Oakville and Burlington. This park seems more secluded, and I'm sure the ride to work would be more pleasant, even though I would still be riding on busy streets through Mississauga. The route to work from Bronte Creek is about 26km, which is about double my distance from home. Not too bad at all! Plus, Bronte Creek makes a better launching point for weekend rides north and west of Oakville, as well as for visiting my parents in Hamilton.
I didn't get much bike touring done last year, but I think my camputing idea will be a smashing success for me this summer. Has anyone else ever done this or thought of doing it? I know Jason has thought of it too.
Note: The photo up there is from a weekend camping ride from Ottawa to Lac Philippe two summers ago.
The fun weekends are really adding up this summer! For the August Long Weekend (technically, most of it was in July), Jen and I did a little bike tour down to the Hamilton and Cambridge area. Of course it is all photo-documented and posted online now. ;-)
All the details and photos are here:
Friday: Riding from Toronto to Hamilton
Saturday: Visiting family, and Bayfront Park in Hamilton
Sunday: Riding from Hamilton to Valens Conservation Area, mainly along the rail trails that go through Brantford, Paris, and Cambridge.
Monday: Riding back to Toronto from Valens Conservation Area
Hmmm...lately it seems that all of my postings are about riding my bike to Hamilton.
Tonight I finally completed typing up my Ottawa to Hamilton bike tour diary. Yeah, it happened over two years ago, so I've been procrastinating quite badly.
This five-day ride back in the summer of 2003 was my first real bike tour and one of the most memorable things I've ever done. The freshly completed tour diary and pictures can be viewed by clicking this link. Enjoy!