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Lake Ontario: My first self supported tour

AnnieBikes2012-04-16 21:16:56 +0000 #1
Well, I did it. I have just completed a 658 mile self supported ride around Lake Ontario with my DH and another couple. We are all retired (except from volunteer jobs) and the other woman and I met on a WomanTours trip in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho in 2009. We have tried to get together since then as we were very compatible ride partners and only managed one week (at GOBA in 2010). It was so much fun. I have done quite a few state rides and an overnight or two loaded but never anything like this!!

We drove from our home in TN to Rochester, NY where my friend lives. Our husbands had never met but seemed to have alot in common. Everything went so well. They had done a similar ride last year so made the first two nights camping reservations, and we made a couchsurfing connection, and they made a few warm showers reservations. It was everything I could possibly have wanted and more! The weather was fairly cooperative, the cycling was very lovely, with a combination of roads, bicyle paths, and the Waterfront Bicycle route, etc. Our mix of camping, warmshowers, couchsurfing and two motels worked perfectly. We had a shower every day and cooked many nights using local produce bought at farm stands throughout our route. We gorged on fantastic, in-season fruits and vegetables including strawberries, blueberries, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. The apples were just starting to be harvested at the end of our trip.

Although I had been to Niagara Falls by bicycle on the Underground RR Route in 2008, there was something about arriving there while being self supported that really made it special.

If you have ever thought of taking a self supported ride, this is it! It was not overwhelming in length or difficulty. You are near motels or B&B's every night if camping is not your "thing", though we have always loved camping and elected that for many nights. It was an eleven day ride, one day off (which was actually two days off since one of our group had a broken hub in Toronto, so were there an extra day to get the wheel replaced).

I will be putting a journal on Crazyguyonabike in the next few weeks and will put a link here when it is posted. This trip has made me realize that a longer trip is doable! My three past long trips were with WomanTours and I can speak very highly of them in every aspect of their operation. However, with the retirement of my DH (who is an avid cyclist) I just could not justify going on their trips as he would want to go, too!!!

What fun the trip was and with another couple who shared it and were very compatible with us, it just made it perfect. Yes, we rode in the rain sometimes, but not much and we had lots of laughs as we rode from ice cream stand to ice cream stand to dodge thunderstorms one day. The guys said we had three 15 mile rides that day!!! We averaged about 50-60 miles per day. I am happy to answer any questions from anyone about this because I really feel that this is the way to see an area and meet some wonderful people. We passed lots of other cyclists and the comaraderie is catching!! Try it you will LOVE it!


redrhodie2012-04-16 21:27:58 +0000 #2
I love reading about your tours, Annie! This sounds like quite an adventure, as usual!
shootingstar2012-04-16 21:58:23 +0000 #3
Some pics, please!

I haven't cycled on the NY side of Lake Ontario. But have cycled between Toronto and Niagara Falls/Fort Erie.

Did you buy some wine from the area?

I used to live and cycle in Toronto for a long time. (Will be visiting family next month there and hopefully I'll cycle around abit.) The Waterfront trail also can be connected via highway to the St. Lawrence River bike route to the Quebec border...which we have cycled and camped in self-supported ride.

Yes, absolutely self-supporting rides are a special achievement.
indysteel2012-04-16 21:54:51 +0000 #4
Wow; that sounds like an amazing trip. I'm so glad it went well. DH and I are getting ready to tour the Katy Trail. It's an inn-to-inn supported tour, but perhaps it'll spark his interest in a self-supported tour. I've gone on other supported tours, but I'm not sure how keen he is to ride day after day.

I look forward to reading more about your tour. Give us a head's up when you post to crazyguyonabike if you think of it.
Sky King2012-04-16 22:35:41 +0000 #5
Sounds like a great adventure. Look forward to reading your journal and seeing some photos. Love to hear what gear your chose.
Dog2012-04-16 23:45:17 +0000 #6
Congratulations!!! That sounds like it was a blast and left you wanting more. I'm so looking forward to being able to do the same type of thing. I'm still working on some of my friends.....

Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to your f/up.

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