Saturday, June 28, 2014

Kay and Mike Take Toronto By Bike: Dundas ON

Now that I have free time, I thought it would be fun to start a blog series of bike adventures. Mike and I have made it an unofficial goal to visit as many neighbourhoods as possible in Toronto via public transit and biking. This is a multiyear adventure, and has no order, very few rules, and no deadline. For a type A perfectionist this goes against everything I normally do. The only rule with bike club is that we don’t talk about bike club. Just kidding! The only rule is that we have to get there without using a car, and then I have to blog about it.

This past weekend was official adventure number 1..and technically the heading of this series is already wrong because we actually went to the Hamilton/Burlington region on our first bike adventure..I’m a rebel without a cause!

Anyway back to the point. We went to Burlington to go to the Mountain Equipment Co-op Paddlefest Event at Christie Lake to meet up with some friends and try out some canoeing. I had gone to paddle fest in Barrie the day before, and enjoyed it so much, I thought it was worth checking out again.

We decided to make this a bike adventure when we did the math and between gas and parking it was about the same price to go train and then bike. Plus going on a train makes it an adventure!! We packed our lunches, some snacks, and hopped on the go train around 10:30 to Aldershot. On the weekend you can take your bike on the gotrain, and they were quite comfy on the route.

We arrived in Aldershot, turned on the GPS, and headed on our 20km ride to Christie Lake. I don’t trust GPSs and I shouldn’t have in this case. Penny (as we have named the voice on Mike’s phone GPS), lead us on the “scenic route”. At first it was all fun and games, rolling countryside, and pretty views on our way to Dundas.

Dundas is an adorable town with lots of old buildings, cute shops and restaurants. I really wish I had planned this better and we could have grabbed lunch there! Unfortunately we were on a deadline to get to the park by 1:30, so we didn’t stop. At this point our bike ride became more of a climb as we walked up the escarpment. Check out these inclines.

Now I wish I had stopped to take a picture from the lookout at the top because it was pretty nice, but instead I took a picture of this sign because I thought it was hilarious that you came up this giant hill, and then you go “oh bullocks, it keeps going up!!”

The last 7km were all up hill. Considering this was my first long bike ride, and Mike’s first bike of the year, our legs were pretty shot when we got to the park. It took us about 2 hours to do the route, which is a pretty slow pace, but nothing unexpected with those crazy climbs.

We finally made it to the park (albeit on the completely opposite side than paddlefest), we scarfed down our lunch, and then did a canoe lesson for an hour. Our friends kindly offered a drive back to the go train station after, so we relaxed at the lake until they were done their sessions. We ended up back in Toronto around 7:00pm, completely exhausted but happy knowing we had spent the whole day outside!

Lessons learned from this adventure: Take more pictures, not just of silly signs. Plan to stop in adorable towns. Wear longer shorts (leg chaffing is real!). Research the route before setting out. And finally, get my bike fixed. My front tire is bent so with every revolution it’s like I’m putting on the breaks, which didn’t bode so well on the hills! The next adventure I should be more prepared, and may be slightly less ambitions…I’m thinking Queen West ha!

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