Monday, May 18, 2020

Riding the Beaches to Collingwood

Sat May 16, 2020 - The long weekend

My travels today took me along Tiny Beaches Road heading towards Collingwood. I started off at Balm Beach this time. I usually stop more on my rides for photo ops, but today seemed more for riding and clearing my head. (hence my sore butt)

There still wasn’t much open, because of Covid-19, but that didn’t stop people from being out and about. (Me included) Mostly walking or riding bicycles, so it was nice there was little traffic on this route. It was a beauty day, however riding along the water still had a sharp chill in the air. 

I made an unintentional stop at Bluewater Beach on Trew Ave. I thought I was still on Tiny Beaches Road. The boardwalk to the beach was closed, as most municipalities around here chose not to open up the beaches on this long weekend.  A father and son were on bicycles and they stopped. The father was pissed off because the boardwalk was closed and hopped over the yellow tape. Claiming that Ford had opened up the provincial parks and “these small municipalities” were always slow to follow. (Tsk, Tsk on him! It was obvious that he wasn’t from around here.) He beckoned for his son to follow as he wanted to take a photo. The son refused. Kudos kid! At least he had the sense his father did not as to why things were still closed. 

Route: Tiny Beaches Road to Collingwood

Once I got to Collingwood, I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go. I never have been there so I kind of let my bike choose the way. I ended up going through Nottawa and Duntroon. I found myself out in the middle of farmland and not really sure where I would end up. All I knew is that I would be completely lost if I headed towards the posted signs to Shelburne or even Stayner. (I like the adventure of not using maps lol) I made a couple of left turns and found my way back to the 124. When I got back to Collingwood my instinct told me to turn onto Poplar Side Road. (My instinct was a little off as Sideroad 33 & 34 Nottawasaga would have brought me back to Mosely St. sooner, as I later found out) 

I didn’t quite go back the same way sticking to River Rd. out of Wasaga Beach. It was getting late and I was getting thirsty for my glass of wine LOL. It was kind of blind luck that I decided turn down 29 as it brought me directly back onto Tiny Beaches Rd and into Balm Beach. I finally was familiar with the roads again!

You can follow my "lost route back" here: Collingwood, Nottawa, Duntroon and back

Until next time keep...

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Champlain Rd. through Awenda Park Ride

Sunday May 3, 2020

Lately the weather has been hit and miss. We get one nice sunny day in the low double digits followed by four rainy dreary ones or it snows. When the sun decided to show its glowing rays on Sunday, I didn’t hesitate and took advantage of it, even though there is still an arctic chill in the air. 

My tour took me along Champlain Road with its the scenic views of Georgian Bay. (At least you could see the view when there was a break in the buildings.) There are some nice twisties on this road and I was happy that traffic was pretty much non-existent. I travelled along until I got to Awenda Park Drive. Just be careful as you get to the park as there are some sketchy parts along this road with part gravelly surfaces.  

With no leaves on the trees yet this ride was reminiscent of a late fall ride, at least the chilly air currents were minimal as the trees (albeit naked ones) offered a wind break.  I was thinking I will have to come through here when the landscape looks more alive.

I was just leisurely motoring along and this route just took me 37 min. to ride. When I left the park, I was still wanting more so I took off toward Cedar Point Rd./Tiny Beaches Rd. I stopped on Concession 12 to take in the view and to warm up in the sunshine.

I continued to follow Tiny Beaches Rd until it dumped me out at Balm Beach. That place was buzzing with activity, so I opted not to stop. (besides, I had gotten a photo op there on my last ride)  I continued on into Midland and explored Midland Point Rd. a ways and cut across Curry Road that merged into Tinney Dr. where I found St. Andrews Lake. 
You can see St. Andrews Lake in the back ground behind the swampy overflow.
It is such a shame that a housing development will ruin this little piece of paradise for the animals.

I rode the loop around Gilwood Park Dr. that ended back onto Sand Bay Rd. then onto the main road to Fuller. The chilly air was getting to me and I finally decided it was time to head home. 

It wasn’t the longest ride, but it was so worth it to get on my two wheels and feel the wind upon my face. It is so true that I am my most happiest when I ride and any stress of late just drifts off in the wind. 

Route Champlain Rd. – Awenda Park

Until next time, keep
 Cruising Through Life & Enjoy The Ride

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Riding Tiny Beaches

Seems like if we get one nice day, it will surely be followed by four or five crappy ones, so I took advantage of the sunny day on Monday. Temps were mild with just a bit of chill to remind me that we are still a little way off from summer. 

I didn’t mean to take a tour through Thunder Beach on my way to see Cedar Point, although it was a pleasant little side trip meandering through a section of summer cottages and rentals, mixed with immense mansions that overpowered the small quaint community.

I wanted to see the fairy on Cedar Point Rd. that goes over to Christian Island, however, due to covid-19 I was not allowed down the road or anywhere near it. A large lighted sign stated “Residents Only”.  Oh well, I stopped by the Cedar Point Store for a photo op. I am pretty sure that store has seen better days and has been closed for quite some time. 

I continued along Tiny Beaches Rd. Of course, leave it to me to find a little stretch of gravel. At least it wasn’t too bad and only lasted a couple of kilometers.

I wound my way along Tiny Beaches Rd. until it dumped me out at Balm Beach. I pulled along the shore for a photo op and headed home. 

Another time I plan to continue to explore Tiny Beaches Rd. which will lead me to Wasaga Beach.

I admit I had a few turn arounds (ones that I omitted on the route map) and went down a few roads that had me looping back along Champlain Rd to try a second time at getting to Cedar Point. But there is never a wrong road when you are enjoying a ride on a motorcycle. Note to self, Champlain Rd is very twisty, a good one to explore next time.

Motorcycle Route: Cedar Point to Balm Beach along Tiny Beaches Rd. 

Until next time keep,

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

1st Ride of the Season

Oh, what a feeling!
Lafontaine Beach Park – riding along the concessions

After what seemed like a winter that would never end, I finally got out for some much-needed wind therapy. It is hard to believe that just a day ago we were still having snow showers!  Mother Nature finally decided to lighten up and the sun came out warming the air just enough to have a pleasant ride to Lafontaine. 

On my first ride of the season I always like to choose a route that is somewhat short and simple to ease myself back into riding. It is amazing how the ole body isn’t used to it after being dormant all winter. I even got a leg cramp! 

The wind was still is a bit nippy if having to ride at higher speeds, I think the temp got up to 11C (51F) today (Sat April 25). Riding out by the beaches in Tiny it is only 50km (31mph), then on the concessions 80km (50mph).  

The perfect way to social distance while we continue to live through an episode of the Twilight Zone.

My route to Lafontaine via Penetanguishene, ON

Until next time, keep...

Cruising Through Life & Enjoy The Ride...

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Life threw me a curve ball

I just realized my last post to my blog was in June of 2019! I do apologize for not keeping up with my writing. I had a blast all summer exploring the road less travelled, I just never kept up my writing, and sharing my adventures with you, my bad. 

Better late than never, I will catch you up on my travels from last summer.  After all it is still a tad too chilly to ride, even though it is supposed to be Spring!

Here are some highlights:

June 22, 2019:  I took the road less travelled to Severn Bridge. I always manage to find gravel when I am out and about, but my Li’l Rebel handles these types of roads with ease.

July 12, 2019: I got lost on the back roads off of Pickerel & Jack Lake Rd. in Burk’s Falls.  I found this nice little lake for the perfect photo op.

July 25, 2019: I took a tour around Lake Bernard in Sundridge. It was a nice relaxing ride and the views were spectacular.

August 25, 2019: I explored South River and happened upon the cutest church in the middle of nowhere.

I may have not gotten out as much as I had wanted to, but I made the most of each ride and was happy just to get in a little wind therapy now and again.  So now you are all caught up, well sort of…

You probably were also waiting to see my adventures in Florida over the winter. Well, life threw me a curve ball and we never went to Florida this year. I know, it was horrible spending the entire winter in Canada! You feel sorry for me, right? I didn’t think so.  We actually ended up selling the house just before Christmas. Sad but true. But now with all that is going on with the Coronavirus maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

I also moved from Emsdale to Midland. Long story, and probably one I will never get around to telling you about. On the brighter side I am anxious to explore the roads around Georgian Bay this year. I can hardly wait to get back out on two wheels! Now I just need this damn weather to start cooperating.

Until next time keep...

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

On A Mission, with a bit of twisty fun sprinkled in

Mon June 17

Today's ride was more about finding out about what (and how much) it was going to cost to get my motorcycle more comfortable on longer rides.

I knew the day I bought my Rebel that there were going to be a couple of things that would have to be changed or at least modified. The rock-hard seat and the uncomfortable position that my arms are stretched out on the handle bars are my major issues. The more I go on longer rides I realized it was time to look into what I could do to alleviate these issues.

Aspdin Road

My first stop was at Muskoka Upholstery in Hunstville off of Aspdin Road. I spoke with Curt and he recommended getting a gel insert. This also wouldn’t affect the seat height which was very important. I want a comfy tushy but not at the expense of loosing my perfect flat foot position. So, it was settled, he would order me the gel and I would bring the seat back (on a rainy day of course, which probably would be soon as sunny days are few and far between this year) for him to install it. Although that brought me to my next little problem and explained that the bolts were super tight and I couldn’t get the seat off. He was very helpful and worked on loosening the screws for me.

I also mentioned that the passenger seat was just as bad and pointed out to him how the dealer installed the saddle bags over the seat. He agreed that they did look odd that way. Well I have to give him credit, he had a hard time loosening that screw and broke one of his Allen wrenches in the process! But he did it and to my surprise he went ahead and adjusted the strap over the fender. He had to cut the flaps a touch for it to fit better and then put the seat back on. I couldn’t thank Curt enough. That had been bugging me since the day I got it.  Now I can hardly wait to get that gel installed. I left Curt and headed onto the next stop on my mission.
before                                              after

On such a beauty day I took advantage of taking the scenic route and long way to get there.  I continued on Aspdin Road which is full of curves and it is just an awesome road to cruise down. There was very little traffic, at least there wasn’t any at the time I motored down it this morning. It brought me into Rosseau where I stopped at this cute little restaurant called Crossroads. 

I didn’t go in and just chugged down some of my water in the parking lot and snapped a quick picture. I think this would be a fun spot to stop at with some other riders for lunch sometime. There was a really nice outdoor patio area with some really comfy looking Muskoka chairs. After my short break I turned left onto Hwy 141 to head back towards Huntsville. 

Hwy 141 is a very twisty road with lots of sweeping curves, a must for any biker. It is on my bike-it list this summer to go from one end of it to the other. It starts from Hwy 11 (Port Sydney/Utterson) and will take you all the way to Parry Sound. Again, I lucked out and had no traffic. When I came to a little place called Bent River, I stopped at the quaint general store/gas station. I topped up my tank and continued on my way.

As I got to Utterson my next stop was in my sites. Flybyu motorsports. I had looked for a motorcycle shop as close to me as I could find and believe me that is an extremely limited list where I live. This seemed to fit the bill when I first found it on Facebook

I spoke with Derek to see what he suggested for the issue I had with my handle bars. He suggested the cheaper route was to get 1” risers and bring the bars forward. I was all for the cheaper option. I still have many, many payments on my two wheels of bliss and would like to be able to still afford to ride it after I fork over the bucks to modify it for my comfort. He assured me that if there would be a problem with the ABS break lines that he would just return the risers. He seemed confident that this would work though. So, I told him to go ahead and order them. I was also happy when he told me when the part came in that I could wait while he installed them. Bonus another road trip! I am super stoked about how well my little mission turned out today. Now I just have to be patient until the parts come in. I took off from there with a huge smile and connected onto MD 10 that would bring me through Port Sydney. 

I stopped at the Jamieson's General Store for a water break and a little photo op. I love those cute country stores. There is so much charm to them. I continued on my way along MD 10 and headed towards Huntsville via Brunell Rd and the downtown core. It was the perfect twisty way home. 

As I turned off on the Novar exit to connect with the 592, I took the opportunity to snap this pic. I have always loved this scenic view.  A perfect end to a perfect day while I accomplished what I had set out to do with the added bonus of an awesome ride.

Until next time keep

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride....

Route: Aspdin Rd to Hwy 141/Huntsville

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Curves & Twisties, oh my

Sat June 8

The weatherman promised a gorgeous weekend and wow he was spot on (for a change) The sun was shining and even a deer decided to see me off this morning as he watched me pull out my bike from the garage. 

I went through Burk’s Falls and hooked onto the 520 towards Magnetawan. This was a fun road to travel with plenty of curves and luscious landscape to gander at as you cruise. Best of all there was hardly any traffic this morning, although I am sure this road can get quite busy once the summer cottagers are out in full force. 

Along the way I made a stop in Magnetawan at the Lion’s Park to take in the view of the Magnetawan River.  This is a beautiful spot to rest at with plenty of trees for shade and places to sit for a spell. Usually there are a lot of boats using the Magnetawan lock, but I suppose it was a little on the early side for boaters this morning.

Further on down the road I took another little pit stop in McKellar at their nice little riverside park. There was a motorcyclist also enjoying a break and we both agreed that it was an awesome day for a ride.

I continued on the 520 all the way into Parry Sound. I had never actually been downtown Parry Sound so it was interesting to cruise through town. It is a bustling little town with tons of shops on the main drag. Traffic was still fairly light as I passed through, although I got caught at a few stop lights.

As I left the downtown core, the traffic dwindled to non-existent once again. I turned onto Oastler Drive for a short distance until I turned onto Hunter Drive. Hunter Drive becomes the 518. 

Along the way I stopped at the Orrville Bakery & Barista to utilize a photo op in front of a giant gnome. There was an ATV rider parked nearby and we chatted briefly about how beautiful the day was and how it was nice to finally see the sun shining instead of rain. By the way, rain is in the forecast for Monday.

The 518 is a biker’s paradise with endless twists and curves from Parry Sound to Emsdale. It wasn’t long before I seen a sign informing me that it was going to get very twisty for the next 8 km. Oh what a ride! It didn’t end there, this whole road is full of curves and quite a few hairpin twists. It can be challenging at times even for a seasoned rider. I really don’t recommend it for beginners. I will also caution you that there is a stretch where the pavement turns into tar & chip and gets a little on the rough side. After several kilometers the smooth pavement came into view and still it continued on with endless curves. 

When I got to Sprucedale I turned into the gas station to gulp down some of my water, I was parched! Coming into Sprucedale the road does straighten from there and it wasn’t long before I was back in Emsdale and home. 

Until next time keep

Cruising Through Life & Enjoying The Ride…

Route: Burk’s Falls, 520 to Magnetawan/Parry Sound