A Hot Ride on a Cool Trail
On the coldest days of the coming winter, reflecting back on the September ride will be sure to bring warmth to the tingling toes and fingers of each rider. With heat advisories and record breaking temperatures the most recent Ontario By Bike Ride weekend on the Uxbridge Kawarthas Trans Canada Trail will go down in history as the hottest one to date.
Despite the heat challenges, our group of 34 riders conquered the trail, riding 110km over two days. There were some bonus’ to being trail bound, thoughts that were validated by many of the riders that joined us.
A) The trail was covered by a tree canopy through many sections
B) Being a rail trail, the route was relatively flat
C) As an unpaved trail, there was not the radiant heat backlash that paved asphalt surfaces have
D) There we stretches with wide open fields and cross breezes
E) The trail was often close to water, and followed the Trent Severn Waterway for a ways.
This was the second time one of our Ontario By Bike Rides followed this trail. Starting from Uxbridge is easy for many of our riders to get to in central eastern Ontario, and also its relative proximity to the GTHA. While we kept much the same from the 2015 ride itinerary we changed up a few parts to the tour. Day one took us 45km towards Lindsay. As one of our regular riders Mark Roberts writes: “The scenery was lovely. Fall colours were starting in both trees and bushy vegetation. Leaves littered the trail. There were farms, cornfields, orchards, and unmanaged patches of growth. It was, all-in-all, pretty easy riding.”
A hit for the day was the boxed lunches that the support truck delivered to the covered gazebo at kilometer 32. Not only was the shade a welcome respite, but so too were the fresh sandwiches , salad and ozzing butter tart from Butter Tarts & More, just down the road in Little Britain. An easy cruise just 13km further, the ride day ended in Lindsay, and we were pleased to head to one of our favourite bicycle friendly hotels, the Days Inn & Suites Lindsay. Our riders were too, as most wasted no time in hitting the pool for an extended soak and cool down. Other excursions included some setting out to the Lindsay fall agricultural fair, a local tradition and site to see just 3km south of our hotel. With a Kawarthas Dairy outpost in town, ice creams were another popular attraction. The majority of the group met up for the evening social and dinner at Olympia Restaurant in town, where lively conversations were struck up among riders and many a story shared, before calling it quits for the night and returning to the cool comforts of the hotel.
If there was a contest, the ride on day two would take the award for most scenic day. Getting off to a good start we all enjoyed a stop at local trail stewards farm, where Marnie and Steve kindly serve fresh baked muffins and cold water to our group every time we pass through. With temperatures ramping up, and water stashed, we rode on towards the coveted Doube’s Trestle Bridge and most scenic of all lookouts. Only accessible by biking or hiking, 2km from each road end, this 29m high and 200m long bridge commands 360 views across the green valley that stretches out in both directions, towards rolling hills and manicured farmlands. It is hard not to linger at this special spot and marvel at the views. Just 13km from the trail end in the more urban centre of Peterborough, most rode slow enjoying the heavily forested trail following a never-ending stream that screamed refreshing. We were rewarded for finding our way through city streets to the riverside patio at the Silver Bean Café, with a tasty lunch and never ending supply of iced water. There was also a local food fair, The Purple Onion Festival, and live music in the park nearby, that many made the whole area so lively and tempted a number of riders to choose the Peterborough option as the terminus to the ride weekend.
A larger number of riders continued on the extra 15km towards Lakefield, rejoining the trail after crossing the Trans Canada Trail pedestrian and cyclists’ bridge. Some stopped enroute to marvel at the Peterborough Lift Lock, a sight to be seen and the largest of the only 2 hydraulic lift locks in Canada. The route and off-road trail to Lakefield follows the Trent Severn Waterway, and a series of locks along the way. Pulling into town and the end ride destination, our group congregated under the trees in a green space, central to ice cream parlours and cafes, and cooling refreshments.
With bikes and luggage stowed in the support van all were pleased to board a deluxe school bus with blasting AC, for a ride through Peterborough to pick up the few that stopped there, and onwards, returning to parked vehicles in Uxbridge. While it was a hot and sticky one, the consensus was the weekends’ ride was a big success and enjoyed by all. Saying goodbye to all the friendly faces, we let one and all know, that the slate of 2018 Ontario By Bike Rides will be out in February, with an announcement via our enewsletter, personalized email to all past riders, and posted on our website. Stay tuned and make plans to ride with us in 2018. Hope to see you out.
To plan your own ride, make use of our ride itinerary, with all stops and accommodations listed. Download HERE. Or visit: ridesept2017
Digital Route Maps: visit https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18928011
For additional visitor information visit:
- Ontario By Bike – Kawarthas Northumberland – Find certified bicycle friendly accommodations and other places to stop, visit and eat, plus info and maps on trails and other routes at – Kawarthas Northumberland
- Kawartha Trans Canada Trail – www.kawarthatranscanadatrail.ca
- City of Kawartha Lakes – www.explorekawarthalakes.com
- Peterborough and Kawarthas Tourism – www.thekawarthas.ca
- Kawarthas Northumberland – www.kawarthasnorthumberland.ca
- Discover Uxbridge – www.discoveruxbridge.ca
To join us on an Ontario By Bike Ride and small group tour in 2018. Visit for more detailed information visit www.ontariobybike.ca/rides