Orillia-based Humdinger Bicycle Tours has expanded its trip options to meet the growing interest in summer vacations that can accommodate physical distancing.
Along with a new 6-day Bruce County tour, Humdinger has added some shorter, affordable options including more day trips and an Orillia Pedal, Pints & Pubs tour featuring two recently opened craft breweries.
“People were forced to cancel their summer holiday plans due to travel restrictions around COVID-19,” said owner Sara McEwen. “They’re now looking into affordable, outdoor vacation options. The Pedal, Pints & Pubs tours are only two to three days with relatively easy cycling. They are fun and manageable.”
Pedal, Pints & Pubs Tours are a Delightful Combination of Cycling, Sightseeing, and Craft Beer Tasting
Pedal, Pints & Pubs are Ontario’s cottage country tours that combine cycling, sightseeing, and craft beer tastings. Humdinger Bicycle Tours launched the concept in Haliburton in 2018 to offer an entry-level bike tour that emphasized fun and a complete holiday experience. This year they introduced a similar tour in the Orillia and Lake Country area.
The cycling routes are 25 to 30 kilometers per day, and include sightseeing stops. The routes end at a craft brewery or pub for lunch and beer tasting. Guests and their bikes are shuttled back to their accommodation, so post-beer-tasting cycling is not a concern.
New this Year: Pedal, Pints & Pubs Orillia
Orillia and Lake Country is about an hour north of the outskirts of Toronto, and is considered the gateway to cottage country. It has not had a brewery in over 100 years. Now in 2020 there are suddenly two in the region! Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. is located in Orillia’s vibrant downtown, and Quayle’s Brewery is perched on a hilltop in neighbouring Oro-Medonte township. The two operations are very different and offer unique visiting and tasting experiences for guests.
For this two-day, one-night package, guests begin in Orillia on a Saturday morning with a guided cycling tour of Orillia’s historical waterfront and downtown. The city has a rich past and the tour boasts two national historic sites (Stephen Leacock Museum and the Mnjikaning Fish Weirs), along with tales of notable characters, events, and buildings. The gentle cycle tour ends downtown where the new Couchiching Craft Brewing Co. is located.
Guest at the Stephen Leacock Museum in Orillia. Photo credit: John Johnston
Couchiching Brewery’s building is a modern and sleek renovation and expansion of an older building, designed to complement the city’s historic downtown. The brewery’s focus is on traditional styles of beer, tending towards the more malt-forward English styles. The aim is food-friendly brews that will enhance the excellent food prepared by Chef Brandon Conrad and his team.
After spending the night downtown at the Champlain Waterfront Hotel, guests spend the second day on a supported, self-guided ride out to Quayle’s Brewery, just south of Coldwater. There is a choice between two rides. The first is mostly rail trail bike path. It begins on the Simcoe County Loop trail where there are no cars or hills for the first 17 km. It then turns onto a picturesque and quiet Oro-Medonte side road. The 25 km ride ends with a rather steep hill. It is all worth it, as Quayle’s Brewery is at the top, complete with spectacular views. The second option is to do a paved road ride through the pastoral rolling hills of Severn and Oro-Medonte townships. The road ride passes through the charming village of Coldwater, home of Ontario by Bike’s bike-friendly business Em’s Cafe. It ends at the brewery after approximately 45 kilometers.
Humdinger Guide Alec Diebel post Quayle’s Brewery ride. Photo credit: Sara McEwen.
Quayle’s is a farm brewery, overlooking their 12 acres of hops. Their own hops and spring water create a variety of delectable beers. After enjoying lunch and a tasting on the patio, guests are shuttled back to Orillia.
Back by Popular Demand:Pedal, Pints & Pubs Haliburton
The original Haliburton version of Pedal, Pints & Pubs is now in its third season. Guests stay on the shores of Lake Kashagawigamog at the delightful Bonnie View Inn, one of the few remaining old-style resorts in the area. Bonnie View is located between Minden and Haliburton Village, making it an excellent starting point for cycling. For post-riding, it has a dockside patio and several watersports options.
Cycling along the shores of Lake Kashagawigamog. Photo credit: Alec Diebel.
Haliburton Highlands has, as one can imagine, some hills. For this entry-level tour, Humdinger Bicycle Tours has managed to find some relatively flat routes. The roads are quiet and scenic, following lakeshores and riversides. Sightseeing stops include the very cool Minden Whitewater Preserve, the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, and Abbey Gardens. Abbey Gardens is a farm, food hub, and collection of partner businesses on a spent gravel pit site. It is a not-for profit charity that provides economic and recreational opportunities, with a focus on sustainable living.
On Day 1, guests finish up at the Boshkung Social in beautiful Minden to have lunch and sample from Boshkung Brewing’s superb food and drink options. The end of the route on Day two is Haliburton Highlands Brewing, which happens to be a partner business on Abbey Gardens. Day three is a pub lunch, usually at the famed Riverside Inn in Norland.
At the Boshkung Social in Minden, 2019. Photo credit: Sara McEwen.
What is included?
Both the Orillia and Haliburton tours include support while cycling, and most of the routes are also guided. The packages include accommodation, breakfasts, lunches, and beer tastings. The Orillia package is a great deal at $189 +HST per person, double occupancy ($213.57).
If you are looking for a supported cycle tour that allows you take the time to fully experience a region, give Pedal, Pints & Pubs a try. Humdinger also offers longer and more challenging tours, day tours, and custom tours of all descriptions. We also offer options for family cycling tours.
This is the summer to experience Ontario’s cottage country by bike, while easily socially distancing. Visit www.humdingerbicycletours.ca, email [email protected] or call 705-305-5799 for more information.