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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981

    winery visits & loaded bike touring

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    Now there is a challenge when doin' self-loaded bike touring in wine country:

    limiting yourself to total number of wine bottles that you can haul on bike..
    As some of you know, some wineries make limited batches for certain wines and don't sell limited runs via the retail outlets.

    Then there's the challenge, for folks like me who can't wine-taste too much along the way...

    We have done self-loaded bike touring in: Niagara-on-the-Lake wine region (Ontario), several different trips on Vancouver Island and in the Kelowna/Summerland area (Okanagan Valley). Visit to wineries area just outside of Seattle was a day trip for us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    How was touring the Niagara region? I was planning on figuring out a route from Toronto to Niagara and doing some wine country touring during that trip (for my bike club). I've ridden around Niagara-on-the-Lake a bit and loved it and it seems like from Toronto to Niagara would be a fairly flat ride so I wouldn't have to grade the trip as too hard and could get some newbies along.

    We'll have to keep in mind to bring some extra space for the wine though!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by applegum View Post
    How was touring the Niagara region? I was planning on figuring out a route from Toronto to Niagara and doing some wine country touring during that trip (for my bike club). I've ridden around Niagara-on-the-Lake a bit and loved it and it seems like from Toronto to Niagara would be a fairly flat ride so I wouldn't have to grade the trip as too hard and could get some newbies along.

    We'll have to keep in mind to bring some extra space for the wine though!
    Agreed, it is flatter, but summer heat (and smog alerts) and humidity can make it equally challenging as cycling in the Okanagan Valley, B.C.'s wine country ..for its dry heat and more hills.

    If I can recall..from nearly decade ago and earlier, (we moved out to Vancouver in 2002 from Toronto), we did cycle to/in the Niagara region 3 different trips, saw slightly different things:

    lst trip --cycling round trip from downtown Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake. this was in July, close to 90degrees F, 100% humidity. We camped for 2 nights at a campsite not far from the General Wolfe memorial statute near Lake Ontario. This trip we cycled a little over 300 kms. in total which included diversions to local sites.

    last 2 trips-- we used a fast-speed ferry from Toronto, which no longer runs, which dropped us off at Port Dalhousie, which brings one much closer to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    As you might guess, the area is beautiful in late spring or early fall just when the autumn trees turn colour...which covered our last 2 trips.

    One of the trips, we stayed at a bed 'n breakfast was run by a painter-artist and her hubby. There are artists' studios which we did drop by a few in the area also.

    I don't know how you got to Niagara-on-the-Lake, but we followed the Waterfront Trail from Toronto, which runs through Oakville, Mississauga, with jogs around Burlington, and some more creative planning around towns of Jordan, Grimsby..

    I didn't know until I visited there, how steeped the area was in Loyalist history of Canada..which makes a perfect complement to Loyalist history and foil to the Acadian history in Canadian Maritime provinces where we did cycle-tour longer on different trip.

    To cycle round trip along that path from Niagara Falls to Fort Erie is 50kms. which is very easy to do.

    I miss Ontario and that part of Canada for its beautiful red-orange flaming autumns..and maple syrup! which West coast falls does not replicate much at all. And the blooming lilac trees and bushes at this time in countryside. West coast does not have much lilacs.

    Other suggestions is to ride to Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, which would be a full day trip approx. 130 kms. from downtown Toronto. Their lilac tree garden section is probably one of the biggest and most diverse in Canada. I don't think there's anything like that at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.

    Or try a trip eastward, througn Port Perry and onto Coburg. Toronto-Coburg would be 110 kms. one-way. We did it twice. Coburg area is known for apples ...I think near Brighton. If a newbie felt tired, person could catch a VIA train coming from via Kingston to Toronto. Or catch the GO commuter train from Pickering..but make sure you check the GO train schedules for weekends lst.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    Ahhh so many awesome ideas. And we will so ride every single one of them. I'm starting up the club with mainly one other person and we're both ridiculously excited. She'll love these suggestions. Now we just need to figure out how we can get to class and still be on our bikes as much as we want...but fall should at least be less busy than the rest of the semester! Early fall is when we're planning the Niagara trip for so the timing should be perfect for the leaves changing. Fall is really the best season for touring (long as it's not too freezing overnight, since we're cheap and are almost always camping).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    280
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Now there is a challenge when doin' self-loaded bike touring in wine country:

    limiting yourself to total number of wine bottles that you can haul on bike..
    I have an idea for how you can buy more bottles without having to carry them all. Check beforehand to see if there are any UPS stores or Mail Boxes Etc near where you're touring. Visit the winery, buy a few bottles, then head to the UPS store and have them professionally pack the bottles and overnight them to my house.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by kat_h View Post
    I have an idea for how you can buy more bottles without having to carry them all. Check beforehand to see if there are any UPS stores or Mail Boxes Etc near where you're touring. Visit the winery, buy a few bottles, then head to the UPS store and have them professionally pack the bottles and overnight them to my house.


    When coming to B.C., to see if you can get the blackberry wine.. since blackberries are far more plentiful than Ontario (I guess mulberries are closest cousin in Ontario.) Doubtful that Calgary has lots of blackberries for picking a ton.

    http://www.cherrypointvineyards.com/...d_products.php Vineyard on Vancouver Island. N.B.: I'm not a wine person, I just know I prefer smooth reds (merlot, zinfadels, pinot noir) and sweet German whites, not dry chardonnays, pinot gris, etc. Shirazes...forget it. Less oaked taste, the better.

    At most, I carry 2 regular sized bottles of wine when we bike tour trip. Unless I have my hair real short and get leave my curling iron at home.. (no, permed hair for me please..) I honestly get a bit paranoid something accidental will happen that I will forget and gently drop my loaded bike to ground or it falls from leaning it temporarily against a wall..

    No doubt there has GOT to be more bike rides and other winery stories from TE wild women here...
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-20-2008 at 10:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Now there is a challenge when doin' self-loaded bike touring in wine country:

    limiting yourself to total number of wine bottles that you can haul on bike..
    Sounds like a job for an Xtracycle!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Toltec, Arkansaw
    Posts
    514
    I've found you can fit at least one bottle in each jersey pocket, and an extra fits in the down tube bottle holder.



    I did get some odd looks rolling down the road, but you probably shouldn't name a ride the "Wine Tour" if you don't want someone to take you up on the deal. This one included about six miles of graveled hills, especially since I missed the Sign That Wasn't There on one critical turn...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    1,145
    Quote Originally Posted by PscyclePath View Post
    I've found you can fit at least one bottle in each jersey pocket, and an extra fits in the down tube bottle holder.



    I did get some odd looks rolling down the road, but you probably shouldn't name a ride the "Wine Tour" if you don't want someone to take you up on the deal. This one included about six miles of graveled hills, especially since I missed the Sign That Wasn't There on one critical turn...

    You have a spare pocket on that jersey - you need one of those huge salami's and a roll or Ritz crackers to go in that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    steuben county new york
    Posts
    626
    Applegum, keep posted or PM me on the Niagara trip..I might be interested, that is if you would like extra person or persons..While you are at it, I live near the Finger lakes and there are tons of wineries around my neck of the woods. I think it would be a fun time to do something different. I would have to "accessorise" my old bike before making any trips though..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by shellyj View Post
    Applegum, keep posted or PM me on the Niagara trip..I might be interested, that is if you would like extra person or persons..While you are at it, I live near the Finger lakes and there are tons of wineries around my neck of the woods. I think it would be a fun time to do something different. I would have to "accessorise" my old bike before making any trips though..
    Definitely will do. I think we're calling it the "Bike and Booze" trip. I'm planning a bunch of mini-multi-day tours for fall with my club, which is technically the University of Toronto Cycling club, but non-students/alumni/staff are completely welcome too! Plus it'll be nice to have someone along who knows the area a bit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    2
    I found that box wine is so much easier to carry and it does not break when the bike falls.. The boxes come in different sizes and they last longer than the bottles and do not have to carry a opener.. Any wine tours in the midwest??

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by shellyj View Post
    Applegum, keep posted or PM me on the Niagara trip..I might be interested, that is if you would like extra person or persons..While you are at it, I live near the Finger lakes and there are tons of wineries around my neck of the woods. I think it would be a fun time to do something different. I would have to "accessorise" my old bike before making any trips though..
    Ditto on keeping me posted. I am new to the Buffalo area and would love a trip along Niagara on the Lake.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    2,033
    Quote Originally Posted by kat_h View Post
    I have an idea for how you can buy more bottles without having to carry them all. Check beforehand to see if there are any UPS stores or Mail Boxes Etc near where you're touring. Visit the winery, buy a few bottles, then head to the UPS store and have them professionally pack the bottles and overnight them to my house.
    It will be a sad day when in my country, I won't be able to mail a bottle of wine to myself safely by national post, and need to use UPS. sad. Privatization beware.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by Savra View Post
    Ditto on keeping me posted. I am new to the Buffalo area and would love a trip along Niagara on the Lake.

    Will do! It'll probably be early-ish September before we all get piled down with school work.

 

 

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