Friday the 13th – Port Dover

Submitted by Bruce Lessard

Still on vacation after returning from the Tail of the Dragon, I mapped a trip to Port Dover from Toronto (113 kilometres) – QEW to 403 Hamilton and then Hwy 6 south to Port Dover.

Nice little drive from Toronto to Lake Erie (never been but heard about the friday the 13th ride). Arriving at sunset I must have passed a couple hundred bikes leavin town. Camping was not a problem and thats where the partys at – as well as downtown.

Kinsmen Park provided camping for hundreds of bikers providing all you need: full bar, music and lots of good food.

Lots of washroom portables with hand washing stations and even shower facilities.

Waking up to country music at 7:30 it became quickly apparent that it was all about friday – half the campsite was already empty and nothin but signs of people packin up and leavin town.

But I can assure you, a good time was had by all.

Definitely recommend the trip and I’m sure I’ll be back next Friday the 13th.

Great party.


Manitoulin Island to Toronto via Chi-Cheemaun Ferry

There is so much I want to write about but the weather is too nice – any free time I have I find myself on the bike.

This past long weekend we took a trip up to Espanola. I’ve written about this trip before so I won’t repeat myself, but we took a different route home – and what an awesome ride it was! We left Honora Bay on Manitoulin Island at 9 am on Monday and headed to South Baymouth where the Chi-Cheemaun ferry departs for Tobermory. The ride to South Baymouth was amazing – we took Bidwell Road which winds through some amazing farmland. Lots of turns and no traffic at all – this was by far the best road we drove all weekend.

Here we caught the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Tobermory. I recommend reserving your spot in advance, especially on holiday weekends – we were very lucky to be the last two motorcycles let on for this trip, otherwise we would have had to wait 3 hours for the next trip. Leaving the ferry is an interesting experience – all the motorcycles are ‘first on and first off’ the ferry. As you sit waiting for the ferry doors to open the tension builds, and all the motorcycles are sitting waiting like chariots to enter an arena. As the doors start to lower you can see crowds waiting to see all the bikes pull out of the ferry – I really can’t describe how cool the whole experience is!

After the ferry it was a relatively quick ride down Highway 6 – which had some amazing scenery – through Owen Sound and then split off on Highway 10 down to the 407 and across to Oshawa – our final destination. All in all it was a fantastic trip, and we agreed that, regardless of the cost of the ferry ($18 per motorcycle, $15 per person), we would certainly take this route again instead of the long and boring Highway 400 and 69 up to Sudbury and Highway 17 across to Espanola.

We took a timelapse video of our trip from Espanola to the Swing Bridge on to Manitoulin Island and down to Honora Bay. You can see it, along with all our other videos, here.

GoPro Hero Cam – North Oshawa Circuit

Yesterday I went for a cruise along my North Oshawa Circuit and thought I’d turn the goPro Hero Cam on. The following is a vid I cut together of the highlights of the route:

Music is DJ Shadow – “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt”

GoPro Hero Cam – Airport Rd at Dusk

Last year I bought a GoPro Hero Helmet Cam (standard definition, 3mp I believe) while shopping at an outdoor gear store. I never got much chance to use it … until now.

On April 5th Buck and I headed up to one of our favorite rides north of Toronto, dubbed the “Airport Road Ride” (see previous post here). Because of work we couldn’t get up there till dusk, so the light was fading. We pulled over quickly at the start of Hockley Road, turned the camera on, and started to ride.

Unfortunately, the video on Mono Centre Road – debatably the more interesting road to drive – didn’t turn out so well because the sun had set and we were facing east.

The goPro Hero Standard Definition Camera definitely works better with a lot of light – I mean, a lot of light. Like a clear sunny day, at noon. (Check out the first few test videos at the end of this post).

Then again, I am using a standard def model that is two years old and they don’t even make anymore – I’m sure the new high-def models are much better. I’ll have to wait to get my hands on one to test it out …

The Airport Road ride

This is a great ride that Buck and I are fond of. Whenever we get the chance we head up there for some great turns, some great hills, and some awesome scenery. The Mono Cliffs Provincial Park is right in this neighbourhood. There have been some routes added to the iPod/iPhone app “Greatest Road” (see our “Useful Apps” post) in the area, so I’ve compiled a new route map to incorporate them.

I give you the Airport Road ride:

Nice circuit just North of Oshawa

What an awesome week for riding! Best consecutive weather this season, I’d say. So I’ve been exploring the country roads just north of my new home and found a nice little circuit yesterday. Some fast straights, hilly country roads, sweeping turns and slow sharp turns, all accompanied by beautiful rural Ontario scenery. A word of warning: some of these turns are pretty sharp and there is sand/gravel on  the road in some spots. Ride with caution! Check out the map and directions here!

Old Quebec City to Oshawa

After a great weekend in Old Quebec City we packed up the Vulcan and prepared for the 800km trip home. Instead of splitting the trip up, as we did on the way in, we decided to just zip back in one very long day.qbc-2

Now, I love Google Maps. But it doesn’t always give the best route. It may give the fastest, but not the best. In this case, it gave us a complicated route out of Quebec City and back to Route 20 – which turns in to the 401 in Ontario. I asked the lady at the hotel office what was the best way and she suggested Boulevard Champlain. That was the best advice I’d been given that weekend.

Boulevard Champlain was the nicest stretch we drove the entire trip. It’s a beautifully maintained, twisting two lane along the St. Lawrence. There was no traffic and a spectacular view as we cruised along.

After that, it was a long ride through Quebec, especially in Montreal where traffic and construction slowed us right down. Someone later told me, ‘If you can drive in Quebec you can drive anywhere,’ but I didn’t find it particularly difficult or dangerous. The condition of the road left something to be desired…

We were making great time as we approached Ontario when suddenly Route 20 came to a standstill. It took a long time to move a little distance, and an hour or so later we discovered that construction brought the highway to one lane. Again, a major east-west route brought to one lane during a long weekend. Unbelievable.

It was great pulling in to Oshawa, 11 hours later, and jumping in to the pool. We were both tired and sore but happy to be home.