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The Road Ahead

Heading north for a ride around Lake Temiskaming. Photo: Martin Lortz

Our predictions for the 2019 Ontario motorcycle season.



It’s been a wild start to the year in Ontario. After an intense winter that gave us an incredible snowmobile season, and some flooding as the massive amounts of snow melted and combined with plentiful rain, everyone is ready for a return to normal weather patterns to get the Ontario riding season started.

All over Ontario, we’ve seen plenty of people braving the weather on their bikes—of all types. Cafe racers and vintage bikes in the city, adventure bikes down the country roads, and big cruisers out on the highway, eager to start the season after a long winter.

And we’re right there with them—there are a lot of good reasons to head north in search of great riding this summer. 

Late Spring to Late Summer Predictions

There might not be a better year to plan your motorcycle trip to Ontario than 2019. After years of improvements, most major highways and many of the secondary ones are in excellent shape. There are a few highways still under major construction that will generally be slow over weekends and holidays, but should be easily traversable at any other time—and if you plan your trip with some wiggle room, there’s usually a way around on backroads.

Grab your buddies and get out of the city

The weather this spring and summer might not look great for cottagers, but it might be great for motorcyclists (and ATVers). The Weather Network is broadly predicting the following:

  • Due to the jet stream pattern and continuing influence of arctic air masses summer in Northern Ontario will be cooler than normal. Routes like Ride Lake Superior and The Grand Algoma will be slightly cooler than normal.
  • Southern Ontario will be about normal temperature-wise, as will routes throughout the Ride the Highlands region.
  • The South will experience more rain and wind than normal this summer, but the entire province will experience what they’re calling “active weather”.
  • Northern Ontario will experience normal amounts of rain, but higher amounts of windy days.
  • There will be less extreme heat in Ontario than in the previous year

The Farmer’s Almanac follows these broad predictions as well, with significantly more rain in the south in its prediction, and humidity throughout the summer with warmer nights.

All this to say, these are our predictions and recommendations. 

From our assessment, it’s actually going to be one of the best riding seasons in memory—with cooler than average temps in the North, it’s going to be easy to keep cruising all day long. This should make attending events and meet-ups much easier and more comfortable, especially during the day. Increased winds shouldn’t hamper any riders, and are likely to be localized to single days, rather than persistent throughout the whole season. There aren’t any major bridge crossings in Ontario—the only ones riders need to worry about are the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan on the way into Canada, and the Skyway Bridge in Hamilton if you’re heading north (unfortunately there are no backroads you can take to get around it). Some things to consider for this spring/summer riding season in Ontario:

1. Bring a rain suit

While the North isn’t going to be more rainy than average, the South is, and you’ll likely have to travel through some rainy territory. If this spring is any indicator, it’ll be a wise move to be prepared for some rain.

2. Book hotels in advance, with air conditioning

Summer in Ontario is the most popular time of year to travel, and we’ve heard that some riders have arrived in small towns expecting to find rooms and finding no availability. We know it’s fun to ride free without any obligations, but with warmer nights, it’s good to have a place to land that will be comfortable.

3. We’ll be riding all season long

While there is some humidity, and some additional rain, cooler temps in the days means that you can ride longer and feel less tired at the end of the day. If you’re debating whether to make it a week-long trip or weekend trip, this is the year to go big. We think the weather will bear out for you.

Call ahead to the Bristol Motel if you're planning on stopping in Wawa, Ontario

Fall Riding Season Prediction

Finally, we’re looking way ahead to fall riding this year. If you’re planning a fall colours ride, the best time is usually the first two weeks of October—and all signs point to a nice warm fall season. We’re anticipating that it may be colder than average, so heated gear and layers are the order of the day, but colder temps tend to produce better colours—so bring your camera!

Check back here throughout the season for more information about riding in Ontario in 2019.

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