Spring is in the air. Ha, who are we kidding—spring has been in the air since fall. With a winter that never was, it’s been a long and frustrating few months for the two-wheel moto adventurer. Finally, the calendar gives us the nod to get the season rolling. Trip planning is a time-consuming endeavour; hmm, wouldn’t it be nice to just show up and ride?
Well, we’re in luck; a simple Google search for Ontario adventure bike events produces a long list of pay-and-play opportunities. But not all rallies are created equally, especially if your ride of choice weighs 500-plus pounds. So here is a short list of adventure bike rallies where you and your big bike can feel at home.
The Bethany Ride – April 17
Over the years, this event has secured the well-deserved title of First Ride of the Season. Organized by the members of the Ontario Dual Sports Club, it starts north of Whitby and makes its way east into the Ganaraska Forest and back. There are two routes to chose from, simply identified as small bike and big bike. Now, the small bike route is big bike doable—but you better bring your A game, it’s a tough go. The big bike route, if you’re new to adventure biking, is the place to be—comprised of mostly back road pavement, some gravel, and a few dirt lanes that are sure to give you a taste that will leave you wanting more.
Eastern Ontario Adventure Rally – May 13-15
Organized by the very capable folks at Rally Connex, this is as close as you get to the all-inclusive adventure bike vacation. It’s located at the beautiful Elmhirst Resort, where you can enjoy comfortable accommodations, routes planned out for all levels of experience, and a big meal at the end of the day.
Roaming Rally – May 28-30
Let me start with a warning: if you are new to the adventure bike experience, this is not a rally for you. We’re talking long days and tough terrain; in fact, the organizers take pride in the fact that 90% of the participants will not have enough time in the day to finish that day’s route.
That said, it’s the challenge of the impossible ride that has riders coming back year after year. This year, there’s a second big bike route planned that gives you the option to skip part of the most difficult section. A couple of things to consider: this is a GPS-guided event, and you need to be a part of a team of a minimum of three for safety reasons.
Fall Colours Dual Sport Tour – October 1
Forest trails, Ontario's spectacular changing leaves, and good company—this one-day Rally Connex event is a perfect way to wrap up the season.