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10 Tips for Riding Through Ontario

10 Tips for Riding Through Ontario

Ontario is home to some of the world's best motorcycle cruising.

Thousands of riders will be embarking on cross-country trips that include riding in this massive province, so we've put together a few tips on things to consider when planning the section that runs through our province. Read on!

1. Ontario is 1/4 the Width of Canada

Canada's most populous province is also the most gifted in terms of sheer pavement - we are a quarter of the width of the entire country, so spending a bit of time to get acquainted with Ontario will make your trip that much better. 

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2. Less is More

We have everything you could possibly need, just off the side of the highway. So don't be afraid to leave your house with just a pair of underwear and a credit card, because if you need anything (parts for your bike, food, gas, hotels, a change of clothes) you're never more than an hour from a full service stop.

wawa-youngs-storeThe famed Young's General Store on Highway 17, just outside of Wawa 


3. Choose your Route Carefully

There are so many potential routes through the province that in order to make the most of the trip. If you are coming from the west, your first choice will be Highway 11 or Highway 17, and once you're in to the central part of Ontario, you'll need to decide between going through Algonquin Park, Mattawa, or through the densely packed twisties of the Highlands. The good thing? No matter what you get to enjoy the scenery across the top of Lake Superior.

ride lake superior - planet dGet used to seeing a lot of Lake Superior  


4. You Can Get Your Dirt On

The TCAT or Trans Canada Trail runs through some of the best backwoods riding in the nation, so if you're the adventure touring type, plan to get some in on your run. Check Steven Fox-Radulovich's Algoma off-road article for a great starting point, or GravelTravel.ca for a cross-country perspective.


5. Make Time to Smell the Roses

Ontario has hundreds, if not thousands of small communities, roadside attractions and must-see wonders. Blasting across in three or four days would mean that you miss most of the best stuff - other than the highways that is! 

wawa goose smallerYou can't pass Wawa without a visit to the Goose 


6. We Experience All Four Seasons

May 2010 Liz up north 2                                                                                        While you can leave your house with nothing more than a change of underwear and your credit card, you should probably consider bringing rain gear, and a warm and cold weather jacket (or just one with a good removable lining.) I also travel with a light and heavy duty pair of gloves. Summer has be amazingly hot, and spring and fall can have cold starts and ends to the day. 


7. We Are A Culinary Mecca

There are more great restaurants in Ontario than any other province in Canada and we have so much agriculture that it's hard not to eat local. Craft brews greet you the moment you roll into the province (see Lake of the Woods Brewing Co. in Kenora) and massive Pierogies in Wilno and Beaver Tails in Ottawa kiss you goodbye. There's way way way too much to mention, so don't be shy about exploring (although I personally love Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene.)

pigshoulderKeeping riders satisfied at Muddy's Pit BBQ in Keene, ON 


8. We Have the Most Great Lakes Coastline to Cruise

While Michigan might have a whole lake to itself, we have half of the other four, meaning that if you love riding near big water, Ontario has got you covered. Try a ride around Georgian Bay or Lake Erie's Cruise the Coast motorcycle route. We also have some absurd number of other lakes rivers and steams...like 250,000 or something. So you're never more than 10 minutes from a cool dip if that's what you fancy.


9. We Are Bigger than Texas, and Most is Accessible by Road or Trail

You heard us Texas, we are bigger than you, and while our BBQ is still in it's nascent stages, WE ARE BIGGER! More roads, more trees, less desert, but MORE ROADS. 

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10. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help

We never cease to be amazed by the generosity and friendliness of people in Ontario; two summers ago I heard a story about a couple on Harley's going around Lake Superior and one of their bikes broke down. When you're in the middle of these splendid, untouched natural surroundings it's easy to see that this might be a bit scary - but some Ontarians showed up, calmed them and got them to the closest Harley dealership. This past winter when the Wander on a Honda crew were sleeping in tents on a frozen lake in Wawa, someone offered to replace their engine with one of his own as theirs was just barely limping along. 

viktorProud locals will be eager to show off their scenic marvels 

If you want to plan your next moto road trip in Ontario, check out the trip planner at www.gotourontario.ca.

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