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Niagara Falls to Toronto - Canada Day Long Weekend Century Ride

My goal is to do a century ride (metric) each month this summer and one proper century - looks like we'll do the proper century first...

This will be a long ride from Niagara Falls to Toronto. The forecast looks good - low 20s and rain, no thunderstorms.

http://goo.gl/pwf2P

We'll meet at Union Station at 8:30AM and take the 9:00AM GO train to the Falls arriving around 11:00AM. I recommend getting your ticket in advance. Last year on the Halton ride I bought a $20 Presto card and did not have to pay for the card.

We'll be rolling by 11:30 and the goal is to keep the pace as close to 20km/h as possible. We will probably split into a Peloton and Autobus as we have some strong riders. (The High Park crew will be fast I am sure...) Michael is going to pace (the rest of) us around 20 km/h (ta mate!). Good thing it's flat...

  1. Plan to bring lots of water (stops may be few after we leave the Niagara region and until we get back to the GTA).
  2. Bring patch kit and spare tire/tube (I'd bring 2 spare tubes) and inflator. We will all probably have some type of breakdown over 100 miles.
  3. Lights are recommended as it will be dark when we get back.
  4. Oh yeah - make sure your ride is in good nick and tune it yourself or get it done professionally.

We plan to make a pit stop in Hamilton and will probably hit every service centre and variety store along the way for hydration and fuel.

The weather is cooperating. There's a chance of t-storms only in Niagara on the Lake. High temp is around 25. Skies expected to be partly cloudy with chance of rain only the remainder of the ride.


NB - 9AM is when the train leaves and it's a long weekend!

  • Best to get there earlier so we can secure spots for our rides in the bike car - a few of us think that the train could fill up fast.
  • Try to get your ticket in advance to avoid lineups at Union Station
  • Meetup is down for maintenance starting 06h00 tomorrow so try and get all comms on the board wrapped up by midnight tonight

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  • Greg

    G'day. All good for the winery tour I hope!
    1) any thoughts about a route for August long weekend? I'd like a 100km - 150km ride. Maybe circumnavigate Toronto?
    2) Sunday looks like it'll be hot so if i post a Sunday ride it'll be an early start - 07h00 at the gates, maybe 07h30 but no later.
    3) I may ride with Bateman's (best bike shop in the City!) on Sundays as well. We'll be a 20kph - 25kph group. They usually ride form the shop (Bathurst and Dupont) to Oakville and back.
    Looking forward to the wine tour, already getting in shape for it. And I've continued to keep my riding fitness up as well ;-)

    July 11, 2013

  • Michael C.

    I've posted my Niagara Winery Tour. http://www.meetup.com/TorontoBikeMeetup/events/127831602/ I'll announce it later this week, but there was a lot of interest expressed in it when we did the century, so y'all get first crack.

    2 · July 3, 2013

    • Greg

      In!

      July 4, 2013

    • Jim I

      I'm IN. I love the Itinerary.

      1 · July 4, 2013

  • Andy Z.

    Had an amazing ride with everyone! Thanks for making this a fun day. Greg thanks for organizing this, it worked out dandy! Who wants to have a repeat?

    1 · July 2, 2013

    • Brigitte

      It was a beautiful ride. Thanks Mike, Greg and Andy for organizing! I am in for another one.

      1 · July 3, 2013

    • Greg

      YVW Brigitte, thanks for coming!

      July 4, 2013

  • Greg

    Thanks to all for coming out yesterday.

    Here's the raw GPS track:

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/335992390

    Andy, I realized why our speeds are off - I carry my GPS in my pack, yours is mounted on your bike. My avg moving velocity would probably include when I'm walking around. After I trimmed the last bit (meandering through the CNE grounds, dodging pylons of all sorts) I have 21 km/h over 153km.

    Great ride everyone, thanks again! Looking forward to the next one.

    July 1, 2013

    • Judy P

      Hope to be on the next one - dont remember if any of you remember from Holland marsh that I had to take off early cause of my Mom,,,, we get out of the kids phase, into looking after parents phase,,,, life is a circle.

      July 1, 2013

  • Jim I

    Great Ride.

    Thanks Greg for organizing, and Andy for guiding the way, Brigitte for the snacks, Ben and others for holding back and letting be draft behind them.

    Wish I'd had my roadbike, I really didn't think I'd be able to keep up on my Mountain bike and almost bailed a couple of times. Thanks for coming back.

    I think the extra carbs at Hutch's gave me lots of extra energy needed for the last hour.

    I was thinking of you over a couple of the best tasting drafts...

    Hoping your ride continuing on to Toronto went well after Oakville.

    3 · July 1, 2013

  • Michael C.

    Absolutely amazing. I've wanted to do this ride since 1991, but have never had the chance before today.

    Greg, thank you for setting this up. Andy for the route suggestions, Jim for being a monster on that mountain bike, Brigette for parking @ Union, and everyone else for making this ride truly spectacular.

    I hope that everyone got home alright.

    1 · July 1, 2013

  • Nick

    Sorry slept late

    June 30, 2013

  • Jim I

    Getting on in Oakville.

    June 30, 2013

  • Michael C.

    Car 2744 platform 6

    June 30, 2013

  • Michael C.

    Here at union.

    June 30, 2013

  • Michael C.

    Quick note for those in Toronto - the Subway won't start running until 8:55 am. You'll have to bike or ride into union.

    1 · June 29, 2013

    • Brigitte

      I've seen there are 'blue' buses where bikes are allowed.

      June 29, 2013

  • Brigitte

    I'd like to join and start the ride with Michael at a slower speed. If I can't keep up with the group, I don't mind catching the train somewhere or doing the ride alone. If that's a good idea (?).

    June 28, 2013

    • Michael C.

      No problem - There's also a bit of a shorter route where we can bypass N-o-t-L and meetup with the main group in Stoney Creek (cuts 15-20 km off the route). I'll be riding 15 km into union and back, so I can make up the century that way.

      June 29, 2013

    • Brigitte

      Haven't seen your response before. Ok, great, I ll go and buy the train ticket. I am a bit nervous but I think I can do it.

      June 29, 2013

  • Greg

    I do like Andy's alternate route:

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Niagara-Falls-to-Toronto-via-Lincoln

    But starting off with that climb...

    1 · June 29, 2013

    • Andy Z.

      I was dying on that climb last time I did it a couple of years ago. I'm better at hills now so I'm not afraid. :-)

      June 29, 2013

  • Judy P

    Also if you dont see me at the train in the morning, have fun, and maybe I will see you all another time, as my life goes, my Mom (alone in her 80's) and I am the only child with a car in the city,, her DVD player broke today, she cant wait for next week and I may have to pass on the all day ride to get her to a future shop

    June 29, 2013

  • Judy P

    cool, I can put that on my GPS, not that I hve done it before I must admit, so hope it works, but I dont get how one sees the cue sheet on these maps to print directions too.

    June 29, 2013

  • Greg

    As expected, Bikely came through. I have two maps that split it nicely:


    Niagara Falls to Burlington GO Station

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Niagara-Falls-to-Burlington-GO-train

    This takes us through NOL. For Anyone wanting just 100km, it ends at Burlington GO. For those going further...

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Burlington-to-Pickering

    The final leg to Union is about 60km. This route follows Lakeshore which would probably be best at night. We would have just left the Waterfront Trail so we could also continue back to Toronto.


    You can download these in GPX and upload them direct to your Garmin device. Or in KML and play with them in Google maps. I'll try to stitch them together and end it downtown.

    June 29, 2013

  • Judy P

    Doing the ride alone,,,, do you all realize there are 156 points in the directions?? that sure slows down a ride, I wish there was a GPS version I could load

    1 · June 28, 2013

    • Greg

      I have a GPS62s. 2 ways of editing a map are 1) using Garmin's MapSource or 2) uploading the map to GarminConnect and editing it using the web interface. #2 is a bit easier but #1 is the best method as you can save it in all sorts of formats and upload it to GarminConnect or your gps unit. I have to grab a few things downtown (and print the maps) but Bikely may have some better routes - I'll check now.

      June 29, 2013

    • Ben B.

      I dont understand what is wrong with the route. I looked it over last night on google maps / earth to see how the roads conditions are based on pavements, whats wrong with them? Are you planning on making changes to the route? On route the falls is going to be hectic, especially on a Canada Day long weekend.

      June 29, 2013

  • Judy P

    I am looking at the schedules, and cannot find a 9:00 a.m. train at all, and they all turn into buses at Burlington? Can someone tell me what time your train will arrive at Port Credit - and will we be switching to a bus?

    June 25, 2013

    • Ben B.

      Just look out for my bike, Black/Red/White Giant TCR, ill most likely ask if who you are, so don't be shy to say hi!

      June 26, 2013

    • Andy Z.

      Make that four people from Port Credit. I'll be overnighting it in the boonies and I'm pretty sure that's the closest station for me.

      June 29, 2013

  • Judy P

    I have ridden to Niagara Falls and back with Brampton Cycling Club - do you want me to ask them for their return route home? it is about 130 K (140 if you get lost)

    June 25, 2013

    • Greg

      G'day. If you can send the link to their route that'd be great but I suspect Andy's will be the same.

      June 26, 2013

    • Judy P

      I have found many rides they have back from Niagara Falls, but cannot figure out how to get the cue sheets, only see the map.

      June 26, 2013

  • Judy P

    OK, so many messages, so now it is the 9:00 a.m. train out of union? I will get on at port credit too - Ben - do you want to meet me there?

    can you print some maps in LARGE FONT? for those of us that need reading glasses to read? and dont wear them to ride? thanks.

    So its a real century? 100 Miles? cool, I did one a couple of weeks ago.

    I just biked in Ellicotville - alot of hills there, I am very slow on hills, but they are doable, so whatever route I will follow.
    Cant wait,, but what car will you all be on??

    June 25, 2013

    • Ben B.

      Yes, I'll meet you at port credit Judy, I'll be riding down from square one, and should expect to arrive around 08h45.

      June 26, 2013

    • Judy P

      OK, Ben I will see you where you wait for the train at 8:45 or so as well. and Greg - can you email me the pdf? hate to be a pain, but it is bad enough to stop and look at directions, never mind pull out reading glasses, I would retype it in a large font. Maybe even map it out and download it to my garmin. Thanks

      June 26, 2013

  • Judy P

    what kind of bikes is everybody riding? road bikes?

    June 26, 2013

    • Greg

      Hi Judy, Deb will be riding her hybrid but she is only going from near Grimsby to Oakville. She rode with a colleague of ours last year and held 20km/h for about 60km on it so she'll be fine. I know you a strong rider but I've really underestimated you if you can cover the distance on anything but a road bike!

      June 26, 2013

    • Ben B.

      Road bikes for me and my buddy.

      June 26, 2013

  • Greg

    I'm editing the main message now but:

    1. We are taking the 09h00 from Union. The 07h00 is a train/bus (bus from Burlington to the Falls)
    2. http://goo.gl/pwf2P (I will print some maps)
    3. This is a full century.
    4. I will prove the route on Thursday with a friend that grew up in Grimsby. She'll meet us near there and ride with us to Oakville.
    5. We've planned a stop in Hamilton already but as with Halton, we'll stop more frequently if we have to.

    I'm thinking to trim the length from the first part but the options are a climb up the escarpment or a ride through St Catherine's.

    S

    June 25, 2013

    • Michael C.

      Greg, Love the route. Niagara-On-The-Lake shouldn't slow us down that much, and it's beautiful cycling through there. I'm ok with skipping the run up to the falls, I think I've biked there 6+ times in the last 12 months!

      1 · June 25, 2013

    • Greg

      Kewl, Andy said it ain't that difficult too so I am tilting to going through NoL. If anyone has any comment let us know.

      June 26, 2013

  • Ben B.

    What are the chances that me and a buddy of mine can get a spot for a bike in one of the rail cars, if we get on at Port Credit Go Station? (Of course considering its the Long weekend how busy are those carts based on your experiences?)

    June 25, 2013

    • Andy Z.

      That is going to be super hard to predict unless someone here happened to go in the last few weekends. This year they have reduced the number of train trips to two per day. There were more last year, and even more in the past. What this means is that all of the people who don't want to bother with taking a bus, and all the cyclists, will be on the one 9am train. That being said, I'd still chance it, since worst case you'll just have to put your bike in one of the other cars, of which there are plenty.

      June 25, 2013

    • Greg

      What he said. My number is[masked], text me morning of and we'll let you know what car we'll be in. The bike car is near the accessible ramp, not sure how many they have. If it fill up, we'll try to let you know where to position yourself at Port Credit - gut feel tells me west end of the train will not be as crowded as the east end is closer to the main station.

      June 26, 2013

  • Judy P

    But I wont make it up the escarpment on a hybrid

    June 25, 2013

  • Judy P

    Never mind my comment on the 130 K, that was not right into Toronto of course. Is this route on bike paths the whole way? I was going to take my road bike, not sure if I want to be clipped in with a road bike on crowded bike paths ? what kind of bikes are you all taking? I could take my Scott hybrid.

    June 25, 2013

  • Judy P

    I am guessing you have a route mapped out? how many K is the route into Toronto? I have a Garmin 800 - not that I have figured it out yet,,,, but I could downloand the route if it is downloadable.

    1 · June 23, 2013

    • Andy Z.

      Judy, here is the map we used last year for this ride, I imagine that it will be quite similar this year: http://goo.gl/pwf2P­ 161km

      June 25, 2013

    • Greg

      That's the route we'll follow. Still to decide if we shortcut across the peninsula (uglier route), along the river (loner route) or the shortest route which would involve a climb of the Escarpment ('nuff said...).

      June 25, 2013

  • Michael C.

    If anyone's worried about falling behind, I don't mind pacing you slower than 25 km/hr (20km or so) as I'm riding wounded.

    June 23, 2013

  • Judy P

    Hi Greg if you could email me at [masked] we could exchange cell numbers and meet on the train, probably I will get on at Port Credit.

    June 23, 2013

  • Ben B.

    I think I will be able to hook up with you guys at one of the Mississauga stops.

    June 23, 2013

  • Judy P

    Yes, I was on that ride!!! I think I would like to make arrangements, if you pick a train that you will be on, as long as it is not raining, I will be along for the ride - and even if its 23kph, its still a nice day, I just would not enjoy a 20 kph ride. so keep me posted Greg

    1 · June 22, 2013

  • Greg

    G'day Judy. You did the Holland Marsh ride with us last summer didn't you? I remember you as a strong rider so this may be a bit slower than your normal pace. But if we have a strong group we could probably keep a higher pace as it's a relatively flat route. We have some strong riders that could pace the distance well and you're probably one of those. I should be okay around 25km but I'm still conditioning ;-( I'm in good shape but I have not yet done a 50km pull this year...
    You could easily get the train at one of the intermediate stops. We can text each other morning of so you can get on our car.
    Hope you can make it!

    June 22, 2013

  • Tammy G.

    This is awesome. I'll come next time

    June 22, 2013

  • Judy P

    Hi I would like to join you, but I live in Mississauga, almost Milton, can I meet you al on the train, pick it up in Oakville? then of course, break off around there and head North to home. I am guessing this is a road bike ride? I can ride 24 kph and have already done 100mile ride this year, wondering if the pace is really going to be 20kph or less, then maybe I wont come.

    June 22, 2013

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