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St. Catherines - Welland Canal - Niagara Falls: Aug. 31st

The GO train to Niagara Falls stops running after the Labour Day weekend (with one more excursion at Thanksgiving), so let's work in another ride in the Niagara region.

The ride will be on Saturday, August 31st. We will take the 9 AM GO train from Union station which will arrive in St. Catharine's about 10:40 AM. The round-trip GO train fare will be about $40.

The 9 AM special has the two cars specially for cyclists. Because there is only so much room on the train for bikes I am limiting this ride to 25 attendees. If anyone wants to drive down you would be welcome to meet us there.

As the ride is capped PLEASE update your RSVP if you find you can't go. To anyone who ends up on the waiting list, on my last Niagara ride the entire waiting list ended up going as 10 people cancelled 24 hours or less before the ride, so don't give up.

At St. Catharine's we will be riding to the mouth of the Welland Canal, and then riding south down the length of the canal as far as Port Robinson, where there is a bike / pedestrian ferry across. We will then be heading east on country roads to the Niagara River trail south of the Falls, then north past the Falls themselves to a restaurant and the Niagara GO station, departing back home 7:20 PM.

The route of the ride is at the following link, and will be about 70 km. I want to do this ride at an average 20 km/hr. There will be only one real hill on the route, at the Thorold locks. The ride is predominately on bike trails and quiet roads (except past the Falls themselves).

Hope to see you there!

Map of Route: http://goo.gl/maps/PElyJ

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  • Dagmar

    Hi Donald and group, Just wanted to let you all know that my friend and I were on the train and got off at Niagara Falls by mistake. My apologies that we didn't join the group. We had a great day doing our bike ride along the falls and having dinner at Montanas on the main street with all the fun and entertainment. Then, we took the 10:30pm TO Train back home. Thanks Donald, you were the inspiration for a great outing!

    September 2, 2013

  • Myra

    Fabulous and fun. Thanks all

    September 1, 2013

    • Susan R.

      my tracker stopped at the "wear harness sign" :) we had at that point gone 53km in 2hrs 48 min. average speed 19 km/hr, max speed 32.7 km /hr NOT BAD:) sue

      September 1, 2013

    • Myra

      Very funny. Great cycling with you. Enjoy the film festival and will be in touch for a cycle or kayak soon!

      September 1, 2013

  • Myra

    I posted a few more pics of our adventurous portaging and ferrying!

    1 · September 1, 2013

  • Arthur

    The St. Catharines-Welland Canal- Niagara Falls was one of the best rides this season! Very scenic and enjoyable ride, especially the Welland Canal portion!

    September 1, 2013

  • Susan R.

    Awesome adventure Donald. Your efforts so appreciated:) THANKS

    September 1, 2013

  • Rick

    Great ride! Great group ! Thanks Donald if you have a chance Like the Port Robinson Ferry Boat Service on FB

    September 1, 2013

  • Miklos B.

    Really good time, enjoyed the scenery, Will always remember the BRIDGE..

    1 · September 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good to ride with everyone. Glad to see some happy faces at the end of the ride. Thank you for all of the conversations , offers of help and caring... those are the things that make group rides fun and safe.

    September 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really nice route! Thanks Donald!

    September 1, 2013

  • Harriet

    Great ride! Thanks Donald.

    August 31, 2013

  • mercedes

    Great ride Donald! Thanks for organizing an leading us thru lovely areas. Looking forward to the next one! Great hanging out with everyone too:)

    August 31, 2013

  • Cynthia C.

    Great ride. Fun group and lovely trail. Thanks Donald for organizing.

    August 31, 2013

    • Judy P

      yes , great ride thanks Donald!!

      August 31, 2013

  • Dagmar

    Thank you so much. See you tomorrow!

    August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    do we need bike locks?

    August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    Great I am in! see you at Oakville Station - which cars?
    I will take my hybrid, no clips, are people bringing clothes to change into for dinner?

    August 30, 2013

    • Rick

      Hi Judy - Taps is bar atmosphere and we'll be OK with our bike attire. btw, Tomorrow's special is large pizza, wings and a pitcher for $25- last time I went with the group a bunch of people went in on the special.

      August 30, 2013

    • Judy P

      thanks Rick, might take clothes since I am taking my hybrid along anyway, hate being in the sweaty ones for dinner and a go train ride back

      1 · August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    I signed up but there are no more spaces so can I go if I meet you at the Go train in St Catharines?? you are getting offf in St. Catharines right?

    August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    I think I will sign up, there is still one spot, or maybe not, Dagmar wants a friend, worst case I can drive to the meeting spot, I will give Dagmar a chance to sign up her friend first,,,, can you tell me what time the train gets to Oakville and how I know which train to get on? I think I will take a chance and take my hybrid for a change from my road bike and hope it was a good choice. Last time I made that choice most had road bikes and went very fast and I rode alone, I am guessing we all stay together??

    August 30, 2013

  • Donald S.

    Hi all. Some final points for our ride tomorrow...

    As usual, my cell number is[masked]-7019.

    1) As always, if your plans change please change your RSVP ASAP, so someone else gets a chance to go.

    2) The weather has been changing back and forth, but Environment Canada is currently not predicting any rain. You should probably bring a rain jacket with you just in case, I make no guarantees they are 100% correct.

    August 30, 2013

  • Donald S.

    3) Try to be at Union Station by 8:30 AM to give you plenty of time to get your ticket and get ready to board the train (leaves at 9 AM). If you are running late DO NOT try to track us down or find us, just get a space on the train as QUICKLY as you can. You'll have plenty of time to find us on the train during the trip to St. Catharine's (you can walk between cars freely).

    The GO train will stop at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlington, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls ONLY. You can purchase a round-trip ticket at Union and save $1. The entire round trip costs about $40.

    4) We're going to spend a lot of time out in the country. There really are not any places you can simply drop out of the ride, so please make sure you feel you are up for it. The ride will be pretty flat, with a few hills up the canal (at the locks) and again past Niagara Falls up to the train station. The average pace will be in the 20km/hr range, this won't be a road bike racing ride.

    August 30, 2013

  • Donald S.

    5) Please bring your own lunch, we're not going to be stopping at a place to buy some (not really available along the route). There will be a few bathroom breaks, but they are again far between so please don't simply expect to have one available at any time.

    6) We'll be having dinner at the Taps Brewing Company, 4680 Queen Street, in Niagara Falls, about 2 minutes ride away from the Niagara Falls train station. The train back will leave at 7:20 pm.

    7) Bring PLENTY of water, it might be sticky.

    See you tomorrow!

    Donald Simmons

    August 30, 2013

  • Dagmar

    I would like to add my friend Desroy to the list since there is one spot still available. Please confirm. Thank you. Looking forward to the ride. :-)

    August 30, 2013

    • Donald S.

      I've added your one guest.

      August 30, 2013

  • Dagmar

    I have a question please. I signed up on the waiting list and got in, thankfully. I am happy about that. When I had put my name on the waiting list, I thought I had entered myself plus 1 guest. Is my guest also coming on the trip or do I still have to sign him up? Please let me know asap as there is still one spot left. :-)

    August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    also does this train stop in Mississauga or Oakville to get on it?

    August 30, 2013

    • Donald S.

      The train is a semi-express and stops at Exhibition, Port Credit, Oakville, Burlingion, St. Catharines, and Niagara Falls ONLY.

      August 30, 2013

  • Judy P

    I am deciding if I do this for something different or go out on my usual 100 k ride with the Brampton Cycling Club.... so wondering as this is a slow pace (and trails) if you guys are taking road bikes or hybrids?

    August 30, 2013

    • Donald S.

      There will be a mixture of bikes on this ride, I'm looking at the average pace to be in the 20 km/hr range. It will *not* be a fast road bike ride.

      August 30, 2013

  • Donald S.

    Hi all. Just a reminder that if your plans change and you can't make the Niagara ride Saturday, PLEASE update your RSVP immediately as we do have a waiting list. This includes doing it the morning of the ride.

    Also, the weather is starting to look a touch iffy right now. I'm not going to make a thing of it till Friday evening as anything could still happen at this point. As this will be almost the last time the Niagara GO train runs this year (runs once more Thanksgiving weekend) if they only predict showers I'll almost certainly go ahead with the ride, but if they predict thundershowers I'll likely call it off, as we'll be riding thru a lot of open country.

    August 28, 2013

    • Rick

      Hi Donald - I agree plus if I had a dollar for every time the weather forecaster got it wrong ... well, you get the idea. Hopefully it will be a go !

      August 30, 2013

  • Paula L.

    Hi Donald. My average is 16-17km an hour. Would this ride be too much of a stretch?

    August 29, 2013

    • Donald S.

      Maybe. Have you ever ridden 70 km before? We will be on a bit of a timetable here to do the route and catch the train. If you've never ridden a long distance before keeping up might be a stretch.

      August 29, 2013

  • Rick

    Is this a rain or shine ride? Forecast currently calling for 60% chance of 10-15mm. Thanks !

    August 28, 2013

    • Donald S.

      The Environment Canada website still has it as sunny on Saturday. anyway, this is still too far out to be certain. I'll send out a weather advisory if necessary on Friday.

      1 · August 28, 2013

  • albert

    Unfortunately, I have to back out (moving my son to school). Have fun everyone and see u next time :)

    August 26, 2013

  • Donald S.

    Sorry folks, I had forgotten to turn on the wait list feature for this ride, but it is on now.

    August 25, 2013

  • A.J. P.

    I will be driving to St. Catharines. I have room for one more bike on my bike rack. Anyone north of the 401 near Yonge Street want to share cost of gas to St. Kitts? Thanks.

    August 20, 2013

    • Roberta

      Hi AJ, I'm interested in sharing your ride if its still available.. I live at Mt Pleasant & Davisville and will ride to your location but need more details.

      August 23, 2013

  • Mariana

    Haven't had the chance to join the rides but this day works! :)
    Where do you guys usually meet once at Union?

    August 20, 2013

    • Donald S.

      Just go to the lower level with the GO tickets are sold. You can't miss a bunch of people with bikes.

      August 20, 2013

  • Nicholas D

    Sorry I couldn't attend. I forgot we were going out of town that long weekend.

    August 20, 2013

  • Donald S.

    Forgot to add the map of the route to the original mail-out, it is at: http://goo.gl/maps/PElyJ

    August 20, 2013

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