Friday 6 July 2018

Kawartha Highlands Circumnavigation

A July ride in the Haliburton Highlands:  the plan is to take a few days at the end of next week and head up to the in-law's cottage.  It's just outside Bobcaygeon, Ontario and makes a great base for riding into the Canadian Shield in Haliburton.

The way into the lake is a fire road. all gravel and twisty like a rally stage.  I'm actually looking forward to it now that I've done the SMART training; time to see if I can apply some of those off road skills so that the whole way in isn't a nervous ride on a loose surface.

The next day I'll take the Tiger out for a lap around the Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park.  I did the Haliburton Highlands last spring on a birthday ride.  Weaving through Canadian Shield lakes, woods and massive rock outcroppings is never a bad thing.  Because of all those geographical features, Haliburton is one of the few places in Ontario where the roads have some character; you spend very little time on the crown of your tire.

If I'm finding the ride going by quickly there are a lot of alternative routes built in.  The 504 looks like it would be fun to ride both ways.

10 North off the 648 up by Tory Hill also looks like it would be a good two way ride.  It'd be easy to add some additional pieces on the day if time permits.

One thing's for sure, that night around the campfire at the cottage is going to feel good...

The short route - 261kms. The longer route (318kms below) also covers the twisty 10 north of Highland Grove...

With that done and after a couple of days in the woods, it's off to the Atlak Tour meeting in Torrance, Ontario at the Clear Water Brewery.  It's only a couple of hours along more twisty Haliburton Highlands roads before a 2pm start, so I even get to sleep in.

I'll bring my fifteen year old/seventy-thousand kilometre old Tiger up there and see what the new ones have to offer.  One thing I think they're missing are the striking style of my '03 model.  At some point Triumph went BMW GS with their adventure bikes and started chasing the military look.  My whimsical Tiger strikes up all sorts of conversations wherever I go, I'm not sure that the newer models have the same curb-side appeal, but I'll find out soon enough.

It's two hours out to the Triumph event and then two and a half hours home afterwards, but on a Saturday evening on a summer weekend it'll be an empty highway that meets me; I can get home in less than two and a half hours.

It's a busy few days, but on these kinds of roads they'll be anything but dull.