It’s taken me a while to get around to updating this thread.
In mid-August, I did a bike trip around the Simcoe County Loop Trail in Ontario. It’s a bunch of old rail trails/multi-use paths stitched together to create a 160 km loop. I rode it over 2 days (back-to-back 80 km days). I did it solo. My mom found out the day before I left that I was doing it alone, and accordingly freaked right out, because apparently riding an off-road path within my home province is a super-dangerous trip.
Anyway, on the first day, my husband drove me up to the start of the trail (he really is awesome), and off I went. I rode through some nice forest, some beautiful wetlands, and some scenic farmers’ fields. I rode until a little town called Elmvale, and stopped in there at a pub for lunch. After a leisurely lunch, I hopped back on the trail and continued. Since it’s mostly rail trail, this trail was parallel to a highway and nice and flat. Gave the feeling of never really being too far from civilization, while still riding off-road. After a brief detour (stupid unannounced trail closures...I made it up to Georgian Bay. This was the prettiest part of the trail, riding by the water. I got a flat tire about 1 km from the Bed and Breakfast where I’d reserved a room, so I walked the rest of the way there.
I B&B owners were so nice - the guy helped me fix my flat and he even had a spare tube! After a quick shower, they invited me for a glass of wine on the deck. I had a nice chat with the owners and two other guests. I actually ended up going for dinner with the other guests so I wouldn’t have to eat alone, which was super nice of them. After dinner, I had a quick soak in the B&B’s hot tub to ward off sore muscles, then we all ended up sitting around the kitchen table, chatting and drinking scotch (I mentioned to the owners how much I loved scotch after I saw some at the bar in my room).
I woke up the next morning, had a delicious breakfast, and then headed back out to the trail. Continued riding along the lake, which was still gorgeous. After the trail turns away from the lake, it actually got a little dull - long, straight, flat rail trail, as far as the eye can see. Easy to ride, but not super exciting. I arrived in Orillia and stopped for lunch at a really nice wood oven pizza place. Got a little lost finding the trail again, but made good time on the final leg and made it back to lake Simcoe ahead of schedule. Again, when the trail follows the shoreline of a lake - absolutely gorgeous.
I met up with a friend from high school who I haven’t seen in a billion years who lives near there for a coffee and caught up with her, which was really nice. Husband arrived to pick me up a couple hours later, and I called my parents on the way home to inform them that I was still alive.
It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad I did I on my own - it was a bit of a new experience for me (I don’t usually travel alone), but wholly positive. Everyone I met along the way was super nice and friendly!
That said - I think if I were to do it again (and I’d like to, it was fun), I think I’d like to go with a friend or two. It would have been nice to have someone to chat to along the flat, straight parts of the trail.
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