30 days of Biking Contest

30 days of Biking might be the best thing in the whole wide web.

Joining is easy. Go to www.30daysofbiking.com and sign up. In doing that, you pledge to ride your bike every day in April. Ride to the grocery store on Monday. On Tuesday, meet up with a friend for coffee. Wednesday? Take your best two-wheeled friend to the park you haven’t seen since last year. Ride your bike to work on Thursday and home from work on Friday. Is there any better way to start your weekend?!

So, you get the picture. By pledging to get on your bike and ride everyday, you’ll find time for it. You’ll make time for it! With a little luck, you might even make a habit out of it!

The last play of the game is to get on the interweb and tell everyone how much fun you’re having. It’s free and it’s all about spreading the love of biking.

This gets official Farm Dog endorsement. I want April to get here just so I can tell everyone how much I love my bike, and they’ll have to listen!

We want you to tell us about your ride! Let us in on the feel of the wind in your face, or the joy in your heart. Tell us that your helmet smells like mold. Tell us about your flats, your friends and your free-wheelin’ fun. Tell us when you see us on the sidewalk. Shout it from the rooftops! If you tell us on twitter or Facebook, we’ll enter you in a draw to win a FREE custom tour for three from Farm Dog Cycles this summer.

 

My Favourite Rides: County Rd 50 to Lakeside Park

We’re spoiled. It feels like spring – and it’s only March. MARCH!

spring flowers
not quite here yet

I’ve been taking advantage of daylight savings time for a whole two days now. Two rides in two days, and it feels soooooo good! I wanted to start sharing some of my favourite bike routes in the ‘hood… just to give you a few ideas; or maybe a little inspiration to start planning your own. These are my usual training rides, and I turn to them again and again because they are the best and most beautiful (in my own, humble opinion.) I’ll try to point out some great things worth checking out along the way.

I’ll be updating this post with pictures just as soon as I can steal Liams iphone for a spin; riding with my DSLR seems like asking for trouble.

If I ever only have an hour or so to squeeze in a quick ride, this is  my go-to route. Left Right out of the Fruit Wagon driveway onto County Rd 50. CR50 always feels safe to me – the posted speed limit is 60 km/h, and cars are accustomed to runners, walkers, dog, and cyclists sharing the road. I’m always given the space I need, and more often than not a little wave.

** If you want to look like a local, you have to learn how to give the little nod and lift your fingertips to acknowledge everyone on the road – especially if they drive a pickup truck. Nobody likes a car wave like a farmer does!

The first crossroad you’ll pass is Iler road. It dead-ends into the J.R Park Homestead, one of Ontario’s best living history museums, and a beautiful place for a visit or a picnic. If you turn left onto Iler, you’ll find Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards about 4 km up the road. This family-friendly winery is a gem, they have a beautiful new retail space and tasting bar; and a beautiful natural amphitheater and treed grounds for exploring. Or, stay on CR 50 and head past the Arner townline. You now find yourself in the municipality of Kingsville (Canada’s Sounthernmost town dontchaknow); the road widens, the speed limit drops to 50 km/h, and the name of the road changes to Heritage Dr. You wind past tiny cottages and beautiful beachfront homes, all the way to Cedar Beach. This has to be one of the most underused beaches in the area – if my ride stopped here around sunset, and I happened to find a handsome lad with a tiny bbq and a bottle of wine, I could die happy.

 

 

But, the show goes on – there is cycling to be done! Stay on CR 50 (called Heritage Dr in Kingsville) all the way to Cull Dr, a road that seems to lead into suburbia, but it actually leads you to Lakeside Park and is the ‘backway’ into the town of Kingsville. Stop in at Jacks Gastropub or the Mettawas Station for a great lunch featuring local ingredients, or Vern’s for a beer. You can prowl around Kingsville for some of the best small-town shopping around, I find new stores every time I go (and I’m in Kingsville a LOT.)

Coming home, you have a few options. My personal favourite is the Chrysler Greenway. You can pick it up in a few places around town, south of King Street, and it is well-signed. I’m usually riding my Opus Stelle, a cyclocross bike (a road-style bike with a slightly knobby-er tire for all-intensive purposes,) and I love it because I can go pretty much anywhere with it. I have ridden my road bike on the Greenway on numerous occasions, and though it is gravelly, it’s often hard-packed and I don’t mind it (but I also don’t mind wrecking my bike and putting it back together.) If you’re riding a cushy cruiser or a mountain bike, you’re all set. Take the Greenway! The best part is where is crosses behind the Kingsville Golf Course. The sun shines through the trees, and there is a little hill that makes me want to scream a little everytime I drop down it. It’s like a tiny rollercoaster.

Did I mention it is really, REALLY flat here?!

You can ride the Greenway back to the Schwab Farms entrance at the Arner Townline, then jump on the Arner heading south. Cross over Cedar and Fox Creeks and keep your eyes peeled for our resident Bald Eagle. When you can see the lake, it is time to turn right back onto CR 50 and head for home.

 

*Riders wanting to stay off the Greenway can ride one road north to Kingsville Rd 2 and head back to the Arner townline, or head back around County Rd 50.

**If you’re wanting a little longer ride, take the road or trail all the way back to Harrow…but you’re on your own getting home from there ;)

 

Human-Powered

Wind turbines on winter day
Winter Winds

Energy is big news these days.

Love ’em or hate ’em, the wind turbines are here to stay in Essex County. I couldn’t help but notice them today – the only sign of white on a very brown February day.

I’m going to (try to) remain politically neutral on my business blog. The only kind of energy-usage we at FDC condone is that of you munching your way through a couple of apples and using that energy to push your pedals around this beautiful land o’ ours. Human-Powered.

That said, I think the turbines really lend something to our landscape. I noticed the other day they are featured on the www.townofharrow.com banner – what a neat way to brand our little place!

Come check them out!

New FDC logo!

Logo launch day at FDC!

Many thanks to our awesome friend Wikki for her slick design skills.

 

Farm Dog Cycles official logo

 

What do you think?!

 

Please let us know – we love your feedback!

Ready for Take Off…


All a-twitter since 2012!

Helicopter-Head

This may be the opposite of Farm Dog Cycles, the black to our white – but we like it.

It isn’t about quiet country roads, feeling the sun on your back or the wind in you hair – but it i does have a pretty big sense of awesomeness.

Imagine wine touring – by HELICOPTER. That’s right: PECWine Tours in beautiful Prince Edward County, Ontairo offers a Helicopter Wine Tour, complete with three vineyard visits and tastings, and lunch at the very regal Huff Estates Winery.

Jealous!

 

(any pilots around want to help a girl out?!)

Riders Wanted!!

Farm Dog Cycles is a bicycle rental company – but we are also purveyors of cycling culture and all things two-wheeled. In other worlds, we are dorks. Bike nerds. Pedal-heads. We love to ride!

We are looking for other velo-enthusiasts to join some group rides. Likely a Saturday or Sunday morning ride until we get some of our daylight hours back, then we would love to add some weekday morning/evening rides.

Riding in a group requires a special skill set aside from making circles with your feet – and now is the best time to learn. Whether you are a seasoned veteran, or new to the peleton we welcome your company. We only ask that you are comfortable riding between 25-30 kph for at least 60 min.

If you are in the county and interested in keeping up your winter fitness with some friends, please drop us  a line at meg@farmdogcycles.com

North Shore News: Lighted Tractor Parade

Exciting times here on the North Shore…

Tomorrow night is the 4th Annual Lighted Tractor Parade at Viewpointe Winery. This is becoming a much anticipated event locally, and we froze our fingers off this afternoon prepping the Fruit Wagon for it’s yearly trip down the catwalk….even the farm dogs helped out:

meg and finn putting the finishing touches on old blue's new antlers
the finishing touches

Come on down to Viewpointe tomorrow evening; it all gets going around 4:30. Hot Chocolate, Sausages and parade…..you might even get a glimpse of Farm Dog ;)

Come say hello!!

~m.

Welcome!

Welcome to Farm Dog Cycles!

Farm Dog is about living the good life :)

 

Please stay tuned – much, MUCH more to come.

 

meg