For many motorcyclists this is their favourite time of the year.
For the fist time in months that heavy jacket feels just right. The autumn air is crisp and the open road lies ahead while the gently falling leaves beckon.
Every biker has his or her favourite fall ride destination: that windy, hilly stretch that reminds them while they laid out the cash for their two wheels in the first place.
And what better time than the Thanksgiving Day long weekend to hook up with a few of your fellow motorcyclists and head to parts unknown.
For those with no particular place in mind, here are a few ideas that satisfy the hunger for a quintessential autumn ride which can easily be done in a day.
Southwood Rd. 13 northwest off of Hwy 11 north of Severn Bridge into the heart of Bala. Up through Bala, Port Carling, Bracebridge and Gravenhurst, an area that is alive with the fall colours.
Just as enjoyable is a trip through Lake Baptiste into Bancroft, then Whitney and back through the Algonquin Park to Huntsville and down through Muskoka Falls.
A personal favourite is the area around Cambridge and Paris, (http://bikeroads.atspace.com/paris.htm). The roads are paved and scenery is spectacular. The Tim Hortons at 151 Dundas Street East in Paris is a popular gathering spot for caffeine-deprived bikers.
The scenic countryside in around the Town of Mono, north of Orangeville runs about 45 minutes from Toronto. Head up Highway 10.
Also try Buckhorn Road-Highway 507, (http://bikeroads.atspace.com/buckhorn.htm) and Peterson Road — Maynooth to Harcourt north of Bancroft (http://bikeroads.atspace.com/maynooth.htm).
Forks of the Credit remains ever popular. Watch out for the noise police in Belfountain, or even try Hwy, 504 east of Apsley, then south on 46 to Havelock.
Exit Hwy. 401 on Mill St, south of Newcastle and head to Lake Ontario. Follow Lakeshore Rd. to Port Hope, where it connects with Hwy. 2 beginning your trek towards Picton. Take Hwy 33 south from Trenton to Picton and on towards Lake on the Mountain where you take a ferry and continue along the shoreline to Kingston.
Kitchener-Waterloo, the home of Oktoberfest, offers some great motorcycling rides any time of the year, but no more so than the fall. Try the Homer Watson-Huron Rd. route and end up near the lovely little village of Shakespeare. For details go to http://bikeroads.atspace.com/homer.htm
No matter where you head out, have fun and ride safe.
For more Great Rides, go to Great Ontario Bikeroads: http://bikeroads.atspace.com/index.htm.