2009 August: Toronto – Sauble Beach North

Two wheels + no car = no problem
I love to beat the challenges of travelling without a car. In a “Ford-like” nation - like Canada - where the car is king, it is not obvious to travel with a bicycle and without a car. I decided to get around it and hope my experience helps you prepare for your own ride.

Lake Huron’s Sauble Beach is synonymous of friendliness, sun, and beaches. It is a pleasant area for bicycle touring.

How can you travel without a car but with your bicycle?

First, there is: Greyhound. I know, tell me about it...I suffer from motion sickness myself.
There is no train going to Sauble Beach and I have no money to take a helicopter. So this is what I did: I used an Allen key + 15" wrench to disassemble the bicycle, I put it in a box and shipped it via Greyhound. You need to ship your bicycle 1 or 2 days before heading to your final destination. This way you are sure that your bicycle is there when you arrive (I got there via Greyhound too).

In less than 30 minutes I removed the pedals and front wheel, and disengaged the front break. Advice: use cream/oil and a rag to clean your hands. Oil well the pedals (preferably cream oil) a few days in advance as it will make make it easier to put the pedals back on. A packing box is available at the Greyhound Courier (for a fee); and then there is the shipping fee. Find out how long they will keep your bike in the Greyhound office (town of Owen Sound) free of “storage” surcharges.

When you get to Owen Sound (you will have printed off the web a taxi service list of the area). For a decent fixed rate they will drive you and your two-wheel to Sauble Beach North. If you are traveling light, ride your bike to Sauble Beach -just 35 Km- but be aware: the roads are busy and shoulders are unpaved.

Bring a map of the Ontario back roads, or get an Ontario bicycle map (at MEC stores maybe?).

These pointers are meant only to give you an idea and are by no means an official tour source. The starting point of all loops was Sauble Beach North which is about 3.5 K from downtown Sauble Beach.

Loop 1:
Sauble Beach North to Shallow Lake
45 Km return
My intention was to head south to Kincardine but the traffic on highway 13 on a long August weekend threw me off. A car at 80K per hour...Anyway, I ended up taking quiet roads and came close to the town of Shallow Lake.
Route: South on Lakeshore Blvd. which merges with Sauble Falls, becomes 2nd Avenue. Head West on Maryville Lake Rd., North on Municipal, West on Silver Lake Rd., North on Allenford, East on Spring Creek, passing by Jewel Bridge Road, then West on 6th and lastly North on Lakeshore Blvd.

All flat, easy ride. My map did classify paved and upaved roads so I didn’t make it to the town of Shallow Lake.

Ending the ride with a swim in Lake Huron speeded up my muscle recovery.

Loop 2
Sauble Beach North to the town of Mar
50 K return
Two or three hills, amazing landscape.
Route: Head North on Lakeshore boulevard, West on Sauble Falls, North on #13, West on South Oliphant Road (partly unpaved but doable. My thin tires worked fine). North on Bay, North on Shorline Avenue, East on Spry Lake Road, North on #13 (aka Bryant). East on Red Bay Road and then Mar is there. A corner gas station with a delicious home-made cooking is the town of Mar. A local told me that they tried to change the name of this but didn’t do it.

Loop 3
Sauble Beach North to Southampton
50K return
South on Sauble Falls Pkwy., West on Silver Lake Rd., South on Elsinore all the way until hightway 21 [Elsinore north of High Hill Rd. is unpaved but I managed to role on the compacted soil.] West on #21 all the way to Southampton -- but warn you, #21 is busy. On my way back I took Route 13, again busy and be on the look for heavy trucks. I wouldn’t take #13. On highway 21 I passed by the Nagee’s native reserve.


amh said...

Sauble Beach is a great bicycling area, once you are there.

My family and I camp at Sauble falls and use our bikes exclusively once we get to the campsite, including our visits to the beach of Sauble Beach or to the town of Sauble Beach.

The nicest way to ride to Sauble Beach is from Wiarton; but that is very much an out-of the way route. However, the ride to Warton from Owen Sound is spectacular. You can use Centre Road for a slightly shorter and flatter route, or else take the scenic ride on the roads that travel closest to the water. While hillier, the views, panoramas and vistas are incredible along the shore route.

Traffic is generally light while between the cities. Be sure to stop for some hand made Ice Cream at Big Bay along the way.

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