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Local bike tour entrepreneur taking cycling message on the road

Oro-Medonte's Sara McEwen speaking to industry members about fully-supported bike tours at provincial,national conferences
Sara and John by historic sign in TBM
Sara McEwen and her husband, John, are shown on a bicycle tour in the Town of Blue Mountains. Contributed photo

The launch of Oro-Medonte Township's Humdinger Bicycle Tours in 2018 introduced Ontario cottage country’s first, fully-supported, multi-day cycling tours.

Founder Sara McEwen will be speaking to industry members about fully-supported tours at this year’s Cycle Tourism Conference Canada, hosted by Ontario by Bike and being held March 1 in parallel with the first day of the Toronto International Bike Show.

Humdinger Bicycle Tours has come to fruition thanks to a lifelong passion for cycling and adventure tourism experiences. McEwen has a background in physiotherapy and as a research scientist.

“Launching Humdinger Bicycle Tours has been a dream of mine for years,” said McEwen. “My life experiences and research work led me to believe that combining physical activity and learning experiences in a fun and motivating environment is important to overall well-being.

"At Humdinger, our vision is to run cycle tours that provide this complete holiday experience," said McEwen. "We are also striving to run a sustainable and socially responsible company that respects the natural environment that is so crucial to Ontario’s cottage country.” 

Humdinger conducts fully supported tours that take the planning, carrying, and worrying out of the process, so the focus for guests is on riding their bikes and experiencing everything the region has to offer.

"With a support vehicle and trailer, the guides move people, gear and bikes around as needed. Our cycle guides also act as tour guides and hosts,” says McEwen.

“They know unique places to visit such as outdoor art installations, historical sites, small craft breweries and cider houses, impressive scenic lookouts and quiet lakeside lunch spots. We are aiming to provide a complete holiday that combines cycling with local arts, culture, and food experiences.”

Humdinger will be offering a total of four distinct tours in 2019, each running multiple times from June to September.

These exclusive cycling experiences feature boutique accommodations, local food delights, and hidden gem attractions throughout Simcoe, Grey, Muskoka, and Haliburton.

There are two tours for advanced/intermediate riders: the Six-Day Signature Georgian Bay-Muskoka Tour, and the Five-Day Hills of Huntsville and Haliburton Tour.

There are also two three-day novice options called Pedal, Pints and Pubs, which provide an introduction to cycle touring and include craft brewery tastings.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport 2013 Cycling Strategy, cycling is a growing sector in Ontario with 1.7 million cycling visits with a total spend of $428 million.

Cyclists generally spend more on average per trip than other visitors at $255/trip for cycling tourists compared to $171/trip for total visitors.

McEwen will be joining Cycle Simcoe at the Montreal and Toronto Bike Shows, and appreciates all the support she has received from cycling organizations, local businesses and the many cottage country tourism organizations who have supported this venture.