Tuesday, June 30, 2009


There's a wealth of interesting dualsport riding near my small town of Almonte, in Eastern Ontario. In this blog I'll share some of my riding experiences in and around Lanark County so you can see what there is to explore here.

Although this blog is ostensibly about dualsport motorcycling, in fact I'm addicted to pretty much any form of two-wheeled fun. That includes bicycling--either road riding or mountain biking. Both motorized and self-propelled cycling offer unique opportunities to explore and enjoy the backcountry. I like bicycling because it's quiet, great exercise, and let's you see all kinds of details about your surroundings. I like motorcycling because it extends my range and gets me into areas where it would be impractical for me to ride my bike. So I'll cover both forms of two-wheeled fun here, because I find them complementary and fun.

On to my motorbike (for now).

I ride a 2002 KLR 650. It's an ugly warthog, but the perfect bush tool for out here. I've looked at a lot of other rides and keep coming back to this thing. My upgrades are progressive fork springs, Arrowhead doohickey (highly recommended: I've done three KLRs and two doos were snapped, with one ready to break), Moose skid plate, Maier handguards, upgraded subframe bolts, IMS moto pegs, T-junctions carb breather, and Kenda 270 tire on the rear with Pirelli MT21 knobby on the front and heavy duty tubes. The tire combo is a good compromise out here and I recommend it highly. Actually, all the upgrades have saved my bacon at some point and I wouldn't consider anything less as a starting point for riding the backcountry here.

To get the most out of trail opportunities in Eastern Ontario, I recommend getting an ATV trail pass. Look for "The Gold Pass", which costs $149 for a year and gives access to an amazing network of snowmobile and ATV trails across the province. While I regret all the increased regulation on pretty much aspect of our lives these days, I understand the need for a trail pass and support the efforts of the thetrail.ca, the body that has taken on the role of developing and promoting responsible trail networks and usage across Ontario.

One of my personal projects over the past couple of years has been putting together a trail ride from Almonte to Bon Echo Provincial Park. I've done all but a small section of it, either on foot/bike/motorbike. Of course, it's not just about the riding; I'm also quite interested in the local history, so finding and exploring pioneer trails and ghost towns is all part of the experience.

I'll cover some of my routes in followup posts. If you want to join me, drop me a line and let's arrange something.

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