I grew up cycling in Toronto in the 1980’s and 1990’s. There weren’t as many cars, people weren’t quite as hostile towards cyclists, and the roads were pretty bearable. Moving to Niagara in the mid 90’s was a shock because there was hardly any traffic, people were generally nice to cyclists, and the roads were surprisingly good.
It’s still like that today in Niagara. Yes, there’s a little more traffic and yes, some drivers aren’t happy to encounter cyclists. I just figure they’re from Toronto 😉 All in all, cycling in Niagara’s pretty nice.
It’s also relatively flat. Large stretches of Niagara are flat or mildly rolling terrain. The exception to this is the Niagara Escarpment. At some point you’re going to have to climb “the mountain”. To those cyclists who have experienced real mountains, hearing people calling the Niagara Escarpment a mountain is a head scratcher. It’s an insult to mountains in a way. However, the escarpment represents the only major climbing opportunities for cyclists living in or visiting Niagara, so it is what it is.
One day I wondered to myself how many ways road cyclists could climb the Niagara Escarpment. Through the beauty of Google Maps, I calculated there are around 25 different routes available to cyclists. In the interest of providing a somewhat dubious public service and, more importantly, to give me a reason to get out and ride more, I plan to cycle all of these routes this summer and write a little something about each route here.
I hope you enjoy the reading, and more importantly, I hope you get out and enjoy Niagara’s beauty by bicycle 🙂