Just because the likes of Ferdinand Magellan and Christopher Columbus helped map the world and make this big blue marble feel so much smaller and accessible than it did hundreds of years ago doesn’t mean the age of the explorer is over. But the job description has changed. It’s no longer about exploring completely unknown regions. Rather, it’s about simply sharing experiences that may seem unattainable for the masses and making them feel very much within reach for the motivated.
Two of these modern explorers and adventurers are Dave and Deb from The PlanetD. Why are we talking about them on a motorcycle site? Because this pair of two-wheel virgins has an audacious plan to start from scratch and learn how to ride this spring with the purpose of tackling one of North America’s great motorcycle trips this summer – the Lake Superior Circle Tour.
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When we call Dave and Deb explorers, we really do mean it. The pair literally has no fixed address. They’ve been travelling full time for the past six years and have visited all seven continents and 80 countries. Originally from Canada, this adventure brings them back to their roots.
“It was our mission last year to come back to Canada and show the world how great this country is – specifically Ontario, because this is our home province,” says Deb. “We really want to show everybody that Ontario is place that they should put on top of their adventure destination.”
“And what better way to showcase Ontario than to do it on a motorcycle,” says Dave. “Why not highlight the most beautiful, most epic ride in Ontario. Get out there and show that you don’t have to be a rider for years and years to go out and enjoy this great ride. That whole region in Northern Ontario really has been a mysterious thing for me that I’ve always wanted to explore. To get to do that on a motorcycle is going to be incredible.”
The PlanetD, which has teamed up with Ontario Tourism and Honda Canada for this adventure, will document the entire journey, including training at Toronto’s Motorsoul Riding School. Parts Canada will be providing the pair of adventurers with all the necessary motorcycle gear.
Before they tackle the 1,300-mile Lake Superior Circle Tour in July, Dave and Deb plan on getting their feet wet with some smaller weekend trips across Southern Ontario in May and June. Of course, this is all dependent on both of them actually passing their licence exams, so nothing is guaranteed. But the unknown is all part of the fun.
“We always go big or go home,” says Deb. “Our very first adventure that started our travel blog was cycling the continent of Africa. We were not cyclists before that, but we said ‘hey, if we’re going to cycle, let’s go all the way.'”
The partnership with Ontario Tourism seems to be an interesting one. When it comes to their weekend tours and the big Lake Superior Circle Tour, Dave and Deb will be relying on the new GoTourOntario trip planner. GoTourOntario.com was redesigned with feedback from actual motorcyclists. We are told that it includes “rider-tested” routes that are approved by riders who’d actually experienced them.
“The GoTourOntario.com trip planner has all kinds of scenic points of interest, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, motels, and resorts that are all verified in person by a rider,” says avid motorcyclist and occasional Motorcycle.com contributor Mike Jacobs. “So they’ll check for things like paved parking lots, paved roads, access to gas stations nearby, and make sure that these points of interest are perfectly situated for the motorcycle market – so they’re ready to receive riders.”
Feedback from motorcyclists is of paramount importance to the province of Ontario, who want to be sure that these routes meet the needs of motorcycle riders. The GoTourOntario trip planner allows and encourages users to share their routes and experiences across Facebook and other social media platforms, which can only encourage more motorcyclists to get out and explore. Motorcyclists are seen as a valuable and growing resource for the province as they increasingly spread their tourism dollars across Ontario.
“We think motorcycle touring is actually a growing industry in the province – particularly in the north. The hotels are telling us a lot about increased capacity thanks to motorcycle touring,” says Ronald Holgerson, president and CEO of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. “Increasingly there are tourists who want to be fully independent travelers. They prefer to get on a motorbike or in a car and basically take a look at the parks and the lakes and all of the fabulous scenery that we have.”
This is where GoTourOntario comes in. It gives users the ability to find motorcycle-friendly roads, accommodations, restaurants, and various points of interest. While hardened motorcycle tourers can tackle the Lake Superior Circle Tour in two days, the trip planner makes it easy to stretch it out to a week or more for those inclined to take it slow and take in the experience for all its worth.
If you want to follow along with The PlanetD‘s adventures or find out what others think of Ontario’s motorcycle roads, search #OntarioMotoRoads on Twitter or Facebook.