While there are dozens of motorcycle trip planners all over the internet, Ontario's taken plenty of steps to make sure they're doing it right.
First off, the Go Tour trip planner works by recommending a specific route rather than plotting a path from one point to another. Each route strings together the best roads in an area, avoiding major highways wherever possible.
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Twists, turns, forests, mountains, lakes and rivers all make up the incredible scenery on these routes that have to go through a rigorous 10-point scorecard just to get approved.
Many motorcycle websites and apps focus only on where the good roads are, but don't give any indication of where to stop. Ontario has gone one step further. Each route comes with a recommended itinerary, telling riders exactly where to stop for fun, food, and rest. These stops also have to pass a scorecard to end up on the list, and only those who go the extra mile for riders are included.
Currently GoTourOntario.ca is home to three motorcycle routes; the North Shore of Lake Superior, the Lake Temiskaming Loop, and the Georgian Bay Coastal Route. Over the next six months we'll be adding a dozen more routes, just in time for the height of the riding season. The next big routes to be added will be the Lake Superior Circle Tour, Lennox and Addington Rides and routes from Ride The North.
The trip planner incorporates two additional functions that can help enormously into the days leading up to the trip. First is a connection to the Ministry of Transportation's listing of all construction areas in the province. The second is a map of cell phone coverage throughout the province, so that riders can be sure they can reach friends and family while on the road.
The site is also mobile friendly. Riders can access their saved routes from the road at M.GoTourOntario.ca and track their progress. The mobile version also incorporates features that are of prime importance to the touring rider - namely the ability to instantly find the closest gas station, restaurant or washroom.
Check out the video for a walkthrough of exactly how Go Tour works, and see first-hand how simple planning your next motorcycle adventure can be. Throughout the riding season I'll be making regular reports on new routes, great roads, and where motorcycle riders can go for the best time ever. It's all part of a travelling road show we call The Ultimate Northern Ontario Road Trip - be sure to check out our blog this summer, as we'll be on the road for sixty days. Tough life, I know.
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