Biking Niagara – Whisky and Boats

Biking Niagara
Whisky and Boats

By Aaron Binder
Photos by Erin Burrell

There are few things more beautiful in the world than a great whisky.  You can be standing on the edge of a cliff looking down upon miles and miles of rolling green pasture and clear streams but still feel like you’re missing something.  When you happen to be holding a fine whisky in your hand it doesn’t matter where you are, the moment is perfect every single time that golden liquid strikes your lips.

Some of the finest whiskies in Canada come from Forty Creek in Grimsby; started by John K. Hall after he decided to drift from his first career of wine-making and consider distillation.  Forty Creek has not only won a bunch of awards but an incredibly prestigious Double Gold at the 2011 San Franscisco World Spirits Competition.

While it was scheduled as a stop on our route, we had no idea that Forty Creek was holding a whisky weekend to celebrate the release of two new products – Copper Pot and Whisky Cream Liqueur.  The on-site retail store was more packed than ever but the bartender was fantastically involved with everyone that figured a few tastings was a good idea.

Who doesn’t appreciate a good barn?

After departing we hit the road again with a way more positive outlook on life and our destination coming closer and closer with every pedal stroke.  By the time we passed through Grimsby it was only another hour before we found an incredible barn along the lakefront trail.  Leaving the city and returning to a place with two lanes and things called crops growing in the background is a great experience.  Realizing it was only 100 years ago that most of our country was involved in farming in one form or another is where humble realizations begin to creep in and your mind works on the term respect in reference to the people that feed us.

After a quick break it was time to cross into wine country.  After passing through St. Catharines and Port Dalhousie there remained one obstacle – the Port Weller bridge.  It seemed as though some sort of god had decided to gift us with arriving just in time for the bridge to raise and allow a ship to pass through.  When I say gift there is absolutely no sarcasm, take a look at the following photos and tell me that you wouldn’t wait for the majestic passing of this ship.

Look at all the cool stuff going on here.

The perfect spot to do anything.

After this ship had passed we crossed the bridge that would lead us into the grape-driven mecca of Niagara-on-the-Lake.  Our temporary home was mere kilometres from us at this point and with every push of the pedal the aroma of crushed grapes became stronger and more desirable.  What would befall us the next day?  Read the next dispatch to find out.
-Aaron

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