Ride the Highlands Super Fans – Jason and Amy Lemke
It’s been eight epic years since the inception of Ride the Highlands. Through those years we have met so many awesome people, both business owners and riders. We’ve also had fun helping you plan your rides and seeing where the roads take you. A few of you have stood out over the years; sharing your adventures by using the hashtag #ridethehighlands and posting on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Two individuals who are both very active on our social feeds are husband and wife duo, Jason and Amy. They are who we like to call Super Fans. The last two years, we have watched as they’ve clocked thousands of kilometres exploring Ontario’s Highlands, and checking off routes and roads from their Ride the Highlands map. We had the opportunity to ask Jason and Amy about riding and their time exploring Ontario’s Highlands. Check out their answers below.
How long have you been riding a motorcycle?
Jason: I have been riding a motorcycle since I got my license in 1996. The day I turned 16, I was free… Before that, I was riding dirt bikes and off road.
What type of motorcycle do you ride?
Jason: We are riding a 1984 Honda GL 1200 Goldwing Interstate. I bought it really cheap off of Kijiji, due to it having a blown engine. Amy and I drove to Minden, Ontario, to pick it up one day after work and then found a donor bike with a running engine. I do all of my own work, so I had no problem making two bikes into one.
How long did it take you to ride all of the Highlands?
Jason: We started early spring of 2019, soon after I finished rebuilding the Wing. I didn’t even know about Ride the Highlands yet. Amy found Ride the Highlands through a Google search, looking for maps and sites to see on our up coming anniversary tour we were planning. So, she ordered the free map and surprised me with it. As soon as I saw this map, I knew I had to ride every road on it, and all the ones in between.
The first summer with the Wing, Amy and I did 14,000kms in Ontario, and almost half of the Ride the Highlands roads. Every time we did a loop or a road on the map, we would highlight it so we knew we had completed it. Then the summer of 2020, we made it our mission to complete the map. Mostly all on weekends, we averaged 500-700kms a day. Sometimes camping on a Saturday night because we were just too far to turn back. After riding 20,000kms in summer of 2020, we had completed the map.
What is your favourite Road?
Sooo many amazing roads along the way… but Letterkenny Road hands down!!!
Letterkenny wasn’t on the map when we first discovered it, and we couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t have been. The amazing smooth pavement, the flowing corners and the awesome tree cover over the road. Glad to see it on the 2021 map!
What is your favorite food or beverage stop?
Did you find any hidden gems while riding the Highlands?
That’s a loaded question. Ontario has some amazing places to see, but Mazinaw Rock is a really cool hidden gem. Not seen from Hwy 41, but just off of the highway you can sneak a peak at the 375-foot high rock face on Mazinaw Heights North Road, with more opportunities for viewing within Bon Echo Provincial Park. Worth checking out…
Have you met any interesting characters?
So many smiles along the way and lots of great people. There are a couple of people we have met that were very interesting in their own unique way… but we’ll keep those conversations to ourselves lol.
What is your all time highlight of riding the Highlands?
All of it!!! Living in the southern part of the Highlands is great. We just have to head north and the Highlands is at our fingertips. So many highlights, from the people we have met and seen, to all the stops in between. The creators of Ride the Highlands have done an outstanding job putting the map together. You guys rock!! We love to ride and having the routes to challenge us along the way has been awesome!!
Do you have any advice for someone planning to ride the Highlands for the first time?
Take your time!! There is sooooo much to take in. I’ve lived in the Highlands my whole life and have been travelling these roads since I started riding. Ontario is a beautiful place, if you have the time to explore it. We love to hike the conservation areas and explore our provincial parks. There are some amazing views just off the hardtop if you like a bit of stretching time off the seat. Get your free map and have fun. Enjoy the Highlands! We have, and will continue for many more years. See you out there, be sure to wave… we will!!!