A Lion’s Tale: The Motorcyclist, the Maiden and the Moteliers

Once upon a time, but not so long ago, there was a motorcyclist named Dan Cassel. Dan had been living in Kitchener when friends who had moved to the Bruce Peninsula invited Dan to come up and see their new home.  For over a year Dan had procrastinated before deciding to get on his bike to visit his friends.

A.Y. Jackson painting Geogrian Bay

Dan remembered the Bruce Peninsula. As a child, he and his family would vacation along the shores of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. But because it was so long ago, Dan wondered if it was childish awe or the paintings from the Group of Seven that formed his memories. He was eager to find out. 

The 120 mile ride northwest of Kitchener was everything he remembered and then some.  The ride had enough twists and turns to get your attention with landscapes painted like an A.Y. Jackson original. 

But if the landscape wasn’t enough to draw his attention, it was then he met the maiden, Christine Dixon.  The two fell in love and before long Dan and his motorcycle moved to the Peninsula to join Christine and begin a new life together.

Christine wasn’t a big motorcycle fan before meeting Dan. But that summer, with Dan piloting his 2008 Harley Electra Glide and Christine holding him close, they discovered the majesty of the region and each other.  And before long she loved motorcycle touring too.

Dan, enamoured with his new life, wanted to share his good fortune with other motorcyclists.  So he and Christine mapped out 120 miles of incredible riding routes. And together they worked to build a new destination route for all to enjoy. But first they would need support. Enter Wilfred and Joanne Laman, owners of the Lion’s Head Beach Motel & Cottages.

Wilfred and Joanne had owned a cottage in the region.  Two years prior, they grew tired of corporate life and so began a new chapter in their lives on the Peninsula. The nine room, four cabin Lion’s Head Beach Motel & Cottages was for sale so they bought it.  Since, they have invested money in renovations, renamed the four cabins after each of their four children and couldn’t be happier with their decision.

One day last year Dan walked into the motel office and introduced himself to Wilfred hoping to find support for his project. Dan explained his dream to Wilfred. Perhaps it was that they were both new to the region or perhaps it was they had both found a new lease on life, but whatever the reason Wilfred was in.  He could immediately see Dan’s vision. And although Wilfred likes motorcycles his passion is for hot rod cars. And both motorcycles riders and hot rod owners love the call of open roads. So like the famous Tail of the Dragon, they would promote this destination route to all motor enthusiasts.  And so, with the initial support from the Lion’s Beach Motel & Cottages and named after the town, The Lion’s Tail was born.

Today, Dan, Christine, Wilfred and Joanne have welcomed hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts to The Lion’s Tail.  And, on June 22nd, The Lion’s Tail is hosting an inaugural ride.  Participation is free, but riders are being asked to make a voluntary donation to the local schools’ breakfast clubs. You can register by clicking here.

And me?  Well, I plan on riding a portion of The Lion’s Tail and making The Lion’s Beach Motel & Cottages my last stop on the Sleeping Around in America tour later this summer. Why there? Because this will make a great stop at the end of a long journey. And just like a fairy tale, I love a happy ending!

  1. Based on the reference to lake Huron I’m guessing this is Kitchener ON not BC. Sigh.. so many great roads to explore so little vacations days at this point. Thanks for sharing. The ride is going on my list.

  2. Thank you Andrew for writing a great story. We at The Lion’s Tail appreciate you helping get the word out. I would also like to mention that when we initially started riding the beautiful Bruce Peninsula enjoying the majesty of the region our good friends Joy & Joe Pflugel took us to some of the amazing places that they liked to ride. Which we made sure to incorporate into the route. Well as many as possible. We were also joined by Jean & Allan Power the couple that moved to the Bruce Peninsula and invited me up initially.
    When you all come and ride The Lion’s Tail there are plenty of sights and beautiful scenery for you to discover. We hope to see you here soon. And please ride safe.

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