Monday, April 23, 2007

100 Km Chateauguay Valley ride

Sunday I went back to the nearby Chateauguay Valley for what I thought would be a relaxing flatland ride after the Laurentian hills of Saturday.

Recovery. Recuperation. I'd just take it easy.

And then the big winds arrived, just as I got the bike ready to ride.

The ride was a shortened version of the complete chateauguay valley loop I did a couple of weeks ago.

I cut out the extreme eastern part of the ride. This means I went east from Ormstown along Tullochgorum road. THis was with the glorious wind.

I took the first road south: Bryson (Brysonville) side road. This goes theough the unique geological area known as "The Rock." It is bedrock that scraped clean at the last ice age. It's still rock!

I toon bryson all the way to St-Antoine Abbé. The longer version I did previously included Aubrey, St-Chrysostome, and Havelock, and the always-fun (colline) Covey hill.

Todays I followed some main road to Franklin. Usually I avoid this stretch of road, but today I had a big ride to do and didn't want to finish after sunset. At Franklin I rode uphill and stopped the "the big view of Montreal." It is excellent, there are two spots on this ride where you must turn around and look at the view behind you. This is one of them.

Shortly after Franklin, I rejoined one of my favorite roads: the first road north of the US-Canada border. The "First Concession."

This road goes west forever. Unfortunately the direction it went in was the direction that the wind was coming from. Winds gusting to 40 Km/h.

This was not good. But it was a beautiful early spring day, warm enough for shorts, and the natural world was coming back to life after winter.

There were great views north towards and across the St-Laurence. I could see Rigaud and Deux Montagnes in the distance.

Eventually I arrived at the Powerscourt covered bridge.

Rest stop!

I always like spending time here at Quebec's oldest covered bridge. Today I enjoyed the view of the high-water Chateauguay river.

Then I continued and eventually reached the intersection with the Rt 138. (link) at Trout River. This is "the other river" of the Chateauguay valley. It is windy and twisty and quite scenic. In spring time it floods.

The Rt 138 starts a mile from this intersection at the Trout River Customs US-Canada border. From here it goes east a long, long way. It ends a thousand miles to the east. Quebec is a big place.

Transport Quebec says it ends 1362 km later in Natashquan (quite a long way past Sept Isles). Transport Quebec also says that I could drive it in 15 hour and 37 minutes. That would be a one tough drive. I drove Sept Isles-Montreal in ten hours once, and that was a challenge.

Anyway, at this point, I changed direction. No longer following the border westward into the wind, now I turned east and rode with the wind on my back.

My cruising speed was frequently over 40, and life was good.

After a short spell on the 138 (new road with good shoulders), turned at the turn for Cazaville.

Here I briefly headed into the wind again. After five minutes I stopped and looked behind. It was my first view of the Adirondacks and it made me gasp... It's a quite good view. This is that other place on the ride to stop and look behind you.

I was close to the corner and soon turned on to the very scenic Ridge Road (i.e. the first road north of the 138).

It has lots of great views of the Adirondack foothills.

Then some minor zigzagging eastwards and I am riding through some protected wetlands.

Finally I reach the Seigneural side road. This is the end of this segment, it's only a couple of legs to go.

After a few little hills in the road I am entering tiny Dewittville - the last village before home.

I crossed the bridge over the chateauguay and I take the Island Road back to Ormstown. The Island Road is a lot smaller than the ex-highway Rt 138A that is normally used for this section. I enjoyed the change. It had some nice views of the Chateauguay.

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