Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lanaudiere road ride - Version 11 - extended-play version

I have been enjoying the riding in northern Lanaudiere (i.e. eastern laurentians) for a couple of years.

Usually I was starting in St-Jean-de-Matha and doing a loop to Ste-Emilie de l'Energie, which was hill-filled fun but the ride was always a bit too short. So I recently expanded it southward, taking in Ste-Melanie into the ride.

This was a good, a very good, change.

Yesterday I tried to expand it a bit more eastward, to St-Gabriel-de-Brandon. This didn't work as good, because there is too much busy highway and not enough paved road shoulder. This part of the ride was included in the guidebook I originally used to discover riding here: les petits escapades. After the first couple of rides up here I modified their route to stay around (but barely on) Rt 131 and preferred this to heading over to St-Gabriel.

Anyway, the upside of the longer ride is that I tried the hill in St-Damien, chemin beaulieu. It did go straight up. I did not go all the way up to the top, cuz it kept going and not in the direction I wanted to go in.

This option gave me a 95 km ride length, a decent ride, and longer than the 60 km of the short version of the ride I had been doing. I accomplished the ride at avg speed of 24 km/h, not bad considering there were four or five 16% hills to climb!

I parked the car in Ste-Melanie this time, because I wanted to end here after the big downhill section, this worked out well, except the first hill after the ride starts is the big hill from the L'Assomption river up to the Rt 131, a steep stiff and severe climb, but a good warmup (think positive!).

All in all it was still a pretty good ride, the region is one of my favorites for riding near Montreal, and this time was no exception. However, I prefer the northward segment on chemin St-Catherine, and it has raspberries!

On the other hand, I made this ride different by not stopping as much: less rest breaks, photo stops, map reading, etc, and it showed in my avg speed, which was, for a change, decent for a hilly ride. Woohoo!


  • Chemin de feuilles d'erable/ruisseau Blanc
  • Chemin de Belle Montagne/St-laurent to Ste-Beatrix
  • The downhill to Ste-Melanie at the end of the ride
  • Chemin St-Guillaume
  • Uphill in downtown Ste-Beatrix
  • Seeing the avg speed change from 23.9 to 24.0 as I hit the end of the ride
  • Another 16% hill!
  • Post-ride ice cream!

Less good moments

  • Road from St-Gabriel to St-Damien - no paved shoulder
  • Another 16% hill?
  • Crappy road at camping St-Tropez

Reason to return:

  • Rt 131 Ste_elimile deL'Energie to St-Michel des Saints
  • It's my favorite riding area


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