Favorite northern Lanaudiere bike ride - Now on Bikely
We have created a Bikely map (link) of our favorite northern Lanaudiere bike ride. We also have a Google map (link), which has printed directions. But Bikely has a wonderful feature: it gives the ride's elevation profile (OMG!).
100 km of riding, 1000 metres of climbing, 1000 metres descending!
If you like quiet roads, good pavement, nice little villages, trees, forest, farms, hills, valleys, and good up and downhill riding, you should plan a visit here. Northern Lanaudiere is a really great area for cycling, and, doncha know, it's a world class destination for everyone who knows why bikes have gears. (hint: for climbing hills!)
This ride starts at the Louis Cyr Museum and tourist info office in St-Jean de Matha (across the street from the church). Then we pass through St-Emilie de l'Energie, Ste-Beatrix and near Ste-Mélanie. The road is mostly quiet back roads, and the highway parts of the ride have excellent paved shoulders.
If you are not familiar with Lanaudiere, the key to understanding it's location is that northern Lanaudiere is basically the eastern extension of the Laurentian hills. The Lanaudiere tourist region is located directly east from the laurentian tourist region that we are all familiar with. Look at the laurentians on a map. Look to the right, and it's Lanaudiere.
To get to the starting point, drive east on the 40, turn north and pass by Joliette. Soon you leave the plains of the St-Laurence river valley and enter the the mountains, and a bit further you stop and park the car in St-Jean de Matha.
Then you ride 90-100 km, you will arrive back at the car, and you will be happy. Happy happy happy.
I originally came here based on rides I found in the Quebec cycling guidebook "les Petites Escapades." There was one ride in the Ste-Melanie area and another in the St-Jean-de-Matha /Ste-Emilie-de-l'Energie area. I combined and modified these rides (removing the St-Gabriel de Brandon and St-Damien sector) to create this circuit.
So if you have blood type V-Velo, then I invite you to try this ride. If you like it, here are some Bikely links for some other Lanaudiere rides. (link)
Here is the elevation chart: