Saturday, May 24, 2008

St-Malo Eastern townships ride

This superior-quality ride visits the southeast-corner of Eastern Townships.
(this link gets you the Google map of the ride.)

The ride... from space!

Sid gets a retro road bike.

Southeast of Coaticook (south of Sherbrooke) is one of the "corners" in the geography of the province of Quebec. The geography is also hilly: St-Malo is at 583 metres elevation, they claim to be the highest town in the province.

This ride is a good-weather repeat of a beautiful, but then it ended as a lightning-filled ride last summer.

The ride started with camping at Coaticook gorge, camping price included the cost of touring the gorge park. Supper in Coaticook, then up early and at the parking at St-Herménégilde. We were on the bikes under blue sky and clouds by 8:30 am.

We took the Coaticook road towards East Hereford, then turned north on Bolian (?) which is the very rugged dirt road, our ride of it was excellent, the rain of the previous day had restored smoothness to the road.

Mysterious forest road

This took us over the hills and to the road to St-Malo. We had lunch in the 30 ft high lookout tower at the highest point in the town. The view is very good.

Zooming past St-Venant de Paquette and fresh spring dandelions

Then it was descend through great scenery and good roads to St-Venant de Paquette, and then to East Hereford, and then continue through the scenic river valley as far as the border and Customs where we turned around.

The road to the border is a good scenic addition to the ride.

This is a 22 km descent from St-Malo to the US-Canada border. Very nice.

But every descent requires a uphill grind. Now we were turned around and started heading back to Ste-Herménégilde. This climb lasts 20 km. Sid was loosing motivation, strength, and his lunch. Just kidding about the lunch!

20 km more of climbing? On my first day? Aieee!

The road in background is the big descent that starts off the ride.
It's also the top of the 20 km of climbing that is the ride's finalé.

You might not understand, but this is massive fun.

Owl's Head on left and Sutton's "round top" in middle.

Just riding along... it's a great day to be alive.


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