Monday, June 01, 2009

We were mistaken for a roadside corpse!

Hotel Lac Sacacomie, not a budget accomodation location

Church in St-Alexis des Monts, divine fishing is 20 yards away.

Totally sweet new road out of St-Alexis des Monts

The descent, that's a high-speed corner at the bottom.

In what is one of the more bizarre episodes in our many years on two wheels, on Sunday we were mistaken for a corpse lying on the side of the road.

And not just any corpse, but a cyclist's corpse.

We were climbing the biggest of the hills to Hotel lac Sacacomie from St-Alexis des Monts.

The longest hill is a long straight hill with a 16% sign at the top. We had enough maximum exertion and decided to take a couple of minutes for a short break. So we put the bike down and sat down on the other side of the barrier separating the road from the abyss.

Cars passed behind us.

It was a short break, and when we stood up we saw a car parked above and people running down to us.

"Are you OK?" they yelled in french.

"Yes, fine, thanks." We answered.

"We thought you were dead." they replied.

"Oh no, I'm ok, nothing is wrong, thanks."

And then we finished climbing the hill and a few more and turned around at Hotel Lac Sacacomie with a stop only long enough for the doorman to take our picture (he offered).

On the return trip to St-Alexis des monts, we took the detour down to the water's edge at the municipal dock. This increases the final hill climb's fun, we assure you.

At the top of the big climb (which is the start of that 16% descent) we hit the gas and pedaled hard as gravity pulled us down.

A short explanatory note: This is a full-speed descent. There are few hills a cyclists life where you can let it out all the way. This is one of these rare and special hills.

So we let it out all the way.

"DON'T touch the brake," one part of our brain shouted over the wind noise.

"Slow down yer gonna die!" shouted the self-preservation part of the brain.

We can report that we got to the bottom safe and sound. It's a truly great descent.

And a new record had been set: when we were here in 2007 we hit a top speed of 83.7 km/h on this hill. Actually, a few minutes before that, we coasted down the hill and had a top speed of 79.5, and figured that if we went back up the hill and actually pedaled down, we might see something special in the maximum speed department. Something in the over-80 club. So we climbed back up and pedaled like hell, and we hit a maximum of 83.7 km/h (52 mph).

This time around we managed to reach 86.1 km/h (53.5 mph).

But, that wasn't the best part.

We also avoided rain on this very crappy-mixed-weather day. But that wasn't the best part either.

The best part of the ride is the new pavement on the road between St-Alexis des Monts and the Hotel Lac Sacacomie turnoff. This long but gentle-climb road was in terrible condition on our last visit. Not anymore, this is now the newest, sweetest, smoothest public road we've ever seen.

Back to the electric cross at Ste-Angele de Premont church.


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