Friday, May 20, 2011

Time for St-Jean-de-Matha hills ride

65km of paradise. Many excellent hills are included at no additional cost.

Check out many photos of our previous Lanaudiere rides here.

Spring hasn't been the greatest in 2010, but today the sky is blue and the temperature is rising.

By now we've ridden every Chateauguay valley road, so it's time to return to another of our favorite destinations: St-Jean-de-Matha in the northern Lanaudiere. Northern Lanaudiere is kind of the eastern Laurentians, but with better roads.

The circuit is St-Jean-de-Matha - warmup loop east of town - little hill north to amazing scenic lookout - downhill to Ste-Emilie de l'Energie - go south up big hill feuille de l'erable to chemin de Belle Montagne - which is a super scenic road all the way to to Ste-Beatrix - to bridge beside big waterfall at Parc Regional des chutes de quelque chose by the back road - highway (with paved shoulders) back to the car. (you can reverse the Belle Montagne road if you want a longer ride here).

Unlike the Chateauguay valley, where almost any road is a great cycling road, in Lanaudiere we stick to this specific ride which we use as a base for a ride with many distance options, but today is the basic ride. This ride is so good, we do it again, and again, and again. It has the all the important essences of a great ride - and it is essential that you go and ride here!

The circuit is only 65 km, but you can add a southern loop to the ride to add 40 or 50 km. You know, for a full afternoon's ride. And by afternoon we mean until the time when we see the sun set as we get back to the car. (actually, this is a good thing.)

Where is Lanaudiere? It starts at the eastern tip of Montreal Island. It's that's close. Not far. No sir. Do it.

Go east on the 40, go north past Joliette. A mere 70 minutes from Montreal.

Where to park? Park behind city hall (across from church). This is the site of the Louis Cyr Museum, and has washrooms. (note: we've heard this museum may move to a new location in the future)

We like our St-Jean-de-Matha / Ste-Emilie-de-l'Energie / Ste-Beatrix ride because:
  • good distance
  • good hills
  • The two long hills have good descents after the summit is reached
  • good scenery
  • good scenic lookouts, one with benches (northbound top of hill to ste-emilie)
  • good roads (mostly)
  • quiet roads
  • 97 km from Mtl car distance, not so far
  • undeveloped area (no tims, macDo, other corporate crap)
  • the ride is made up of many short sections
  • many options exist to increase ride distance
  • easy to abort - many places you can call it quits and get quickly back to car
  • Good descents
  • No jerkin' around with flats until the hills finally arrive (first 20% hill
  • at 4 minutes into the ride)
  • The two highways part of the ride both have paved shoulders.
  • There's a raspberry farm at foot of one of the major climbs - Yum!
  • There's annual repairs/rebuilding to the roads of this ride
  • You feel like a tour de france mountain stage survivor by ride's end (and not one of those front-of-the-pack guys)
  • You can leave Montreal at 2 pm and still have time for a ride... thanks to summer's late sunsets.

Add it up and you see why we think this is one of the best road rides around.

Check out many photos of our previous Lanaudiere rides here.


At 7:56 AM, Blogger moni said...

"Spring hasn't been the greatest in 2010..."

It's 2011! ;)


Post a Comment

<< Home