Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mystic-Joy Hill/Pinnacle ride

Tree tunnel on Chemin Philipsburg, they don't make roads like this anymore!

View looking south into Vermont - that's Mount Mansfield

The view of Jay Peak from the Canadian side of the Richford border crossing is much better in person than this crummy photo

Cycling in summer sunshine doesn't get any better than this

After a decision to abort a friday at East Hereford because of Thursday rains (we don't ride on muddy trails because that causes significant erosion) so the plan B became the Mystic-Joy Hill road ride. It was the right decision, and it was a great ride, because this route is a GREAT RIDE!

Some highlights of this ride include:
  • The parking at Mystic with Octagonal barn is delightful
  • The "artisanal" road Chemin Philipsburg south of Bedford is a favorite
  • The little detour on Chemin Dutch and Morse's line is excellent and highly recommended
  • Joy hill always gets our respect (and the old guy climbing it at the same time as us on a very crappy 1970s Beekay bike (with steel wheels!) also gets our respect too!)
  • The road between Joy Hill and Richford Customs is hyper scenic - and cider-iffic too
  • The view at Richford Customs of Jay Peak is completely spectacular (no need to cross the border, we stop, look, and then turn around
  • The ride back down Joy Hill rocks
  • Frelighsburg village is very pretty and has good services
  • The section of Rt 237 north of Frelighsburg can be ridden very fast (with teamwork)
  • Museum at Stanbridge East is quite an interesting diversion
  • The bad pavement in Stanbridge East village is the only real bad road of the entire ride
  • Final section along Riviere Brochet back to Mystic is very scenic and bike friendly
  • This is a hilly ride - 80 m of climbing/descending mainly at the Joy Hill section - take micro pauses on the uphill and you'll be fine. 

This is a top quality ride for the rider who seeks a very scenic and challenging ride.  Some parts of this ride get busy on sunny summer weekends, so start early in the day, or do it during the week. Skipping the Joy Hill section makes the ride shorter and MUCH easier, but then you missed the joy of Joy Hill, and life without joy is an empty thing.

Here is the ride map on Bikely (click here for link)

The out-and-back nature of the middle section (right side of map) might seem crazy or stupid, but it is really excellent in the scenery department. It only becomes crazy if you descent to and then have to climb back uphill from Abercorn - for over achievers only!

A beautiful ride in a beautiful corner of Quebec

The drive is one hour/72 km southeast from the Montreal island to the parking at Mystic We budget 90 minutes for the drive so we can relax and not be rushed


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