Thursday, August 30, 2012

1200 Montrealers can't tell right from wrong?

Evidently "heros" can do no wrong.

And yet his list of wrongs gets longer. And longer. And longer.

Even Pinocchio started to tell the truth eventually.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Olympic cycling summary

Our Olympic cycling summary is as follows: Never take your hands off the handlebars. Never.

A little explanation perhaps?

We did a ride once, a long time ago, with an olympic cyclist, and that was his advice for riding in a group in a race.

It is very good advice. Perhaps Canada's Olympic triathlete squad could learn something...

Ormstown-Powerscourt-Rockburn Monteregie southwest Québec summer sunset paradise ride

Sometimes a ride is perfect.

This ride is one of these rides.

Perfection requires good roads and good weather, and usually requires daylight, but not always!

The ride starts along the Chateauguay river outside of Ormstown on Rt 138A - the old highway

Weather conditions are perfect

Crossing the river in Dewitville. Compare to the same location later in the ride below

Very primo looking MG TD MkII for sale in Dewitville

This is a legendary automobile, in mint condition

We cross the river again in Huntingdon, which looks different from French Quebec, because it is English Quebec

After Huntingdon we follow the Trout river for a while

Big tree gets smaller in a dramatic way

Quebec's oldest Pont Couvert at Powerscourt on Chateauguay river

The new historical plaque has been stolen for scrap metal, just like the old one was.

Leaving Powerscourt, and the sun's color displays signs of leaving the sky, uh-oh.

The First Concession road rocks, and here's a big pile of rocks to prove it

Tree tunnel on first concession road

Locally-sourced and artisanal stop sign improvements

We pass the Rockburn church at sunset as the remaining daylight says bye-bye

Leaving Rockburn on "Quebec's best cycling road" means pedal hard and you will be rewarded

That is the sun, and it is definitely setting

Modern open cow barn in twilight

New asphalt on Rockburn sideroad means this amazing road is even better and is measured at 99.7% perfection

Chateauguay river at Dewittville after sunset, compare to photo above

The moon provided just enough light to get back to Ormstown.

Back in Ormstown at 8:44 pm. 68 km of excellent bike riding has been achieved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saint-Jean-de-Matha Sainte-Emilie-de-l'Energie Sainte-Beatrixe Lanaudiere hill ride

We saw many riders of all sorts today

Riders of ALL sorts

Rang Ste-Catherine towards Ste-Emilie is still very entertaining

View from the top of Rang St-Catherine - there is a superb "scenic lookout" with benches behind the no-quad sign

One of our fav signs

Another of our fav signs!

Chemin de Belle Montagne is very belle

McDo is #1

Twinned barns

Quebec's 500th Tim Hortons just opened, and we look forward to more corporate garbage ruining our beautiful countryside

We love stone foundations

Fields are turning golden coloured

Roadside spirits

Suddenly we were riding INTO the blackest cloud we'd ever seen. Oh-no. Some sort of gut feeling forced the ride-director part of our brain to turn us around and skip the Rang-Guillaume last section of ride. 

St-Jean-de-Matha hilltop church is very visible

legs and bike worked hard today

Friday, August 17, 2012

September Adventure

Will this September be the best September of your life?

Yes or no, the answer is to get outside for some September Adventures.

Inverness is on our destination radar.  We had three immensely great rides here two years ago. We have wanted to go back ever since.  These were three of our best rides ever. Going back again has not been the priority it should have been, so this year we're going back!

The area we want to explore is, broadly speaking, is the triangle of Victoriaville, Plessisville, and Thetford Mines. It is really beautiful countryside. The geographic tendency is mild Appalachian hills, forests, fields, and villages.  Over hills as opposed to along rivers.

The first road between the then-capital of Canada, Quebec City, and the US was built through this area and that road exists today in the Chemins Craig and Gosford. These are also amazing cycling roads.Craig hill is memorable, and you can see Mont Ste-Anne on a clear day.

There are not too many villages in Quebec that are located on top of a hill.  Three we know of are St-Malo, St-Clement, and Vianney. The hilltop village of Vianney is located in the Inverness area. Vianney is 6.5 km from St-Ferdinand/Bernierville. That distance is is made more entertaining by the 1100 ft drop in elevation. The road was new when we last rode here two years ago, so it's going to be a good ride. Which we think you will upgrade to "great ride" if you try it yourself. Note that only the road from Bernierville is paved.  Roads from the west (i.e. Rt 263) are not paved and will be be super ultra rugged.
Vianney, a tiny hilltop village, has one of our favorite descents

There are a few special attractions in the area and in he surrounding region: Inverness bronze museum for one.There is a tourism route called la Voie Celtique (The Celtic Way). This route visits memories of the celtic roots of this area during the first wave of irish/british immigration to Canada. Migrating bird festival in Danville.  Cranberry festival in St-Louis de Blandford. Looking inside the giant hole in the ground that is the abandoned open pit mines at Black Lake or Asbestos: both have excellent scenic outlooks and these are colossal holes in the ground. 

The recent and wonderful Velomag cycling guidebook "Quebec en 30 Boucles" has two rides in this area.  Plessisville is the starting point for one of the rides, and this one can be modified to include the Vianney hill.

Here's links to the ride reports of our three august and september 2010 visits to this amazing region.  You might have to scroll down the page a bit, but there are plenty of pictures as your reward.

No matter what your destination, get everything you need packed the night before, and get up early and go ride someplace new and fantastic and ultimate. Do it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What happened to Montreal's Olympique Velodrome

Montreal's Olympic Velodrome in it's Olympic glory

(A Cycle Fun Montreal slightly modified repost)

We really enjoyed the 2012 London Olympics.

We remember when Montreal had the olympics, when Montreal had the Olympic velodrome, and we even remember going to public nights and riding on the velodrome track... before evil zoohead Mayor Pierre Bourque closed the velodrome and turned it into a frigging indoor zoo.

So, let us take a moment and remember back to when when Montreal had the finest indoor velodrome in the world.

R.I.P Montreal Olympic Velodrome (1976-1989)

Montreal's Olympic Velodrome today

Mystic(Bedford)/Frelighsburgh/Joy Hill rapidly becoming a fav ride

The Bertrand road bike finally got its collision repair completed and we wanted to celebrate its release from the bike hospital with something special.

The Mystic-Frelighsburg-Joy Hill ride came to mind, it's been on our ride list for the past few years and we really like most of the ride. The section south of Bedford needs some paving (and there is a short unpaved section here) but otherwise it is a great ride. And then there is Joy Hill, one of Quebec's famous hills for the cycling set.

The bike performed great, and with the new fork it tracks straight and steady and solid, even at downhill speeds.  Happily no parts came loose post-repair, unlike some other bikes we had repaired recently.  (old story: when we bought the Bertrand back in '88 every bearing on the bike came loose after the first 30 minutes of riding).

Today's ride is a loop with an out-and-back section up Joy Hill and over to Abercorn, it gives it a funny shaped ride but is a good distance at about 100 km. To avoid the (somewhat killer) climb back from Abercorn, you can just go to the Richford border crossing for your turnaround point (and avoid the descent to/climb back from Abercorn).  This sounds funny, but the view from the Richford border crossing (stay in canada eh) of Jay Peak and the nearby mountains is genuinely awesome.

Here's some ride pics.

Strange silo

Joy Hill is captioned in case you were lost or from another planet or something

Looking down Joy Hill, it is really a joy to ride - up or down!

little country house in Abercorn, for the 1% crowd

Quality views abound in the Eastern Townships

Once you climb Joy Hill you have nice views of Pinnacle

looking up during... naptime!

authentic... ancient maple tree in naptime cemetery

Several ancient anglo cemeteries on this ride. This one on top of Joy Hill we used for hot summer day mandatory mid ride siesta

Bertrand with new fork, crank, front wheel and and handle bar tape

You can skip the descent/climb to/from Abercorn, just go to Richford border crossing for great view of Jay Peak mountains then turn around and head home.