Sunday, September 06, 2015

Another fine bike ride on Quebec's most southern road

I returned to the Lacolle >Franklin (Rockburn) roadride with the std distance extension western section to Elgin (Powerscourt) yesterday because I broke a spoke on the mtn bike on friday night - which put the kibosh on my saturday mtn bike ride plan.

You can see from the map that I variated the route (introduced a series of possibly unrandom variations).  This worked out great, I like especially when a new road is a nice asphalt & scenic road and I found one of these too. 

I did not make it to the Elgin Bakery, or rather I did but about two hours later than its 2 pm closing time. I had stopped at Stevenson orchard in Rockburn on my way west and got a bottle of fresh apple juice (1.89l is quite a lot) and they had sweet tango apples. I said I'd pick some up on the way back and I made it back there 1 minute before the closing time! From that point it is up onto the top of covey hill and then downhill back to the car, today was not a with-the-wind day (damn!). The last 40 km were hard and I did a lot of speedy coasting (gentle sprint to top a rise, then a long coast, repeat).

In a sign of things to come in the 2015 bike season , the sun set before I got back to the car. But happily because of the fact the last ten km is on bike path, the sun set just as I arrived on the bike path so no issues with traffic safety. The dep 3 km from the end of the ride had cold beer and chips and these were excellent. I was soif!

I still continue to regard this ride as nearly perfect, with low traffic, good roads, nice scenery, good variety, and now in apple season much improved food options around Franklin. This ride is my favorite for a reason, not too hard and as long as I want it.

Riding the final wooded bike path section in the dark reminds me.... there have been cougar sightings in the area.  Recent marking of bike path bumps has had an effect: not only can I see the bumps in near darkness, but the town saw them too and repaved a couple of sections of high bump concentrations!!!!!

It took about nine hours total time to ride this, roughly 11 am to 8 pm. A full day of perfect sunshine, low winds, and hot summer temps. And some suffering, but not too much. 

Sure it looks like two bike rides, but it is an excellent long day ride. I did it in 9 hours, from 11 am to 8 pm.

NEWS! Looooong-awaited new bridge on sentier du paysan near St-Clotilde

Abandoned church in middle of nowhere near St-Chrysostome.
Church in St-Chrysostome
many many stone walls on this ride in Franklin and westwards
Ths point means 1/4 or 3/4 of ride is done.
Mtée Covey hill with new asphalt! Nice bridge rest stop at dip in the road
The Bertrand also likes this rest stop on Mtée Covey Hill
Round barn on Gore road south of Huntingdon
There is no end to the uses and usefulness of those velcro pant cuff thingies
200 year old tree
Entering Athelstan, a nice neat clean brick church (Ormstown brick)
Someone in Athelstan really likes trains - note the bronze conductor!
Gilmore bridge across Chateauguay river into Elgin is thin and delicate old-school steel bridge
Gilmore bridge closed to cars, but open for bikes, it's a perfect private rest stop
1St Concession is a perfect bike road in every way. Paradis du vélo!
Sun, trees, forests, fields, farms, fences, fun and fun and more fun
Quebec's oldest covered bridge, Pont Percy across the Chateauguay river at Powerscourt near US border.
Good view of the double-arch aspect to the MacCallum bridge design used here.
Historical plaque was stolen three years ago, and still not replaced.
Two genuine original Chateauguay Valley pioneer buildings ar Rennies farm on 1st concession
The ride is full of perfect roads for road bike riding of all levels.
Yet another tree tunnel
Recognize this? THis is fresh asphalt, smooth and perfect for biking.
When you order your mailbox on the internet from the artisanal mailbox company and for appearance/finish you click on "distressed" this is what you get
This ride avoids almost all towns, especially on the return section all along 1st Concession along US border (most southern road in Quebec) but people at corner Mtée Rockburn (aka Dewittville sideroad) and the first Concession put out this self-serve water station - and it has COLD water!
Every 3-4 minutes another kilometer passes by... much better than any 4k tv set
These cows appear concerned for my health because at this point I was beat.
Cows watching the sunset, but I still had an hour to ride before finished & back at the car
Which came first? The Sunset or finishing the ride?  Oopsie, the sunset. But today it is ok because at this second of sunset I also arrived at the Sentier du Paysan bike path and 10 car-free kilometers to ride straight back to the car in St-Bernard-de-Lacolle.
The delicious new Apple variety Sweetango is now ripe and available for your apple-eating pleasure. I bought this bag at Verger Stevenson's orchard which is right on the bike ride route. I did have to carry the bag 52 km back to the car. (tip: split up the apples in three between bag, camelbak, and I use the spare vest's deep back pockets and tie vest solidly to the camelbak (it works, trust me)


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