Saturday, March 31, 2007

Giant Covey Hill-Chateauguay valley ride

Ormstown - south on Jamestown road & east on Tullochgorum road - south on Brysonville sideroad - past "The Rock" - south from Aubrey - to St-Chrysostome - to Havelock - to Concession 1, turn west here and the next 45 km follows along the US-Canada border on the first road north of border, until 2 km past Rt 138) - up Covey Hill - down in to Franklin and I took the busy and narrow route 202 west past Frnklin apple Orchard stores to - Concession 1 - Powerscourt- Rt 138 (near Trout River) - Ridge Road - Then east zigging zagging north of and parallel to Rt 138) - Dewittville - and back to Ormstown on the 138A.

Unusually for me, this a clockwise ride. I normally head west for the first leg, up the river, and then come back by covey hill. This time I warmed up with a tailwind.

Summary: 130 km spring ride, great roads (many newly resurfaced), great views from Covey Hill and the Ridge Road, powerscourt covered bridge (pont Percy), and I had great energy all day, including the big climb from Havelock to the top of Covey hill.

Lots of new terrain, the ride back via ridge road and various roads east from this point were all impressive: interesting, views, curvey, good road quality, all this adds up to... a great ride!

A really great ride, one of the best I've done.

In the amazing department: I saw ten thousand goose take off, and thousands more in the sky. Wow.

The road quality was frequently excellent, the road along the border is mainly BRAND NEW! There were very few bad sections of pavement.

This was about a 6 hour ride with a few short breaks, no big breaks, no food except a chocomilk in St-Chrysostome. Got home 30 minutes after sunset.

A great ride, I really had a great day. The only cyclists I saw was a pack about to descend Covey hill towards Havelock, just as I hit the top of the climb. Here is someone from Velomag discussing why Covey Hill is his favorite Monteregie ride (hint: a hill!) The Covey Hill note is at the bottom of the page.

Another good reason to visit here is the "cafe panaramique" just before the last steepest section at the top of Covey Hill. This is the best view in southern Quebec. On a clear day of course. I could see Jay Sutton, Pinnacle, Deux Montagnes, Mont Royal, the Montregienne hills, and more down into Vermont. Amazing 270 degree vista from Rigaud, the st-laurence river valley, the Richelieu river valley, and the Champlain basin.

The ride west-to-east along "the ridge road: north of Huntingdon was also superb. Excellent views of the foothills and northern peaks of the Adirondacks in New York State. The Adirondacks are part of the Canadian Shield, and not part of the Appalachian chain, a common error I hear frequently.

A note about spring riding. With the leaves still missing the views are better, and it reveals the landscape that would otherwise be hidden. So it's good to ride in all seasons!


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