Friday, July 13, 2007

Hill climbing Mont Royal's North Side

There's more good climbing on the sides of Mont Royal than Camelien Houde and Westmount.

This ride will be a little tour of upper Outremont. For each hill you will start from Cote-Ste-Catherine road and basically just ride directly uphills. Oh Yeah!

Starting from Mont Royal Avenue the first stop is the freshly paved Fernhill. It's a steep little mother, I'm sure you'll agree. It's very close to Camelien Houde, and I often I ride Fernhill before Cam Houde to see how I'm feeling, and if the bike is ok to endure the stresses of a hard uphill ride.

The next good uphill is the crazy steep Avenue McCulloch, again from Cote-Ste-Catherine road. The last time I rode here I had a "Bravo!" cheered at me as I passed a member of the opposite camp. It's great to have a fan, even just one. At the top turn right and come back down the switchback.

The bottom of McCulloch is so crazy steep that it has a bypass: the only slightly less steep switchback of Cote de VĂ©sinet, which starts at the same place as McCulloch. here you will go past the bottom of the (ruisseau) Mile-End stream. (There are 4 places where you can see the Mile-End stream. Can you find them all? Outremont's Parc Beaubien doesn't count, but is a great place to relax after the ride.)

From the top of either of these you can continue up McCulloch to see the boyhood home of Pierre Trudeau, and further for the "Option A route" to climb in Mount Royal Cemetery)

Next on our entertainment today is Pagnuelo which you climb from Cote-Ste-Catherine to Mt Royal avenue. This street has some bicycle race history.

Next are Beloeil, Courcelette and Claude Champagne streets but the real fun, and the end of our ride, is to ride up Vincent d'Indy, and follow it all the way up, past Cepsum, and up to the top at UdeM's Salle Claude Champagne. You will find it is steep, and at the very top be sure to go up the impossibly steep (but humanly possible) driveway to the building entrance. Stop here at the entrance (or collapse, if necessary) and enjoy the view. It's amazing.

Did you know that Salle Claude Champagne is supposed to be Montreal's best sounding concert hall?

This concludes todays ride on the side streets of upper Outremont. You have permission to explore.


Can I have some more please? Sure, here's some more:

Option A - Mount Royal Cemetery

Above Outremont is the remarkable and beautiful and severely hilly Mount Royal Cemetery. To locate it: at the top of any street in upper Outremont is Mont Royal boulevard, at it's highest point, take Chemin de la Foret up to the cemetery entrance. After the entrance turn right and take every uphill paved right turn to get to the top of "Mont Murray." Steepness guaranteed. Note: There is NO off-road mountain biking at the cemetery. Riding here is strictly on-road only.

Option B: Université de Montreal and St-Joseph Oratory

If you need more, and need it bad, continue to Universite de Montreal's main entrance on boulevard Eduard Montpetit and ride up the obvious hill. At the top turn right and ride down the other side (Poly hill) to Queen Mary. On Queen Mary go over to St-Joseph's Oratory and ride the new road to the upper parking lots (and remember to check the great views from here also). Coming back, you will ride up the U-de-M Poly hill, and then repeat all the mentioned hills above. (yes, a second time) Once you are back at the start and you have reached the top of Fernhill, you are seconds from the bottom of Camelien Houde, so climb it too.

Wasn't that fun?

Red dots: Outremont Hills ride
Blue Dots: More Hills? here's some more...
green line - a stream? In the city? It's the Ruisseau Mile-End stream


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