Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2nd anniversary of our Lanaudiere hill ride

A recurring ride that is certainly one of our favorites is our northern Lanaudiere hill ride. We did it for the first time two years ago. For the Fete St-Jean we reprint the ride report of our first visit to this AMAZING area.

Lanaudiere Hill Ride

I had the skinny on this ride last year. But it was late in the season and I waited until I had my light climbing bike back on the road again. This I accomplished yesterday with a drivetrain overhaul turning my road bike from a fast flatland ride to a super climber.
I took the 40 est (with a crack-of-noon start) to the exit for route 131 north, past Joliette and stoppped at Saint Jean de Matha. Home of Louis Cyr.
The ride started with a big climb within the first kilometre! Aieee! But I was feeling good and the bike was rocking. After getting lost because I missed the "rang 6" turn to Saint Gabriel de Brandon I fixed things and was soon off this quiet road and headed north on a busier road to Saint Emile de L'Energie. Eventually this meant turning off the busy road on to a a dirt road. A dirt road with a 12 percent climb/descent. On loose-ish road. I survived but it was a bit nasty, but soon I was back on pavement. It was the only dirt of the day.
Saint Emile de L'Energie has a mofo big hill leading out of town. I took it, halfway up the wall relents and I took a break to photograph it, when I looked at my directions and discovered that I was supposed to turn off this hill right at the start of the hill, Aieee! Down I went, and got on the right road.
This was maple leaf (feuille de erable) road, and it was quiet and long and twisty and steep. At the top was a sign showing the descent on the other side was 15%. I thought that was pretty good until I turned around to look at the climb I had just finished and saw the sign saying it was a 16% grade!
Then it was a really great long descent back to Saint Jean de Matha. A great descent! I stopped at a dep called "Lau-Den" for some water and chocomilk, and was back in Saint Jean de Matha in about 5 km.
In the village I had parked at the church, and there was now a childrens music festival going on at the church, then I walked around back and there was an entirely 'nother festival space all set up with food and beer for sale. Plus in the manse for the church was converted to a resto and BAR! Talk about your good post-ride services.

Conclusion, bike climbs great, I climb great, the ride had tons of great climbs (read: it was a hill fest)

Highly recommended.

The source of the ride information is the Velo Quebec publication "Les petites escapades." it includes a map, a step by step ride guide, and impressive altitude graph of the climb, it's got a zillion climbs!


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