Monday, May 25, 2009

letter to a friend

I wrote this to my friend…

How are you doing? I just finished up my spring season with a week off from work and I tried to hit some good quebec destinations.

I di dan overnite road trip was a visit to the chaudiere-appalaches area (thetford mines and MRC de Bellechasse SE of quebec city). The best was the new bike path starting 15 km south of Quebec city/Levis, 74 perfectly smooth kilometres called the "Cycloroute de Bellechasse." It is 74 km of perfectly smooth fresh new asphalt, 30 km in fields, 40 km in forest, (very little "roadside" bike path), it starts 15 km south of Levis in St-Henri, and ends in Armagh (actually, 4 km from the village). This is one of the best bike paths I have ever seen!!!! (seriously, this is a really primo bike path!). It opened officially this month, and I had heard about it last year, and after riding it, I can say "wow." I rode it both ways and it was a nice, full day. When I saw the words "new bike path" and "asphalt" and "74 kilometres" all in the same sentence.... I made it a priority destination! I am sure it will be busy and popular, but when I was there, it was still early and was not crowded. I even saw a snowbank at one place!

The othe ride on this trip was a road ride around Thetford mines (part of the trip east with the Bellechasse ride), ok, but now I have done it, no need to go back. (I am trying to do most of the rides in the excellent (and free!) "Guide Velo region Chaudiere Appalaches" that the tourist agency there has created.

I also visited Coaticook->St-Malo for nonstop hills and good scenery and St-malo's 10m high scenic lookout tower, St-malo claims to be the highest town in Quebec at 640 metres elevation. I also made a visit the the Coaticook ice cream plant's ice cream store after the ride was over. I was planning a longer ride with a loop south around East hereford and Ste-hermenegilde, but ran out of time and rode back from St-malo, which was OK, because that is a very scenic ride both directions. (scenic, AND hilly). I have you to thank for giving me an intro to this area. It is also becoming a mountain bike destination with trails development at Mont Hereford. So I also replaced my ancient and inpoerative mtn bike (suspension parts were obsolete since it was pre-modern standards model)

My semi-local (i.e. I can leave home at noon) new explorations for this year is in the western Mauricie, west of Trois Rivieres starting at Yamachiche that goes Yamachiche-> St-Elie-de-Caxton-> St-Paulin-> Louiseville-> Yamachiche, for about 90 km. I did this ride three times this year trying to work out the best route, and I have suceeded very well. I found that the distance/difficulty levels are very nice here for an intermediate distance & difficulty ride, and good scenery.

all for now


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