Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tour of Thetford Mines

Approaching the town of Thetford Mines near the end of ride

Our other ride destination on this Chaudiere-Appalaches region trip was to do a ride around the asbestos-mining region of Thetford Mines.

Driving south of Autoroute 20 you can really tell you have left the St-laurence lowlands behind. You are in the Appalachian Mountains, and it the natural scenery is beautiful. And then you get close to Black Lake (technically part of municipality of Thetford Mines) and you understand the Mines part of the name.

There are mountains here, but the the scenery is highly un-natural. Believe it or not, this was part of the attraction of coming here.

We parked at the "Tourism Amiante" centre near Black Lake which is located on the highly-excellent Thetford Mines municipal bike path.

We got dressed warm and then we rode to Black Lake, then out a bit to the chemin Vimy Ridge. This was a optional route version: a quiet road with lots of steep twistys. It was a bit rugged, but it was better than being on the busy 112 (the 112 did have excellent paved shoulders for cycling).

We reached the village of Coleraine, then south to Disraeli. This is the SW corner of the ride, and we got a bit confused to get going east on Chemin de Barrage, but it wasn't a problem except our brr-brrr-brain was just a bit frozen!

Then it is east along Lac St-Francois all the way until reaching the Rt 287, which we took for a short bit until back on quiet back roads to come into Thetford Mines proper. Very scenic section. In Thetford we got back on the municipal bike path and rode back to the car away from traffic - nice path!

This ride is from the map in the Guide Velo region Chaudiere-Appalaches and it had been on our list for a while. For road riders, the Rt 112 through here would be a good ride also.

We had supper and went east on the Rt 112 to the Beauce and camping at Camping municipal St-Joseph-de-Beauce, which was closed. Uh-oh. So we guerilla-camped in the back of the station-wagon, in the back of an apartment building parking lot, which we pulled in to after getting everything all set up, so we just had to park the car, exit the drivers door and enter the rear passenger door, very very discreet.

The tourist lookout at the Black Lake mine - a very exposed view!

Little historical relic (relique?) in Thetford

The lookout has LOTS of exposure-the woman was frozen in place and would NOT get any closer to the windows.

Tiny machinery at the bottom of the pit

A look dooooooown in to the Black Lake pit from the "belvidere d'observation de la mine a ciel ouvert," located just south of Black Lake on the Rt 112 towards Coleraine

Excellent municipal bike path through Thetford Mines

the one thing we didn't expect: a grain silo(!?!)

Disraeli eglise

Un-natural mountain scenery

Click here for a map of the ride from the guidebook.

The next day was the exploration of the Veloroute de Bellechasse.


Post a Comment

<< Home