Monday, June 29, 2009

We ride northeast in middle-Maskinongé

Our most recent Mauricie region bike adventure has not been the Mauricie river as planned, but another ride in the Maskinongé region. This time we went northeast along the edge of the laurentian foothills, happily, below the foothills, so we had good views and not too many hills to climb. (The satmap shows this well)

Nice spot north of St-Severe

The Laurentian foothills start at the edge of the road.

Another Catholic church

Mini church!

Summer's here when the strawberry stands open

Quebec strawberries are the best kind of energy food, or food of any sort.

This ride follows the bicycle-friendly local geography of the Maskinongé region

Our ride map is available on Bikely

Our previous explorations here had focused on riding north and south in big loop rides. But this left the land in the middle of the region untouched. And we knew that there had to be some good riding there.

So we parked the car in Saint-Barthélemy (which I can now spell!) and rode inland and zigged and zagged our way north-east until we reached Saint-Etienne-des-Grès, which is darn close to the St-Maurice river.

As we had done before, we took the cycling map for the region and pieced together a ride from routes on the map. This time we took the highlighter and drew a route through the middle of the territory.

How did it go? It went well. Very well. Although there were two closed-bridges under reconstruction, we got across them ok. The wind was against us for the first half, but boy, that made for a really great second half of the ride with the wind on our backs giving us a turbo-boost. Woo-hoo!

We passed through the villages of Saint-Barthélémy, Saint-Justin, Saint-Ursele, Saint-Léon-le-Grand, St-Sévere, Saint-Barnabé, Saint-Etienne-des-Grès, Saint-Thomas-de-Caxton, Yamachiche, Louiseville, Maskinongé, and back finally to Saint-Barthélémy. Total distance is 115 km. (you can easily do a shorter version)

The ride follows the edge of the Laurentian mountain foothills. It maneuvers around streams and rivers. Instead of hills, the road does pass through some river-valleys.

We liked this ride, and we have discovers that the region has exceptional road cycling.

You have the choice of riding one of the rides on the Maskinongé region's Cycling Map, combining their rides into a longer ride, or just exploring. It's a nice scenic compact region with lots of roads and lots of cyclists. But most of the cyclists stay on the narrow strip of the route-verte along the Rt 138 along the St-Laurence (which actually isn't even visible in this region). We recommend that you take time to explore north of just about any village along the Route Verte.

This was our last discovery/exploration ride in this region. We have been amply rewarded for our efforts with a number of excellent rides. We are sure these will become some of our favorite rides in the years to come. And, maybe yours too.


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