Monday, April 19, 2010

Zig-zag Covey hill ride

Destination, Covey hill. 1000 ft high and 17 km away.

75 excellent kilometers of bike riding

Start location in Allans's Corners is only 35 minutes from the Turcot Interchange in Montreal.

Looking down Stevenson side road

Arriving at Battle of Chateauguay museum the weather didn't look too optimal

But no more rain, and lots of stone walls (notice the smooth road also)

A message of some sort to the bunnies of the area.

For a change the honking isn't coming from cars (geese flying north for the summer)

(Letter to a friend:)

Yo, so as usual we went for a Sunday ride, and looking at the weather radar, southwest of Montreal was rain free (see blog post below), so we drove out there in pouring rain, to the land of our youth, yes, to the Chateauguay valley. We parked at the Battle Chateauguay museum in Allans's corners, near Ormstown, and rode on the Brysonville sideroad straight south towards Covey Hill, which is the big regional landmark that isn't the Chateauguay River. This road is very special, it has excellent quality, gentle rollers, and passes lots of exposed bedrock scraped clean after the last glacier and never reforested (This is called "The Rock").

Here we had to decide how we would attack the hill, so we took some zigzags to avoid highway riding and arrived via Ste-Chrysostome (services) at the straight up the side on Stevenson's side road. It goes up and gets down to business right way. This was the fun part. Seeing the hill for so long of this ride (zigzagging with lots of good views) so we were happy to do the first big country hill of the season. This is the landscape, and we were conquering it. This put us on top of Covey Hill, so we follow the road west (paralleling the nearby US Border), along a very scenic road and a favorite to the end of Pollica.

We started to ride back to the car as el derriere commanded. The weather was changing and wasn't really being our friend anymore, and the longer we stayed out... So we turn towards home and take a pause in Franklin at the dep. Natch' the rain attacked us a few times, but always short showers or isolated bands of rain that we could zip up to seal the garments and get through quickly. Had three or four of these, and good planning in the clothing dept made it no problem (i.e. heavy tights, layers, and over gloves etc to pull on to repel the rain devil.) Also, we are not stop and hide from the rain types of people, our philosophy is "If it is raining, ride harder!"

The return part of the ride was a combination of with-the-wind and with-gravity (i.e. downhill), so let the good times roll! I got back to the car with a good level of fatigue. We could have gone farther, but rain was clearly evident, and it was getting late, as usual.

We saw zero other cyclists (they were all smarter than us) and it seemed that the grey day and rain kept normal people at home, so it was a great day with only light car traffic.

Could feel the effort the next day, tired legs and upper body. Another round of energy output, recuperation and subsequent strength gain! Raised the handlebars on the Bert from all-the-way down around 3 cm, but didn't notice a big difference. The new seat... now that's a difference I can feel.

Spring is an interesting time to ride, the landscape goes from snowy, to melting, to muddy to green on the ground, to green everywhere! I followed a burbling brook all the way up Stevenson's, which added to the nice feeling of successfully climbing the steeps. There was even blue skies near the end, disappointingly book-ended by rain. Still, it was a winner ride with mainly great roads, views, scenery and the modest distance of the ride and from home.

This year we have been exploring the area southeast of Ormstown, and everything we ride we like, the bike likes, and even the car likes. Our ancestral region is excellent for road cycling, certainly one of the best in Quebec for the relaxed rider who wants to escape the blandness of bike path but doesn't want relentless killer ride, busy roads, or same old-same old.

We think that a ride up Covey Hill is one of southern Quebec's best bike rides.

A great ride.


At 7:36 AM, Blogger Deki said...

Thanks for this post! I haven't ridden up Covey hill in many years; now I am planning to do the ride next weekend. Your blog is wonderful, keep up the great work.


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