Monday, June 24, 2013

Nice hyper-scenic Mauricie ride with bonus supermoon!

Almost home, the supermoon and 1000s of fireflies keep us company

Our Louiseville ride up into the hills of MRC Maskinongé was a test to see if we could leave Montreal at noon and still pull off a long ride (135 km) before sunset, on this 4th longest day of the year late-sunset period. Well we pulled off a great ride, but the sunset arrived before the end of the ride did. This was, however, not a bad thing since the temperature was great, roads were quiet and car free, night vision is a forgotten fact of human vision, the well-publicized super-moon did a spectacular moonrise for the last hour of the ride until we finally arrived in Louiseville. Also, there were 1000s of fireflies lighting up the surrounding farm fields.

MRC Maskinongé cycling map is very good, today's ride has red dots

To avoid a Joseph Conrad Heart-of-Darkness kind of thing, if you are not a hill expert, you should turn around in St-Alexis-des-Monts and not make the out-and-back to Hotel Lac Sacacomie (and the side trip down the town dock at lake level). But if you like hills, then you will enjoy (!) the many hills on chemin Yvon Plante around Lac Sacacomie, because this is a top-ten road for hill-loving bike riders.

You can get the MRC Maskinongé cycling map here:

You can get the paper copy at the Tourisme Maskinongé office in the Aire de service de la Baie-de-Maskinongé (rest stop) on Autoroute 40 est rest stop close to the exit for the town of Maskinongé ( Carte vélo/cycling maps are available inside the tourism office, so you have to visit during their office hours when they are open).

Here is the ride map on Bikely. If you skip the Lac Sacacomie killer-hill aller-retour (out and back) section north of St-Alexis-des-Monts, this is a nice intermediate-level hill ride, with plenty of good scenery!

Louiseville is about 75 minutes from Montreal, park at the church. The Route Verte passes right though main street of Louiseville, then turns off the main road onto a tree-lined quiet road, a great start to a great ride.

Remember to bike up to the summit of the Calvaire in Ste-Elie-de-Caxton, turn right at the cemetery behind the church and follow this tiny road up to the summit: the word for this is adventure cycling. 


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