Saturday, April 14, 2018

The year always starts with some short & medium rides starting in Ormstown in the Chateauguay Valley

Ormstown is a small town on the Chateauguay river about 65 km southeast from Montreal, It is in a real sweet-spot in terms of the road-cycling delights that await you.

First ride of the year is always starting in Ormstown, ride upriver along the Chateauguay to Dewittville, Huntingdon, Athelstan, and to the covered bridge at Powerscourt. This is 26 km. You can ride back the same way, for a 52 km ride.  Lots of nice scenery.

Here is the map:

If you look at the map, you see that this region forms a triangle. This gives you a lot of options for choosing different roads between point A and B.

Second ride is the same as the first ride, follow the Chateauguay river to Powerscourt. The difference is you come back by a partially different route. THis is the direct Lost nation and Boyd Settlement roads, that shortcut you slightly from the first route.

Here is the map:

The third ride starting from Ormstown is a medium length 80 km, and each of the kilometers is a jewel.  This again does the first route's ride upriver along the Chateauguay to Powerscourt. THen it goes east along the border for 15 km on chemin First Concession road, then north along mtée Rockburn Side Road back to the Chateauguay river. Both of these roads are bike-paradise quality roads. The entire route is a real classic of Quebec road rides.  When you become familiar with these three routes and their many delights you will understand why this is one of Quebec's bike-paradise regions and why it is in my top-three bike ride destinations (northern Lanaudiere & in Appalaches south of Victoriaville & Plessisville).

But first, the jewel of the Chateauguay valley: Chateauguay river, First Concession, and Rockburn Side Road ride.

Here is the Map:

After a few of these rides I move east a bit, usually parking car at St-Beranrd-de-Lacolle or Ste-Clotilde. This begins phase 2 of the season, longer easy rides.

The easy-drive option is to park at St-Brnard-de-Lacolle which is right on the Sentier du Paysan bike path. This bike path is fully rural: fields farms and forests. It goes west to St-Clotilde and then you can do road rides more westerly, to Franklin & top of Covey Hill, or west to all the way the Chateauguay river at Athelstan or Powerscourt, Elgin,. If  you want a big day, this route gives you any length ride from 50 km to 200 km! And all of that will be away from towns villages and basically all modern urban/corporate civilization.

First ride of the season at St-Bernard-de-Lacolle is half bike path, and half on the "standard return route from Franklin" which is downhill & with the wind.

Here is the map:

Next I start from the other (eastern) end of the Sentier Paysan bikepath.  THe parking is at the Halte (rest stop) Ste-Clothilde on the Rt 209, note that this is outside the village itself on Rt 209)

This is a short ride, but it seems longer. The next ride is a longer version, or you can go more east on bike path before turning south to road portion of ride.

Here is the Map:

Next up is similar, but it goes further west to Franklin (in to the village), and a bit further east too.  This climbs the "standard return route from Franklin" and returns via the very sweet Grimshaw/Savary/Montée Rocher/Rang 5 road combination.

Here is the map:

2016-07 St-Bernard-de-Lacolle to Franklin

Ok, same general ride as previous, but starting in St-Bernrd means an extra couple of hours of riding. Yes as the season progresses the ride length increases.  This ride, once you get to know it, has an assortment of distances from 50 km to 200 km,  My rule is to ride as far west as you have energy and then turn around and ride home, finishing before sunset.  it's a good rule and always results in a good ride!

Here is the map:

OK, anything else?

I did an explore ride from Boucherville to Varennes.  I did not achieve the goal of the full ride (supposed to go to Vercheres) But it was cold and late and the short version was just fine for early april.


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