Riding in Montreal
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  1. #1

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    Question Riding in Montreal

    Howdy,

    A couple of quick questions...

    - Any favorite rides for this time of year around Montreal ? It's my first spring in the city so... Right now I do Camilien-Houde up Mt. Royal rather religiously (4 times last Saturday) and then head out to the F1 track. Did Lakeshore Road as well (West) but seem to end up on the F1 track each time. I live downtown.

    -Anyone knows of any good clubs looking for members ? A club that has access to a medic (for tests and checkups) and/or masseur would be a big plus. Any organized weekend getaways (with support vehicle) would be a big plus too. I've never been member of a club or riden in a group before.

    Just a few specs... I've ridden about 4000 k's since the beginning of the year, mainly on the trainer in combination with a died that I am still on. My outside rides have been few but pleasant and Saturday and Sunday last week I logged 180k's total. Average is not there yet.

    Thx for any suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Here are some suggestions

    A very good cycling club in Montreal is the Beaconsfield cycling club. It is based in the West Island, but it is probably worth the trip. Take a look at their web site.

    http://www.clubcycliste.com/english/index.html

    Also check out veloquebec. They run a number of longer rides through the spring, summer and fall. They over SAG support and the rides are very well organized.

    http://www.velo.qc.ca/

    There are lots of good rides in and around Montreal. For many reasons, our group typically rides the west end of the island and off island.


    Some of our favorites is Gouin boulevard through Pierrefonds, Sennivelle to St. Anne de Bellvue and then back by the Lakeshore. From downtown, you can catch the Lachine canal bike path and go out to St. Annes and then back via Gouin. It is a nice ride with many cyclists.

    If you have the time and legs, head out to Rigaud. From downtown, take the Lachine canal path to Dorval and continue along the lakeshore to St. Anne de Bellevue. From St. Annes, cross the bridge to Ile Perot and continue on the side streets to Dorion. From Dorion, head west towards Hudson and then on to Mt. Rigaud. The return trip from Downtown will be about 160km. The Hudson/Ridaud area offers great riding and beautiful scenery. If you need a map, let me know.

    Another nice trip is to head out to Hudson and then cross the lake to OKA via the ferry. From Oka you can take the paved bike path back to laval and then on to the Island of Montreal. This is probably a 140km ride.

  3. #3
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    More rides...

    Here are my favorite spring (flat) rides:

    Boul Gouin: you can go east old man! Gouin to the east will take you to Pointe aux Trembles, then you could decide to cross the river or make the way around the Island onto Notre Dame Street, Until you come back to the Old Montreal. NOTE: only advisable during early hours on weekend because of traffic on Notre Dame.

    Boulevard Gouin to the west (always in relation to the Christophe Colomb street bike path) has a nice variante if you cross the small bridge to the Ile Bizard: Very nice little loop, just across on the Island, take the road left and go all around or make a right at the church and sprint up the little climb to the short cut across the Island.

    From down town: Most people overlook the Jacques Cartier bridge; big mistake!!!!! There are a few tricks to learn on what to do once on the other side. But first, let me say the bridge is VERY safe and fun to cross. There are two pathways; one for pedestrians, and a very wide one for bikes. You can either get on the bridge from rue Papineau or from the St-Helene Island (take the south shore direction though so to get on the right path...)
    Once you get to the othe side: slow down as you approach the end of the bridge, there will be an opening on the fence with a set of stairs going under, then over to the other side of the bridge: TAKE IT! on the other side you get to Longueuil from either coming off the bridge or going down the stairs. Then look for ST-Charles Street going east Look at a map and then discover all the rides you can make towards Varennes, Verchere and so on. In the summer, you'll thank me for sure, it is beautifull. You also need to discover how to make it to the Montérégiennes: mileage through the flats, then the mont St-Bruno, Mont St-Hilaire, Rougemont and so on. Most excellent. I could give you more details too... Basiaclly if you are strong, you can ride into the eastern townships, or to the States...

    Off the bridge going West: stay on the bridge and just follow the bike lane toward Candiac ant Côte St-Catherine: there is a nice beach over there, a parc where you can rest AND THEN: come back in town by the SEAWAY: it's bike only for 11 km straight of decent asphalt, water on both sides into Ile des Soeurs, where getting few directions will help you across back to Atwater Market and the Old Montreal bike path.

    BTW: you can get to this bike lane from the Gilles Villeneuve Fi circuit, it's fairly easy, and then cross the Victoria Bridge to St-Lambert and do that bikepath ride to Cote-Ste-Catherine...

    NOTA: although difficult to explain, ther is a section of dirt road on the seaway between Pont Victoria and Pont Champlain/Ile des Soeurs. It's doable, but also avoidable like I explained before. Get a map and check it out...
    Next time mabe I'll tell you about Mirabel and Lanaudière and so on?

    Montreal IS a GREAT place to ride.

    Now, if you where not so strong (you impressed me with your 4000km!) I'd take you on a ride with my mates... I dont go with any club and mostly ride alone (by choice) but also enjoy a ride with a group of friends (3,4,5 max)

    Also check in Bicyclette Montreal Nord on boulevard Gouin east (between Pie IX and Langelier) I don't work there, and but I have been a customer for 20 years. Nicest shop/bike people period.

    See you around.
    “There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.” Tom Robbins

    "See, at my age and level, one is racing for glory. There can be glory finishing dead last. But there will never be any glory cheating to win." S. Lamarre

  4. #4

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    tempeteOntheRoad,

    I used to live and ride in the easy end (Ahuntsic), but these days I live out in the country (Hudson) so don't get to the east end very often. I agree with you about Bicyclette Montreal Nord. Good people and great selection. A real good old fashioned bike store.

    Ile Bizard is an oldtime favorite for me. I have been riding the island for about 40 years. It is always a great ride.

    You should try to get out to the Hudson/Rigaud/St. Lazarre area. Lots of hills and little trafic. Some really great riding out this way. I still enjoy getting up North and riding through the laurentians. The only problem is the traffic during the summer months. Too many people not knowing where they are going.

    The F1 track to the ice bridge is good fun. The only problem with this area, in my opinion, is it is a little too flat. But never the less, we try to get out there a few times a year.

    I am so glad spring his finally arrived. The winter was too long.

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    Hudson: Here I come!

    I'll definitely spend more riding time over there this summer.
    I was born in Longueuil, so I know the roads well on the south shore. Now I live very in very central spot geographically; in the Fabre/Beaubien/JeanTalon metro triangle, so I'm exporing more and more of the North shore. Just a quick spin around Laval Island surprised me last year: I was in the country side, nothing like what I expected. Also, two years ago my wife and I went on a bike tour starting at Oka park looping around Mirabel and that area. Flat, too, yet very beautifull and quiet.

    I don't mind riding the plains and the flats, because I can always go do the world cup loop any evening after work. I try to do that after 1000km of spinning though.

    Have you ever done the trips around Sutton (Scenic Drive from Highwater to Abercorn-Sutton has 6km of hard climbing), or even better:Jay Peak, which you climb twice around Little Jay and Big Jay? Woah! One can go pretty fast coming down those roads...

    Anyway; my friend Richard came knocking at the door this morning. Waking up the dogs, the wife and I. How could I turn him back?

    We went to the F1 circuit for a few laps. 50 difficult km's in the bank this morning, Now it's all done, shower taken, washing being dried, and I am happy; thanks to him... I'll post that on the general board!

    See ya around.
    “There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.” Tom Robbins

    "See, at my age and level, one is racing for glory. There can be glory finishing dead last. But there will never be any glory cheating to win." S. Lamarre

  6. #6

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    I have not spent much time around the Sutton area in years. Howevever I do know the Jay Peak area very well. I have been skiing, hiking and riding the Jay Peak Vermont area since 1970. It is a great place for many outdoor activities. There is no question that the roads will give you a good case of thigh burn.

    A couple of other good area in upstate Vermont is Smuglers Notch/Stowe and the Mt. Abraham area, just south of Camels Hump. The Smuglers Notch road is famous, but the 'gap' roads in an around Mad River Glen, Sugarbush are also very memorable. Highly recommended.

    A really enjoyable ride in the Montreal area is Ile Bizard, then taking the ferry over to Laval sur le Lac. From there, follow the bike path to Deux Montange and then on to Oka. From Oka, take the ferry to Hudson and then head towards Ile Perot. From Ile Perot continue towards Ste. Annes and then follow the lakeshore to the lacine canal bike path. A really great ride.


    I passed on riding this morning. Just a little too wet for my liking.

  7. #7

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    Cool

    Thanks a bunch guys...will check out the suggested rides on a map asap.

    Just back from Quebec, did 125 k's yesterday (Ile d'Orleans) and just an hour today before leaving. Weather was ok but cold. Spring may be here but it sure did not feel like it

    I got to Mtl in June last year and I've been riding a lot on the track, the Mt royal and (taking the car up north) around St. Jerôme. Since November I've been riding the trainer for 1.5 hrs a day on average watching TV and/or getting blared at by the stereo. It's definately time to head out into the great wide open again.

    As I said, I'll check the routes and get back to you.

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    Thumbs up General reply and follow up questions

    -Just a couple of general remarks. I like to ride as free and uncomplicated as possible. That is why I rarely use the bike path or bike lane (unless it’s easier to negotiate than the neighboring street). I don’t mind street traffic, actually I rather enjoy it most of the time. During the weekend I was in Quebec and (although it was damp and cold) I had fun riding through the city and over to the Ile d’Orleans before heading back through the city. Point is: If there is a perfectly good pike path next to a busy, pothole-ladden street I sometimes prefer the street to the bike path as the car traffic is easier to negotiate than the “cycling” and “other” traffic on the bike path. I hope I am not offending anyone here but I hate rollerblades, and other recreational activities that people use and perform on bike-paths. Also, doing a 40+kph sprint on a street is much easier (and roomier) than doing it on a narrow winding bike path. It’s easier to bunny-hop a pothole than to bunny-hop that heavy-set couple riding side by side and blocking the entire bike path. (No offense if you’re heavy-set, a couple, or a pot-hole!)
    The other thing I hate (with a passion) is gravel. Yuck. Yes I have a mountain bike as well and have no trouble riding (for example) the gravel path up Mt. Royal… But pleeeeze not with the road bike. I always get into a sort of a trance while riding (rider’s high ?) and watching traffic and dodging potholes is enough secondary activities for me. I don’t need to watch out for tricky gravel patches or other obstacles.

    That being said (and I realize I should have said that in my original posting) I just looooove biking

    -The Beaconsfield Cycling club – Yeah I checked their web-site and actually spend a lot of time looking at their cyclist manual and pictures… Interesting bunch of people. Are you a member OldMan ? I also know of “The Irregulars” since I’ve been riding with one of them last fall once. I’ll have to see…but will definitely keep Beaconsfield on top of the list.

    -Gouin going West… - I did not know that piece of the island yet. I’ve been out West from the Lasalle area along the river but never up north. Will check in the next couple of weeks. I’ve been to the Oka, Lachute, Hawkesbury area last fall, basically taking the bike there on the car, riding my 2-3 hours and back to the car before heading home. I’ll check the proposed routes. Especially the Ile Bizard.

    -Jacques Cartier – Oh yes… I love the bridge and did it quite often last year to get to the F1 track. But the only time I wanted to go further than the Ile Ste Hélène to Longueuil… I flatted. Bummer… Since it was my second flat of the day I had the privilege of walking about 3 kilometers to the Longueuil metro station. So in a way I thought I was jinxed and haven’t gone back to the South shore since. I have taken the bike by car though and ridden around Mt. St Hilaire and in the Magog area in late summer last year.

    -Tempe, the 4000 km … I am impressed too. Actually I started a diet in January (basic calorie-counting… bla bla bla - If you want details I can provide them) and it worked. I lost nearly 10 kilos as of today and need to get down another 5. So I used the trainer at home to ride nearly every day and then on weekends outside. If I look at my cycling journal and do a quick calculation since (going back to December when I started riding the trainer) I did 4000 km at least. About 1.5 hours a day at an average of nearly 30 kph over 100+ days. But I feel great (no surprise). In Quebec on the weekend I was amazed that after 3 hours I barely felt tired. I’ll check out Bicyclette Montreal Nord too…

    -Other points: I am reading your various comments on the climbs around Jay Peak and Sutton, Smugglers Notch, Sugarbush… Woooohooo…. I’m so there you can’t believe it !

    My big plan is this:

    In September I am going on my annual vacation and plan to go to North Carolina to ride the Appalachians. I will spend 10 days around Boone and plan on riding Grandfather Mountain and others… So I need to prepare and it looks to me as Sutton and Jay Peak etc… would be the place to do it. My climbing experience so far… Well Mt.Royal 6 times (last fall) during one ride, but that’s about it. Short climbs (up St.Anne des Lacs, Lac Echo etc… around St. Jerôme) on various occasions. If you have any climbs in the Laurentides (or elsewhere) let me know.

    Cheerio for now. Keep on riding !

  9. #9

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    LSchoux,
    No I am not currently a member of the beaconsfield club. I know some people and have known about the club for years. Good bunch of people.

    I hear you on gravel. My pet peeve this time of the year is sand. Way too much sand on the road for my liking. Especially on the hills from the winter sanding. The steeper the hill, the more sand they put down. They should look after it by mid month, or so the city tells me.

    Bike paths can be great or poor, depending upon the time of the day. Normally we don't ride them unless it is very early (sunrise). At that time of the day there are no people and it make is much easier to go quickly. I can do without city traffic. Too many close calls over the years. I am getting too old to battle the car drivers.

    Have fun this summer. If you ever want a riding budy off the western end of the island let me know.

  10. #10
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    Ha Ha ha!

    I hear you about the bike path thing. I'm just the same. But I meant to point out (but did not!) that the bike path is only a better way to get to a quieter area. Most of the time, I'll ride the bike path to warm up or cool down... Takes me through the suburbs toward the country, where there are only roads, roads, roads...

    Nota: I don't mind the gravel though! Actually I discovered it's part of riding too. I'll easily do a few kilometers if I have to on the road bike, but the best tool remains my Kona Hei Hei with the slicks!
    “There are many things worth living for, a few things worth dying for, and nothing worth killing for.” Tom Robbins

    "See, at my age and level, one is racing for glory. There can be glory finishing dead last. But there will never be any glory cheating to win." S. Lamarre

  11. #11
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    Irregulars

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchoux
    --The Beaconsfield Cycling club – Yeah I checked their web-site and actually spend a lot of time looking at their cyclist manual and pictures… Interesting bunch of people. Are you a member OldMan ? I also know of “The Irregulars” since I’ve been riding with one of them last fall once. I’ll have to see…but will definitely keep Beaconsfield on top of the list.
    I hooked up accidentally with the Irrgeulars late last fall & raced CX with them for the balance of my short season. Really great folks! I hope to ride with them this summer. Definitely racing CX with them this fall/winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchoux
    I’ll check out Bicyclette Montreal Nord too…
    If you have time in the St.Laurent area, check these guys out. As far as I know, they have the best prices in town. I'm a rather cheap fellow so I shop around quite a bit before buying anything.
    Cycles St-Laurent
    1344 Du Collège
    (514) 744-1677

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchoux
    In September I am going on my annual vacation and plan to go to North Carolina to ride the Appalachians. I will spend 10 days around Boone and plan on riding Grandfather Mountain and others…
    If you can make it down to Greenville, SC, it's really beautiful down there & for a Trek fan, George Hincapie home base (whenever he is at home though). There are 3 bike shops in the area & if you visit them all in one day, it makes quite the beautiful ride.
    Me on running at RunningMania.com http://www.runningmania.com/forum/vi...15813&start=50

    In support of injured Canadian Forces soldiers, please donate generously to Soldier On! http://www.cfpsa.com/Splashpages/SoldierOn/
    Proud supporter of local shops!

  12. #12

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    Talking

    Man I am so edgy... Need to get out there and RIDE. Definately looking forward to the early weekend. Will, of course, check out Gouin West and then some.

    Yeah Greenville should be on the radar screen too. Been there by car a few times but this is the first year that I am in North America AND have a bike. Wooohoo. Will definately do a lot of riding this year... Maybe I'll drop by George's place for lunch He wouldn't be the first postie I've been riding with.

    Bob Roll once gave the advice to "pick any year and do more miles on your bike than with your car" I think I may have come close over the last year

    Thanks guys for the feedback... Will keep you updated as to my rides.

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    Thumbs up

    Friday, April 09, 2004

    Goooood Friday

    This cycling journal entry is dedicated to “theOldMan” and “tempeteOnTheRoad” who inspired today’s awesome ride!

    I left the building, saw and hammered away!!! This Friday was another highlight of my cycling life. Around noon I was outside spinning the pedals going west into the wind. Excellent that means on the way back I’ll be surfing the mighty Canadian winds back to downtown. Sweet! My objective today was to explore the Western horn of the Montreal Island and to get up to Gouin – Eastwards until I hit the Bizard Island. At that moment I was to decide if I should head back the same way or continue east to get back into town.

    I tried to get to the shoreline ASAP but somehow got lost in Verdun. Eventually I hit “Shoreline” and started hammering. Go figure…

    So going West I had a blast wooshing by other riders, a couple of goobers on Mountain bikes who just went shopping, or admiring the sunshine or just blocking the wind for me  As always I let bike paths be bike paths and played another game of pothole-dodge in traffic. Creamed a couple of dozen of goobers in their gaz-guzzlers especially since through Lasalle and Dorval they have a great time stopping at each “Arrêt” and I’ve made a point of not!!! So I am actually much faster on my Bontragers than they on their Goodyears… Sweet!

    A bunch of real chamois-clad road warriors were out, since it was “Good Friday” which meant for this rider that he had the day off for the first time in his life (instead of Easter Monday). But it seems that about half the population worked today since there was still a lot of rush-hour traffic, but more on that later… the most impressive (or nuts) thing I saw was an image of myself 2 years ago. An over-weight guy on a decent bike clad in some nondescript lycra going my way and being dropped by myself like a bag of spiders. Sorry fella… Maybe if you loose some 20 pounds and get some 4000 base-clicks into your legs you’ll be able to keep my wheel.

    Btw… My 1200 started singing like a bird again. I have to oil that damn chain or get a new one. I believe cleaning it was actually detrimental to the overall noise level. I was surprised that there was no flock of seagulls following my back wheel because I sweat my chain was tweeting and chirping and they may have thought I was their mother, their seagull squadron leader, their seagull-führer …whatever.

    So all of these good things finally brought me west to the tip of the isle before I followed the road (and potholes) north. I also rode through Beaconsfield where (I get the impression) cycling rules. Actually a couple of very nice cycling lanes were just temporarily blocked by rollerblading totties, dog-walking grandmas, wagon-pushing daddies or just the odd cracks in the pavement.

    Turning north had a very positive effect on my average speed. The wind was blowing in my left ear but that was less aerodynamically challenging that having it blow me from the front… so the ride through the tree-studded part of the island actually was not too unpleasant. Even a couple of rocking and rolling hills were not an unwelcome change. Finally Pierrefonds the last township before the Ile Bizard came up and I stopped at a gaz station to fill up on carbs (Powerade and Bounty bars) and bridged over to the Ile. So I had reached goal no 1 and was to decide what to do next. I checked my cycling computer and I had wound down 70 clicks in 2.5 hours. Wooohoo.

    Decision time…Either tour the “Bizarre Island”, get back over and go on East on Gouin Boulevard and make my way through the city or go back the way I came. I decided that the Ile Bizard was going to stay the same whether I toured it or not, that the city between Gouin and downtown was rather uninteresting… and took the bold and beautiful decision to go back to where the wind was blowing… So that’s what I did and of course headed straight back into the wind. No biggie though as there was some wind-shade from trees and I made it back through the rolling hills to St Anne. Through the same streets, passing cars whose driving goobers were undecided if “Stop” meant to simply stop, watch for traffic and go… or “Stop” meant that they should stop their vehicles and settle a new community right there in the middle of the road. Of course “Stop” for me meant, pass those auto-non-mobiles and fly like a US Postal Eagle to the sea.. or at least through Beaconsfield. And flying I did. Wooooohoooooo… Wind at my arse, road in front, legs hammering, I was zipping across the landscape.

    About halfway to Lasalle (probably just before Dorval) I actually saw a couple of interesting, yes, bizarre images: I flew by a bus stop hut that was wedged between the road and the river, no kidding… 1 inch further to the right and the thing would have been in the water, 1 inch to the left and it would have poked into the road…anyway. The bus stop was packed with winter-coated grandmas… you know the type, dark woolen or fur coats, woolen hats… shopping bags or hand bags at their side… scarves around their necks… and they were ALL watching the river so they had their backs turned towards the road. I swear, a bus would have come and they would still be standing there, gazing out at the water. Why ? Because on the water there were a couple of wind-surfers going full speed driven by the wind. Wow. Guess I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of nature… well I had to fight it before so for me it was just payback. And of course the water may have been to cold anyway for me… Cycling is a much warmer sport than windsurfing, especially in April in Montreal.

    The second interesting thing… A fellow USPS Trekkie was going East as well. I caught a glimpse of the jersey from afar until I saw him standing on the left side of the road later. I of course left him there noticing the shiny yellow Trek 5900 Special TdF Edition. Nice ride. Very Nice ride ! But not going anywhere as I zoomed by… Or so I thought. Maybe Mr. I-wanna-be-like-Lance saw my impression of a speeding Eagle and got hungry… In Lasalle I dropped a few more cars at stop signs… and as I was sitting up to gulp down some PowerGel to feed my rapidly-depleting energy reservoir… Mr. Special Edition caught up with me and passed me. After a very brief “Hey” he proceeded to drop me in his special yellow edition (very expensive) wake… or so HE thought… I decided then and there that it would be another day, maybe not as bright and sunny as this, maybe not as windy or cold as this, maybe not a day where I already have 100-odd clicks in my legs… maybe not even a day where I am out riding my squeaking Trek 1200 who needs a new chain but my well-tuned, squeakee-clean 5200… but it will not be this day that I get DROPPED WITHOUT A FIGHT.

    So I gave my PowerGel-pack a grace period before I ripped its head off and started getting busy. Mr. Wonderful had about 10 lengths on me when I started closing the gap. He was no puddknocker this guy as I noticed right away… First he not only had the USPS garb on, also he had the Nike thermo-leggings on, nice shiny booties and, first and foremost, he was riding in the street and not on the bike path (which was as deserted as a college campus on Thanksgiving).

    So I chased and was soon in his Bontrager XX-Lite rear wheel. I stayed there for about 200 meters and followed him on the ride under the Mercier bridge. At that moment he noticed me and tried to accelerate… The lights were on but nobody was home. He sped up and slowed down again, slumping back in the saddle. He then (giggle) took the bike path…and that’s the end of that. Seriously, the guy was tired. No idea if he had as much (or more) miles in the legs as this chamois-clad road-wrestler but I got out of the saddle and did a hammerfest on his ass. ZZzzzzzzzoooom… Gone. I checked over my shoulder and could see a small yellow and blue spec on the bike path getting smaller by the second. Then I made sure that I would NOT see him again… For about 15 minutes, all the way into the heart of Verdun I put the hammer, the ax, the saw and the entire tool shed down and out. Woohoo.!

    So rolling through Verdun I dodged the increasing number of potholes, cracks and all kinds of road hazards. I finally put an end to that PowerGel, proving once again that if PowerGel were smarter than me it would have ripped MY head off and gulped down my intestines. At a red light I crossed one more goober on a mountain bike… Looked like he just got back from robbing a bank, visiting a string of lonely housewives, or whatever and somehow I must have been a challenging sight for his bloodshot eyes. He tried to outride me off the red light. I took the challenge and passed him with flying and thundering colors. Just how much of a challenge he saw in me, I found out a few minutes later. He tried to stay on my wheel but I did not notice it until I slowed down on Wellington en route to the Vieux Port. He actually was still in my wake. Ok… do not do onto others as you are not prepared to have done onto yourself…and I was prepared. PowerGel-ed up and I was flying. I dropped him then and there and started hammering again I did not stop until I crossed the bridge to the old port and slowly got nearer my final efforts of the day, namely the Beaver Hall climb and the St. Urbain climb to Sherbrooke. Wow… Getting out of the saddle really hurt and I nearly cramped up… But I got nearer home and checked my computer. I was 6 minutes shy of 5 hours and decided to tag these on so as to have a nice round number to enter in my cycling journal. I rode up St. Laurent… into a traffic jam that was a keeper. Car after car after car after car… as far as the eye (even through Oakley sunglasses) could see. Wow. I thought this was a holiday… Well. Whatever. I probably passed more cars on this stretch of road alone, than have passed me the entire afternoon. I got around Rachel and down St. Denis before getting to my building. 5 hours and I feel fine. Heavy legs but a super-light feeling that I have reached another step in my goal to the ultimate quest for cycling nirvana… My 3rd 100+ in as much weeks, my first 5 hour-ride since my renaissance as a cyclist 2 years ago… But first and foremost… 4000 base miles on the trainer since January really PAID OFF BIIIIIG TIME !!!! Sweeeeeeeeeet!

    And so my Good Friday turned out to be a great Friday. And since there are always more weekends, more holidays, more roads to be conquered… I will have a blast during the next weeks and months. Keep on riding in the free world.


    Saturday, April 10th, 2004

    Good Friday… and an ENCORE on Saturday. Again… Thx to theOldMan for inspiration and guidance…

    Went to Rigaud. Saddled up the car, locked and loaded the 1200 with a few drops of oil on the chain… So I hit Rigaud and blasted through town on a reconnaissance drive before parking out near Hudson and getting into the saddle. Since the Friday afternoon special still hung in my legs like cement blocks on a Mafia victim I took it eazeeee the first few minutes. But then I went north along Route 201 headfirst into the wind. Hello blowjob ! I started hammering and I still felt like going backwards. When I finally got to the climb (whose name eludes me but it was not St George but the next one) I got to a 90° angle to the wind and was happy. And let the climbing begin… Actually this was probably the most docile way up Mt. Rigaud as I should find out an hour later. I climbed the mountain as light as a gazelle… actually it’s one of those rare Virginia gazelles that have that blue and white fur… with patched of white the shape of an eagle in flight and patches of red spelling “Berry Floor” Ok transgressing… Anyway. I saw a couple of bike chicks coming the other way. They were flying even quicker, getting a blow from the back… So I passed about a dozen sugar shacks and finally crested atop the mountain. Cool. Now what ? Far from tired and not far enough from the car. I turned South on 325 and flew down the hill, full into the wind (again) before I swing right on Montee Primeau… Funny for 2 reasons: 1) Primeau being the place where I purchased my 3 steeds, the trainer and the Park Tool work stand 2) I have no blue clue (not even Park Tools Blue) why they call all small hump in a road a “montée”. Well yes there are some steep climbs that you could not get up with a ski lift that are also called Montée… But this “Primeau” was a prime example. Seriously I’ve seen potholes higher than this hump. Next thing you know the overpass over the next highway is called a Montée… Oh well, I guess the way into the garage of our building is a “descente” then. LOL

    Actually the Primeau road was not so bad. Flew up and down that small rise in the road and went on to get around in the Rigaud direction again… A thought flashed my mind riding that country road… You put some cobbles in the ground and you end up with a great ride à la Paris-Roubaix. Tomorrow is the big day and I will not see any of it… Thanks to nO-L-N and the rest of the Canadian TV landscape… Oh well.

    So I got back into town and I suddenly realized what theOldMan was talking about… Sand and lots of it. By the look of Rigaud’s roads you would think that not only were there sandmen living in town, sandpaper industry flourishing, trucks full of sand clocks having accidents, but also dunes wandering the streets when they’re not out playing in the desert. I swear at one corner I actually thought I saw a spice harvester with David Lynch in it…

    Just as I was flying into Rigaud (the wind at my back this time) I came across Bourget road and I remember that this was one of the roads mentioned in theOldMan’s posting… “Ok let’s go…” and up I went. First I thought it was a joke… I got up to an intersection and actually turned off Bourget onto Lourdes only to find myself stuck in a parking lot. I turned around and got back onto Bourget and found that it did not end in the woods as I suspected but wound its way up the mountain. Alongside, water from the melting snow and ice kept washing down the road, and I got cracking on the climb. A couple of steeper sections and I was panting but no biggie… I told myself “I asked for it and I got it” But what I should have done was rip open one of them gel packs because I actually was running on reserves. I didn’t and I am here to regret it.

    Oh what a fool I was to have cast doubts upon advice of strangers… Especially if the advice is posted in a forum called “The steepest climb out there”…

    I passed a couple of guys who were unloading a truck in front of a house under construction. One of them looked at me as I was panting my way up the road and I think I saw a smile cross his face that was either pure evil or pure “Schadenfreude”… and around the next bend I saw it. Actually I saw “IT” and I was already dead even before I knew that my death was upon me… And if this is dying, my reel-to-reel flashing of my whole life before my eyes took about 3 seconds (and it was quite boring with an un-happy end) before I started looking for options. The misery I was about to experience goes beyond physical pain…it touched the emotional nerve center of pure humility. There in front of me was a road that looked as it had risen from the depths of hell just to torture me… a grade so steep, water was not flowing but dripping from it… WOW. It hurt just to see it and as I got closer I realized that, for the first time in 2 years, I was about to quit.

    It is at this moment that one has the opportunity to prove one’s dedication. In a previous life I would have turned around and would have provided entertainment for the truck-unloader… but this was the day when all the forces of evil could not make me quit and I continued trying to get a decent speed going before hitting the first part of the steepest gradient. I swear it must have been around 20%... I had a burn in my legs that resembled a dragon’s breath… and still I kept going… and I even took a page out of the books and tapes I’ve seen from Tour riders who just hit the wall riding up a “col” (or a montée) and have to clasp the last treat of a rope that they can, namely reducing the gradient by swinging all over the road, “s”-ing their way up… and I managed to go on… and then the road flatted somehow before the second steep part…even steeper than the first. And I was hallucinating, seeing red roofs upon houses beyond the climb… and I still kept going… the burn in my legs had turned to molten lead lava, my arms were tired but my pulse was still in the yellow (around 175) and I even managed to smile about that… But what a climb it was and still I kept seeing toothless yokels who grinned at me standing next to trucks in front of houses with red roofs and dripping molten lead running across the road…. And then I was at the top… And yes there was a house with a red roof, how about that. After I let out a curse that was ever a “Holy sh*t" or something obscene… I was at the top and feeling good. I came, I saw, I got scared shitless, I saw some more, and I conquered. Sweeeeeeeeet!

    And as I finished the second tour of the Mt. Rigaud I felt even better than 24-odd hours earlier when I dropped Mr. Wonderful or/and when my computer read 5:00 hours… I ride therefore I am.

    Once again I have scored a victory over an obstacle that no person in their right frame of mind would even think about conquering… No person unless he/she is a cyclist. Keep on riding !

    Thanks guys for the advice. Sunday I went to Jay Peak in VT... just to check it out in my car... not riding it...yet. But that's another day in my journal.

  14. #14

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    LSchoux,

    Great write up. It sounds like you made the most of the weekend. Next time, take the tour of Ile bizard, it is well worth it.

    I was also out on the weekend. Who knows, you may have passed me at some point. I am glad you enjoyed Bourget. There are two approaches to the road, the one you took is sligtly easier than the other, as it starts at a higher elevation. The other approach starts from the town. But in either case they both end at the 'wall'. I have measured the wall and it is greater than 25% at the steepeset part.

    The Hudson/Rigaud area is a meca for road riders. On any given day you will normally see lots of cyclist on the roads. From your description, I don't think you actually started from Hudson. Sounds like you like you actually started from the Hudson Inn, which is not in Hudson!.

    Here is a suggestion for next time.

    Go to the centre of the town of Hudson (main road/cameron). Park the car in one of the many town parking lots. You have two choices, you can start climbing or take a nice ride along the lake. Option 1, start climbing. (if you want more options let me know!!)

    Ride west to montee St. Charles. Turn left and ride up Mtte. St. Charlesto to rue. St. Angelique. (6.5km). It is a hilly ride up, that will get your heart pumping, but nothing extreme. Turn right on St. Angelique to the 201 (heading west) (4km of very flat road), turn right and descend the hill and turn left on to St. Henri. Be careful, you will be travelling very quickly when you get to St. Henri. Continue on St. Heni. It is a hilly road, with only one significant climb. This road has very few cars and lots of bikes on a nice day. Enjoy the ride and scenery. At the end of the road you will be on the 325, turn right and go up the 325. There is a depanneur on the right hand side that has a couple of picnic table. Stop and get some refreshments....

    At this point, you have a choice. You can either start your way back to where your car is or go for some more climbing... Let us assume you want to head back. Continue along the 325 to St. George. Turn right on St. George. The road turns up and there is some good climbs to the top of the mountain. Continue along St. George to the 201. Some of the descents are a lot of fun in this area. At the 201, turn left and contiune pass the 40 all the way to lake. At one point you will be on Mt. Lavigine which takes you to the lake shore. Turn right on main road and take the scenic route back to your car. Total distance about 50km.

    If you want to do some more climbing, instead of turning on St. Georges, keep going on the 201. You will get to go down a pretty good hill ( 2km at 11%). At the base of the hill turn right and continue towards town. Turn right on Bourget and continue up the mountain to St. Georges. Turn left on St. George and continue as before.

    The locals tend to avoid Mtte. Primeau. Sounds like we have not missed much.

    If you scoped out the Jay Peak area, you know what lies ahead. Only advice on Jay peak is to wait until may. There will be snow in the area until early may. The melting snow can leave the roads wet and icy in the early morning.

    Enjoy your rides.

    theOldMan

  15. #15

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    Thumbs up

    I attached a map of the Rigaud tour... Thx for the other suggestions. Maybe this weekend I will stick in the area to try them. Got any rides planned oldMan ?

    Other news, I will check out the Beaconsfield club this Friday (they have their info session) and maybe join.

    Next weekend I'll take my bike on a plane and go riding in Texas, YEEEEHAAA

    For work purposes I will be in San Antonio Monday through Wednesday so next FridayI will jet over there and spend the weekend riding in TX. Alright ! Maybe I'll get my first season tanlines, ha ha ha...
    Attached Files Attached Files

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchoux
    I attached a map of the Rigaud tour... Thx for the other suggestions. Maybe this weekend I will stick in the area to try them. Got any rides planned oldMan ?

    Other news, I will check out the Beaconsfield club this Friday (they have their info session) and maybe join.

    Next weekend I'll take my bike on a plane and go riding in Texas, YEEEEHAAA

    For work purposes I will be in San Antonio Monday through Wednesday so next FridayI will jet over there and spend the weekend riding in TX. Alright ! Maybe I'll get my first season tanlines, ha ha ha...
    Nice write up! You are going to have to let me know how much it will cost to fly a bike around & what getting through customs is like with a bike.
    Have a great trip to TX!
    Say "Hi" to Lance, if you see him!
    Me on running at RunningMania.com http://www.runningmania.com/forum/vi...15813&start=50

    In support of injured Canadian Forces soldiers, please donate generously to Soldier On! http://www.cfpsa.com/Splashpages/SoldierOn/
    Proud supporter of local shops!

  17. #17

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    Lshoux,

    I am out riding most days that the weather permits. If I am alone, I will ride the hudson/rigaud area to get some hill climbing in. Nothing like a few hills to get the heart pumping. On the weekend we have a small club that goes to different parts of quebec for rides. This weekend, if the weather permits, we will be in out for a ride in the Hudson area. You are welcome to join us.

  18. #18

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    Good...

    hey Gang, Sorry I've been silent for a while... But work is keeping me incredibly busy.

    Anyway, I have not had any memorable rides in the last weeks but managed to have a "media" day on Sunday. In fact I've used my "charm" to get a couple of girls on-board to do a photo-session of yours truly... One drove the car, the other was shooting away with a camera.

    Attached is the result (well one of about 100 results) and, yes, I like the USPS cycling team

    Anyway... Off to TX for the weekend.

    Cheerio and keep on riding !
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchoux
    hey Gang, Sorry I've been silent for a while... But work is keeping me incredibly busy.

    Anyway, I have not had any memorable rides in the last weeks but managed to have a "media" day on Sunday. In fact I've used my "charm" to get a couple of girls on-board to do a photo-session of yours truly... One drove the car, the other was shooting away with a camera.

    Attached is the result (well one of about 100 results) and, yes, I like the USPS cycling team

    Anyway... Off to TX for the weekend.

    Cheerio and keep on riding !
    If I see on the streets, I will be sure to give you a holler as I am certain you will blow by me! Look for a chinese guy on a blue Trek XO1.
    Happy riding in TX!
    Me on running at RunningMania.com http://www.runningmania.com/forum/vi...15813&start=50

    In support of injured Canadian Forces soldiers, please donate generously to Soldier On! http://www.cfpsa.com/Splashpages/SoldierOn/
    Proud supporter of local shops!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic hawk
    If I see on the streets, I will be sure to give you a holler as I am certain you will blow by me! Look for a chinese guy on a blue Trek XO1.
    Happy riding in TX!
    Alright I will keep my eyes open for a Hawk

    A dead give away is the "SHO" on the right side of the frame of my 5200 or on the back of my black helmet. So you should be able to recognize me even when I'm riding my 1200.

    See you out there !

  21. #21

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    check it out

    Gang, as promised here's my ride writeup... I posted it in another thread since I owed it to those guys...

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...1&postcount=12

    Btw... I've joined Beaconsfield and I've been riding w/ them last weekend and on Wednesday. Cool group of people.

    L.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Driven, pushed, pulled, stretched, smacked, cracked and torn apart... by what's inside !

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