Sunday, May 15, 2016

Return to hill climb paradise ride St-Jean-de-Matha

92 km of hill-riding paradise.

There are the two versions of the ride:

longer version, (2 extra segments) :

Here is a non-traditional ride review (short ride version):

cross death highway to idyll of peacefulness
climb little climb from hell
enjoy downhill from heaven
pass by forest to hide from in the rain
Miss corner to turn at.
Beaver lake.
pass road sign welcoming you back to the town you thought you had left.
turn onto busy highway, discover it has a nice paved shoulder.
Discover nice paved shoulder needs sweeping. Continue.
Turn off highway and pass through one of Quebec's 372 Lac Noirs
Cross highway and enjoy flat valley floor.
End of flat valley approaches. Uh-oh.
Up. Take break after 400 feet. That's 400 feet of forward motion, not vertical gain.
Up, a bit easier.
Up, a bit harder.
Up, a lot harder.
Up, road is newly repaved!
Reach the top, the view is incredible.
Road descends. Road needs repaving.
Road is actually really bad. Still downhill so not like effort is required.
Unrepaved section ends. Descend to village at speed.
Check out melted church bells from recent church-destroying fire.
Approach GIANT climb to leave town.
Discover that ride turns left at bottom of giant climb.
Pass rubber chicken.
Nice river to ride beside.
Road is nice, happy feeling.
Road goes straight up. Unhappy feeling.
Appreciate the concept of micropauses.
Road is quite steep. More micropauses.
Get passed by young dudes.
At least climb is on perfect asphalt.
Top of climb!
Welcome back to imperfect asphalt. Hey, at least it's downhill.
Discover how to go down crappy roads surprisingly fast.
Watch out for holes!
Arrive at Riviere Blanche section of descent,
Veer right to quiet riverside road,
pass bridge over little gorge, maybe stop here? no! No Stop here.
road goes right way from river, so sadness.
Road is beside a nice stream, so happiness.
Road goes straight up, so sadness,
Uphill is short so happiness.
Cresting hill reveals a particularly nice view, extra happiness.
Discover road is chemin de la belle montagne, so a literal name.
Nice road, it is exactly perfect for bikes.
Zoomy descent to bridge across L'Assomption river.
Discover we also crossed this river right when we left Montreal island!
Begin rang Ste-Cecile, aka the worst road in Quebec.
Ask me how long this shit will last, only 4 km.
Enjoy view to the left. Very nice!
Arrive in Ste-Beatrix. The uphill town.
Pitstop or not. Not.
Take side road to parc regional des chutes (waterfalls)
Discover how crappy cheap chipseal is as a road surface.
Get to viewpoint across valley to see St-Jean-de-Matha church 15 km away.
Arive at parc entrance, pass it and take break on bridge across gorge. (a thing bikes can do that cars can't)
View of gorge is amazing. Eat snacks.
Continue and loop back to Ste-Beatrix.
Take rang Ste-Cecile again. Only slightly better in north direction.
Get onto Chemin de Belle Montagne again, enjoy some nice views.
Take sideroad out-and-back to bring total ride distance to >100 km)
Take turn up the real Chemin de belle montagne.
Up is the operative word. This is a three micropause climb.
Note that although hill grade is not marked, it is a cement mixer special.
A cement mixer special is a climb so steep, wet cement falls out of the back of the cement mixer.
This is the third cement mixer special of the ride.
This climb is not too long. But is is sure hard.
Is is really the last hard climb?
No, but the others are a lot easier.
Optimism, tinged with suspicion.
Arrive at top, at chemin de lac itchy crotch. I mean lac Croche.
Zoom, brake hard! back onto riviere blanche descent. Fun times again.
Repeat the fun part, then before that hard little climb we veer left and...
Climb a little, but then descend a nice road!
To the highway.
Across a little river valley.
to a wall on the other side.
take a micropause or too, no zigzagging because it's a highway.
Highway is noce shape and has nice shoulder.
Approach St-Jean de Matha, but NOT the end of the ride.
Because much more fun to come.
Turn right and descend to 2nd entrance of parc des chutes, this time the St-Jean-de-Matha entrance.
Zoom dowhill, woohoo.
Get to bottom.
turn around and climb. Strava section!
Get to top at cemetery, do not give up.
Enter town. End of ride, right?
Final section of Rang St-Guillaume is on other side of town and connect to start of ride.
Why not stop now?
Because you didn't get 100 km yet.
And Rang St-Guillaume is excellent.
And you might never ever be here again.
Ride along busy highway for 2 km. paved shoulders are so nice to have.
Enter Rang St-Guillaume. It is nice!
Oldest, smallest silo in Quebec on left.
Tiltiest sugar shack on left.
Nice cliffs in distance on right.
zoomy downhill, and then unzoomy climb. Climb with marked view for your micropause pleasure.
Zoomy again, then back to road at start of climb, begin final leg of ride.
About fucking time!
Have to climb that very first zoomy downhill. Ride along the top of the hill, as god intended.
Look behind you, do you see famous ghost rider trying to catch and pass you?
Arrive at top of killr hill you barely remember from the very start of ride.
Pause to enjoy view of St-Jean-de-Matha.
Don't touch brakes as you descend. Sharp corner at bottom of hill, brake, but not too much.
Arrive at village for second time.
Inquire if this time we're finished.
For real?
Discover car is parked on top of the hill! Damn you !
Discover there is an slight detour to make an easy flat land way to get to the car.
More happy.
Get to car, rehydrate, gradually recover sense of accomplishment.