Finally —- a weekend with sunshine! At the prompting of our son Jason, Helen & I decided to set our sites on a bike ride on a small section of Quebec’s La Route Verte. This is the Quebec Government’s attempt at bringing cycling to the masses. And they have done a really great job of it!
We set our sights on historic North Hatley Quebec – which is located at the base of the Massawippi River in the Eastern Townships.
What good is planning a bike ride unless you have also chosen a good B&B to stay at?
We arrived on Friday evening and had dinner at one of the local hot spots. The town was pretty quiet and I was wondering what things would be like on Saturday morning.
Saturday morning and sunshine galore! A superb breakfast at our B&B and short ride in the car had us back in North Hatley and itching to ride. Things were wonderfully organized. Park your car in the town lot ($10 to park all day). There were cyclists everywhere. A sure sign of some great cycling ahead.
A slight hiccup in our plans occurred when I pumped up Helen’s front tire, removed the pump, and watched Helen’s Presta valve attempt its own version of a space shuttle launch. 1 front tire without a valve to hold in the air! Thank goodness I am actually starting to plan things out a bit better. I had brought a spare tube…. Oops it was the wrong size…. It would have to do.
A few words about the route we took. This section of La Route Verte is built on an old railway easement. Simply put – no hills! Our planned route would have us cycling from North Hatley to Sherbrooke Quebec via Lennoxville. The route from North Hatley to Lennoxville is on hard packed stone dust. You could use a road bike. But we prefer our hybrids. From Lennoxville to Sherbooke, it’s a mix of stone dust and asphalt surfaces. In the city of Sherbrooke, there is a 2 way cycling easement along the side of the road (very well done).
The ride between North Hatley and Lennoxville is superb. Pack up your bikes and go. No questions asked. The trail is very well marked – impossible to get lost.
Along the way we stopped at the site of a former copper mine. Good efforts have been made to hide the sins of the past.
The route between North Hatley & Lennoxville is impeccable!
Once in Lennoxville the route winds its way through the beautiful campus of Bishop’s University.
And then on to the leg between Lennoxville and Sherbrooke
All in all this was one of the best rides we have done. The route is clearly marked and well-maintained. Of course, the awesome weather helped. I would recommend this route to any and all riders.
Note: It seems that cycling etiquette varies from place to place. On the most part, when someone is passing you from behind there is little to no warning. Keep that in mind.