Monday, May 30, 2011


The Fortune Parkway climb shrouded in a mist.  Quiet and green.  My favourite climb in the Park. Visibility was lacking which to me made the climbs seem easier as you couldn't see to the top of them.
Weekend off of work and of course it rains.  The Worst. Spring. Ever. continues.  Alas, there was a break in the late morning/early afternoon and I got out determined to get in a loop of the park regardless if it was going to rain or not.  I am so glad I went because it was one of my best rides of the season.

Nary a car to be seen and very few cyclists Saturday morning.  It felt like I had the place all to myself.  It was one of my best rides of the season not because I produced high watts or climbed exceptionally fast, but rather it was an escape from the stressful & hectic past few weeks, it loosened the phlegmy gunk in my lungs & sinuses, it felt amazing to be outside on a windless, misty morning, all alone.  With only a handful of rides this month I was surprised at how good I felt.  More mental than physical.

Despite the North Loop of the park being closed for almost this entire cycling season, there is a glimmer of good news.  Charles reported over on GuideGatineau that Saturday Short Loops begin this Saturday . . .
This means that beginning at 6am on Saturdays the section of Gatineau Parkway  starting where the Champlain Parkway branches off (known as “Mica” to some) will be closed to cars until 11am. This section nominally extends to include the “north loop” (or “Doldrums”), ending at the foot of the Fortune Parkway (at Meech Lake Road).                                                                                                                                    In the press release this second section was said to be closed to cars until 1pm. This of course is a vestige of the template text the NCC communications people are using year after year for this announcement since in actual fact the north loop is entirely closed to cars for the duration of the summer based on the culvert collapse near P8 (which also effectively cuts the “short loop” into two even shorter loops.
Yellow route will be shut down to motor vehicle traffic on Saturdays from 6am-11am to Saturday, September 24. (*photo poached from GatineauGuide without permission - yikes!  Hope that's okay Charles!)
Quebecois style cobble stone on Meech Lake Road.
My route took me from home, up into the Park, past the Champlain turn off to P8.  There you are forced to ride Meech Lake Rd to the Fortune Parkway.  I was passed by only a few cars and saw only one other cyclist.  Not one car passed me up Fortune.  I spoke to another cyclist who remarked that motor vehicle traffic on Fortune was noticeably lighter this season, probably due to the North Loop being closed. 

It's presently raining (Sunday morning).  I think it's rained everyday in May.  Thankfully it's muggy and warm outside - which means I'll be back on the bike again, on the road, this afternoon searching for my pre-season fitness and legs that I had begun to develop back in April.  If you find them first please let me know. 


Kark said...

"quebec cobbles" so true. It's incredible how much speed & energy that section robs. It's like by the time you make the turn to go up the Fortune climb the climb is actually a 'recovery'.

Jason said...

That's a "good" road in Michigan! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Meech road is a shit hole... reminds me of a 3rd world country road.
Someone should fix that shit hole road.