With a beautiful Sunday about to unfold the question was simple: what shall we ride: tarmac? dirt? both? On hot days its generally nice to get out of the sun, and trails on 'road' bikes is always a pleasure. Dirt. But where? Easy: to Wakefield. If you'd like to do a nice long ride off-road, on whatever bike, this route is a treat.
As navigator for the day, I opted to take Rodd, Jamie and myself off-road as much as possible heading to Wakefield, knowing we might have to return by road, since these rides always take longer than one might think. About 105k round trip from central Ottawa, this route covers about 60km of trails, ranging from rocky to buff dirt/gravel. All climbs are rideable, though low gearing helps. I was on a 34-28, Rodd had a 36-34. Rodd and Jamie were on 35mm Panaracer Paselas, while I used a Clement PDX (35mm) on the front, and a Continental CX Speed (35mm) on the back, Conti butyl tubes all around. 35mm and up are the best bet to reduce flats and damaged rims. Smaller are doable, and we've all ridden 'em, but its riskier, and less fun. As always, our stop at Pipolika (one of our generous Ride of the Damned Sponsors ) was a delight, not least because we ran into a few fellow cyclist friends and enjoyed their company while sipping lassies, coffee, and snacks (yes, you can sip snacks).
If you are thinking about getting out there, on whatever bike, and have questions about the what and where, fire away in the comments section below. Its a beautiful time of year to be in the woods!
|Serious business at Meech Lake.|
We started out at the Gate, the entrance to the park at Gamelin. From there, its a short stint on the Parkway before heading onto dirt, a bit of bike path, then up onto trail #15. From there, its almost all dirt to Wakefield. One can loop back on trails, but in order to make out 8AM to 2PM window work, we opted to head back along River Road. However, Jamie and I still had time to hit the tails from Notch Road for some of the best double track around for a CX bike. Mind the hikers and other riders climbing up as you descend the #15, its a popular trail.
|Here you continue straight to ride to and around Lac Phillipe.|
|This is the sign-post at the above intersection.|
|THE ROCK, Lac Phillipe. This used to be rideable, down. Not anymoe.|
|Rodd ascends THE ROCK|
|Cross Loop + Highway Additions|