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Three routes to get ready for the summer cycling season
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By Patrick Chartrand 18 April 2017

Now that the snow has finally melted away from our roads and the summer is slowly settling in, the team of Brome Missisquoi Tourism asked me to share with you some advice on how to get ready for the upcoming biking season. I also took this opportunity to suggest some biking routes that start out from Bromont.

First, here are four basic principles to keep in mind as you plan your early-season training.

Progression

Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your outings.

Motivation

Give yourself a SMART objective (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) for the summer of 2017; you’ll know why you’re pedaling!

Recovery

Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs; even when it’s asking for an easy-going ride or perhaps, simply for a day spent without touching your bike at all.

Variety

Don’t limit yourself only with biking! Even though it is the most wonderful sport, it is, to be honest, an incomplete one. Stretching and muscle strengthening are a must as well.

Finally, for more personalized training advice to get your summer season going, you can always call upon the certified and passionate trainers of the CNCB. They will be more than happy to accompany you towards your sports objectives.

Three itineraries answering different needs

The ascent of Mount Shefford

21.2 km | 303 m elevation | paved

Short and sweet … yet intensive!

Starting point: The Centre National de Cyclisme de Bromont

When I’m in a bit of a rush and feel the need for a challenging workout, I opt for this itinerary. I take advantage of the rather flat portion of the 241 to warm up. To activate my body, I don’t hesitate to place two or three medium intensity efforts throughout this portion. The workout begins once I turn left on the Chemin du Mont Shefford. This entails a “slow” ascent of the 526-m summit rewarding us with a breathtaking view of Bromont. The first 5.2 km offer an inclination of 5.2%, nothing too crazy. The real treat comes with the second part of the route! You turn right on Chenail St, then left when you arrive at De la Vallée and right again on Des Cimes St. In all, this represents 4 switchbacks worthy of the Tour the France! For good climbers, it’s about a 25-minute ascent. The descent is done by way of Des Cimes St and then by turning right on Chemin du Mont Shefford until you reach Chemin Jolley. Keep an eye out and your hands on your brakes, you’ll find the traffic quite hectic here! You return by Chemin Jolley and the 241. Once you’re back at the CNCB, come in and say hi! Take a moment to tell us all about your ride!

The Coffee or Beer Ride (Depending on the time of day)

60 Km | 370 m elevation

(all paved itinerary)

+/- 65 km | +/- 500 m. elevation

(adventure via dirt roads)

Starting point: Bromont

You had a hard training session yesterday and/or your motivation is at a low point?

When I find myself in this situation I like to opt for a concrete objective and I ride at a relatively low intensity level. My objective is to actively recuperate in order to prepare my body for a more intense training on the following day. In this case, there’s nothing better than to head to Sutton for a cup of coffee … or a beer! If your motivation is at an all-time low, then take Chemin Brome, which will turn into the 215. This road presents very few climbs, a nice shoulder and is a decently paved route.

You feel you deserve a pint rather than a glass? Well, then, there are plenty of dirt roads for you here! My personal choice would be the roads where you’ll meet one car and about 60 cows per hour, offering unbelievable views as you go. For this type of route, you should fit your bike with 25 or 28 c tires (tire width). You could also get a map of the region to discover our amazing backcountry!

My suggestion for how to get to Sutton: Take Boulevard de Bromont, go right on Huttington Road (becomes Iron Hill Road), turn left on Knowlton Road, turn right when you reach Chemin Brome, then left on Stage Coach, turn right on Jackson and finally, straight ahead as Jackson becomes Elie until you arrive at the Cafetier or at the micro-brewery Auberge Sutton Brouërie! Perhaps, by then, you’ll be inspired to head up Maple Street!

The Epic Ride

108.5 km |1256 elevation

Starting point: Bromont

Do you have a couple of friends keen enough to spend a few hours on their saddles and who aren’t afraid of some nice fresh dirt? Here is an outing that won’t leave you indifferent. The circuit I’m suggesting is set on a combination of paved and dirt surfaces that will take you through Cowansville, Frelighsburg, Sutton on a backcountry road, which eventually leads back to Bromont.

It’s a circuit where you won’t find a lot of flats and where the hills are of the “quads-buster” type, so be wary not to start out at a fast pace, you might pay for it later…

My interest points:

  • A veggie snack and coffee at the Café l’Archipelle in Cowansville
  • Lunch at Beet & Betteraves (Most of their menu comes from their garden)
  • La Rumeur Affamée in Sutton for one last snack (I especially recommend their homemade “Pets-de-soeur”, a sugary pastry swirl, affectionately called “Nun-farts” in French)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20083497

 

For other circuit suggestions, consult the following website:

http://tourismebrome-missisquoi.ca/velo/velo-sur-route/

 

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Patrick Chartrand

Patrick Chartrand is a Graduate of Kinesiology from the University of Sherbrooke and former high-level mountain bike, road bike and Cyclo-Cross racer. He is presently Head Trainer at the Centre National de Cyclisme de Bromont.

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