Brompton bike camping: Mont Orford to Bromont
On this segment of my trip, I thought it would be an easy half day on the bike. At only 48km, I anticipated a leisurely toot to my destination. I also expected that since I was leaving Mont Orford, that the route would be largely downhill. My eye had blended Google’s elevation preview into a smooth downhill slope.
Turns out, the total climbing of the route was fairly significant at 310m (1017 ft). (The Champlain Lookout climb in Gatineau Park is roughly 350m.) With the combination of some rough gravel sections and hills, I had to do some bike pushing. And huffing. And sunscreen re-application. But there also some fun speedy downhills. (Whee!)
The pathway leading out of Mont Orford was beautiful – tree lined and covered with easy to bike on “kitty litter” gravel. Each kilometre of the trail was marked with high quality trail markers and signs to let you know if cell service was spotty.
It was great to have shade as the day was set to turn into a scorcher.
Some trees were starting to give up their leaves. QUITTERS!
The first of the significant climbs gave me this pretty view. (And a great downhill “woo whee!” ride.)
But then… the smooth road turned into this:
The top of the hill in the distance was where I took the previous photo. Just looking at this photo now makes me cringe. It was roasting hot and I ended up needing to push the bike again.
And they really don’t mince words about what could happen if you speed along here.
Luckily, the path turns back into pavement heading into the village of Waterloo. A fried chicken restaurant (Au P’tit Poulet) greets you from the pathway. And when life hands you chicken on a pathway, you take the chicken.
I didn’t plan this segment of my trip very well and I didn’t realize that there was construction happening on the pathway until it was too late including a total closure so they could spend 2 million dollars improving the route. Bad news for me, good news if I come back next year. All the guidebooks raved about this pathway, so you bet I’ll be back to ride the Estriade.
The final 15km into Bromont meant a detour using the highway. With no other route to choose from, I pedaled the Brompton as quickly as I could into Bromont. I should also mention that there was construction on the highway. Of course there was! It is Quebec in August. I rode through a construction zone and the vehicle behind me didn’t pass. Or even try to. They stayed back until we were out of the zone. And there wasn’t even a “partagez la route” sign or anything. That would not happen in Ottawa.
I arrived in Bromont and beelined for a patio at the local micro brewery, Brouement. Great name. Gold star for French puns.
And gold stars all around for their inexpensive tasting glasses:
While I cooled my heels, a picked up the free Quebec beer magazine. There were ads for Quebec shops that sell sausages and beer under the same roof. Turn away, Ontario. This is for grown up eyes only.
Ok, Ontario. Eyes back up. It’s all over now. You can go buy a 12 pack of beer at one of the pilot LCBOs.
Moving right along. After exploring the main street of Bromont village, it turned out that Wednesdays are their “weekend” and a fair amount of places to eat are closed. The David et Goliath gastropub patio fit all my requirements: open with a tasty menu. To my delight and *squee*, they even had an orange pub cat. I can’t resist a good pub cat. Yay cats!
Once you’re in Bromont, there are bike lanes that criss cross into the residential areas.
And through school zones. With slow speed limits. Kudos, Bromont.
My plan was to camp at Parc national de la Yamaska, but it was booked solid and the pathway closure made it more difficult to get to. Instead, I splurged on a B&B in Bromont (Le Gite à Margot) and I don’t regret that decision at all. They even had a jacuzzi which felt great after a day of hilly biking.
Not to mention a lovely breakfast with #coffeeinside (several cups).
I packed up and made my way to the general store to catch the Limocar bus back to Montreal for a day in the city. The driver waffled over whether to charge me the $5 “bike fee” for the Brompton. In the end, it traveled free of charge. (Yay!)
Next post… Bromptoneering and shopping in Montreal!