Author Topic: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec  (Read 6934 times)

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Offline repertoire

Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« on: October 26, 2009, 02:56:03 pm »
Planning a 14 people bike starting around Alma, Quebec heading to Quebec City via Tadoussac.  Possible doing the Blueberry Route out of Alma.  I am most particularly interested in any comments regarding south bound legs from Tadoussac to Quebec City on the north side of the St. Lawrence or the south side using the Route Verte.  Any comments will be helpful.

Offline windrath

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 10:04:41 pm »
I might be able to help you with the section from Riviere du Loup to Quebec City.  I rode it last summer.  Mostly flat.  Le Route Verte options add miles and some good riding as well as some not-so-good riding.  Some very interesting cities to ride through.  I was camping and the campgrounds are well-kept and reasonable. 

Let me know more about what you would like to know and I can respond.

paul

Offline geegee

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 10:32:16 pm »
The North Shore route between Tadoussac and Quebec City is super hilly. When I rode it several years back, I made the mistake of taking the 362 between Baie-St.-Paul and La Malbae and some of the climbs were insanely steep, 20% grade at times, so stick to the 138 (where the climbs are "only" 10 to 12%) if you do insist on doing this area. The Route Verte crosses to the south shore at Saint-Siméon for good reason.

The south shore is definitely more pleasant with more campgrounds and services, and the approach to Quebec City is more dramatic, ending with a ferry ride right into the old city from Lévis.

Offline repertoire

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2009, 09:07:17 am »
Thanks Geeg

Your comments confirmed my lingering concerns.  With your info in hand, I'll now be confident in planning a south shore ride.

Karl



The North Shore route between Tadoussac and Quebec City is super hilly. When I rode it several years back, I made the mistake of taking the 362 between Baie-St.-Paul and La Malbae and some of the climbs were insanely steep, 20% grade at times, so stick to the 138 (where the climbs are "only" 10 to 12%) if you do insist on doing this area. The Route Verte crosses to the south shore at Saint-Siméon for good reason.

The south shore is definitely more pleasant with more campgrounds and services, and the approach to Quebec City is more dramatic, ending with a ferry ride right into the old city from Lévis.

Offline repertoire

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 09:08:30 am »
I might be able to help you with the section from Riviere du Loup to Quebec City.  I rode it last summer.  Mostly flat.  Le Route Verte options add miles and some good riding as well as some not-so-good riding.  Some very interesting cities to ride through.  I was camping and the campgrounds are well-kept and reasonable. 

Let me know more about what you would like to know and I can respond.

paul

Offline repertoire

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 09:32:33 am »
Paul

Thanks for your timely and helpful initial comments.  Between your comments and Geegs, I feel confident that the south shore route is definitely the way to go.  In my case, I have about 14 medium/strong riders from Colorado.  We use a passenger van for luggage and use motel type lodging.  My preliminary thoughts are to ride from Tadoussac to St-Jean-Port Joli (where there is lodging for our sized group) and than the next day, ride to the Levi ferry to Quebec City, appx. 80 mile/60 mile flat rides. Having said that, i am very open to any suggestions and commentary about what to anticipate in terms of the "good riding" and interesting towns as well as to where and what conditions comprised the "not-so-good" riding.  Also, if there were better places to stay about mid-way on the route that you remember, let me know.  Its good to prepare my buddies on what they might expect, particularly riding conditions less appealing.  Thanks so much Paul.

Karl

I might be able to help you with the section from Riviere du Loup to Quebec City.  I rode it last summer.  Mostly flat.  Le Route Verte options add miles and some good riding as well as some not-so-good riding.  Some very interesting cities to ride through.  I was camping and the campgrounds are well-kept and reasonable. 

Let me know more about what you would like to know and I can respond.

paul

Offline geegee

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 08:26:39 pm »
Highway 132 is alright, and since you are headed westbound on the shore side of the road, it will be easier for you to turn into the parts of the Route verte that hug the riverside without having to cross the highway. The only hassles will going through the larger towns like Montmagny, but it is really straightforward except for the heavier traffic. Of the villages on that stretch of the south shore, Kamouraska sticks out in my memory. There is a great bakery there near the church, nice place to stop for a break.

Up along the Saguenay River, The village of Sainte-Rose-du-Nord is quaint. It is a bit of a descent into the fjord (therefore a climb out) from the highway but if you need a place to stay in this area it may be worth it. Not sure about motels here since I camped, but I remember an awesome meal in a a restaurant called Au Presbytère.

Tadoussac is nice. If you are lucky, whales sometimes swim as close as a hundred feet from the shore. I saw a few belugas standing in Pointe-Noire (in Baie-Ste.-Catherine across the river)

Offline windrath

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2009, 06:46:10 pm »
Oh -

One other aspect of your ride to consider is the wind direction.  If you are riding towards Quebec City, you are 95% certain to have a medium to strong headwind.  The predominant air flow is from the west - southwest and it can be strong.  When I rode 132 fully loaded last summer, there were times when we averaged 16-18 mph without working very hard.  The riders we passed going in the opposite direction were not having nearly as much fun.  I will look through my notes and tell you about bakeries and micro-breweries that were very good.  Although my website is not complete, you can go to what I have posted so far - http://www.windrath.info/seaway2009/pages/overview.php.

Offline repertoire

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 04:08:31 pm »
I just spoke to a bike shop in Quebec City and they indicated their is a strong possibility of strong prevailing SW winds on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  My original plan was to do the route returning south to Quebec City on the south shore, Route Verte.  She was suggesting we start in QC and head north to Tadoussac and than off to Alma and than around La-St-Jean.  We return to Quebec City by bus and van.  All in reverse order of our original plan.  Any experiences in terms of the winds and recommendations.  Thx  Karl

Offline geegee

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 05:48:38 pm »
The wind does tend to blow down the St-Lawrence River valley but I've gone on several tours when it blew the other way. Typically this brings wet cool weather.

There is merit to the suggestion of leaving from Quebec City. For one thing, it starts out relatively flat for the first few days and gets hillier as you get going. If you do the Veloroute des Bleuets counterclockwise around Lac-St-Jean, you could take the train from Chambord to Rivière-à-Pierre where a rails-to-trails bike path (Route verte 6) leads back to Quebec City. The train is cheap (less than $30) if you buy tickets weeks in advance, and a great option for a group as they have a baggage car that can take bikes. It's an awesome train ride through the wilderness -- it stops at hunting camps and lodges, and a lot of adventurous people take this train with canoes or kayaks requesting special stops in the middle of nowhere.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 08:37:31 pm by geeg »

Offline windrath

Re: Alma to Tadoussac to Quebec City, Blueberry Route, Quebec
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 03:24:04 pm »
Hi -

I guess my previous reply did not post in an obvious manner.  The prevailing winds are strongly from the SW or west.  Winds from any other direction mean rain.  Last summer, in 19 days of riding from Lake Ontario to Gaspe', we had tail winds every day except 3 and those were huge headwinds combined with rain.  In Riviere du loup, the winds gusted to 40 mph.  Don't think you want to ride against that.  :(

Paul


I just spoke to a bike shop in Quebec City and they indicated their is a strong possibility of strong prevailing SW winds on the south shore of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  My original plan was to do the route returning south to Quebec City on the south shore, Route Verte.  She was suggesting we start in QC and head north to Tadoussac and than off to Alma and than around La-St-Jean.  We return to Quebec City by bus and van.  All in reverse order of our original plan.  Any experiences in terms of the winds and recommendations.  Thx  Karl