Bring Your Climb­ing Legs to New­found­land

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - FEATURE -

If you are head­ing out to en­joy the moun­tain views on the west coast of New­found­land, be pre­pared. “New­found­land is pretty sparse when it comes to places to stop for food,” says Peter Oller­head, owner of Cy­cle Solutions bike shop and Brewed Awak­en­ing cof­fee shop, both in Cor­ner Brook, N.L. “You’re best to bring food with you.”

The op­por­tu­ni­ties to stop and en­joy the scenery are just about end­less, though, no mat­ter which way you go from town. Oller­head rec­om­mends head­ing north to­ward Gros Morne Na­tional Park if you’re ready for a tough ride. In 110 km, you climb 2,100 m over two Class 3 and two Class 4 climbs. “You’re ei­ther go­ing up or go­ing down,” Oller­head says.

The route cov­ers a mix of gravel and sand road sur­faces, and favours a wider tire. Last year, Oller­head did the route in late June and had to walk sec­tions in the moun­tains thanks to as-yet-un­melted snow­pack. This isn’t just a gravel ride, but an ad­ven­ture ride. Have some­one pick you up in Gros Morne. If you still have the legs, check out the sights in the park be­fore grab­bing a cof­fee and snack at one of the cafés in Woody Point.

You can also head south from Cor­ner Brook to­ward Stephenvil­le along the Ser­pen­tine Val­ley. You’ll have plenty of el­e­va­tion gain as you pass by the Blow-me-down Moun­tains and Lewis Hills. The best times to ride fall be­tween June and late Septem­ber, but not too late as the rains will start to dom­i­nate the weather.

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