Canadian Cycling Magazine
Bring Your Climbing Legs to Newfoundland
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.