Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"Tour de Sudbury" - Cycling in Sudbury

Our hometown of Sudbury is not known for it's cycling infrastructure or even for a positive attitude towards cycling but there are organizations like the Sudbury Cyclists Union, the Rainbow Routes Association and the Sudbury Cycles Project that are trying to change that and there is even a proposed Bicycle Technical Master Plan For The City of Greater Sudbury.

It was the Rainbow Routes Association map of non-motorized trails in Sudbury that inspired us to try out some of the cycling routes in Sudbury as they did look promising.

We mixed a combination of Sudbury history and waterways in our route selection.

Looking to the history of Sudbury:

The City of Sudbury was founded in 1883 at a point on the railway known as Sudbury Junction, where the branch line to Algoma Mills joined the main line of the CPR. Prior to the establishment of the mining industry, (which occurred around 1900), Sudbury's stability and growth depended both on the railway and on the lumbering industry. (Source:)
We decided to create a route that started by following the historical Junction Creek along the Junction Creek Waterway Park and then went around Ramsey Lake and through the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area

click on map to enlarge

We started our ride at the Rotary Park by the Adanac Ski Hill in New Sudbury wwhere the City is building a BMX park and followed the Junction Creek Waterway Park pathway to downtown





It was a very enjoyable ride along a very scenic hard-packed gravel path. For the most part it was well signed and even on my Backroad Mapbooks background map on my GPS.

However when we came to transition to the connection to the "Tour de Sudbury" route along Ramsey Lake we had to rely on our map along with our previous knowledge of Sudbury to make the connection.

It was unclear from the trail map whether the route around Ramsey Lake was on a dedicated path or on the road, although the fact that it followed the roads exactly (except where it went through the conservation area) was a pretty good clue that it was mostly a road route, although most of it was on some of the few marked bike lanes that exist in Sudbury. It was still a pleasant ride and traffic did not seem threatening at all.

The most interesting part of the ride along Ramsey Lake began when we left the pavement and entered the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area and were away from "civilization" for awhile. You definitely wanted to be on a hybrid and not a high-end road bike in this section especially for a few loose gravel downhill sections. The scenery was lovely especially near the boardwalk.


(select 720p to view in high definition and full screen to view full screen)

And it stayed interesting when we rejoined the pavement at South Bay Road and what must have been the steepest uphill I have ever ridden. Thanks to our Ireland bike tour I was able to climb the whole thing, albeit with some rest stops.

After a few more ups and downs it was back on the flat and continuing our ride till we stopped at Science North for lunch, then on along the pathway along Ramsey Lake through Bell Park, back over the old Iron Bridge and and back along the creek to the start of our very enjoyable journey.


We hope to check out some more of the cycling opportunities in Sudbury on future trips up north.

No comments: