Sunday, November 15, 2015

Last DS ride of the season - Almonte to Sharbot Lake

Two weekends ago, with temperatures in the low teens and only spotty precipitation on the radar, it was too tempting to squeeze in one last ride despite it being the first day of hunting season. Obviously the bush trails would be off the menu. However, there's no shortage of good gravel roads where you can travel safely as long as you're wearing bright colors and watch for the lines of hunters trucks and quads staging off into the woods.

The loop (GPX file here) takes a scenic route along roads and dual track, with a long section of the abandoned K&P rail bed being the most technical (and that's not technical at all). It's suitable for any size of DS bike, full knobbies not required--although they will make it easier. Total time at a leisurely pace with lunch stop in Sharbot Lake is about 5 hours.

I only made it as far as Clyde Forks before the cold started to have its way with me.

Time to pull on the rain layer of my Olympia suit. Happily (this was my first time testing the rain layer), it kept me comfortably toasty for the rest of the ride--except for the toes of my left foot, which had been soaked in a long puddle. Might have to consider some new boots for next season.

Although I've ridden the K&P many times, I'd never followed it all the way down to Sharbot Lake. This was just north of Highway 7.

Sharbot Lake was the main central point of the K&P rail line running north/south from Kingston to Renfrew, and the line running east/west between Toronto and Ottawa. It's all gone now except for this caboose and some other relics at the site where the station used to be. This place was hopping with activity in the heyday of the railway at the end of the 1800s. 

Unfortunately the caboose was closed for the season. 

The way back meandered along rural roads with lost rock farms, sweeping curves and hills, and beautiful scenery. Classic DS riding. This was an old farm along the Kingston Road.

Not long after this, on my way through McDonald's Corners, I hit squalls of hail and rain. Again, the Olympia suit proved its merit and I remained toasty warm. The hood feature on the rain jacket slides under the helmet and prevents cold stuff from running down your back. Very nice once you get it adjusted, although the front neck piece was a little flimsy. 

There's a secret back way out of the ghost community of Lamermoor. Two years ago I met an old woman who lives on a farm nearby. She had lots of stories to tell and I'll have to visit her again. This is one of my favorite locations. 

Now the WR's put away for the season and it's safe to go back in the bush and build trails. 


  1. I keep landing on your blog through Google searches - and then I stay longer. The mix of moto & velo is exactly what I'm into. I just requested access to the GPX file you linked in this post too. Look forward to seeing it. My plan is to get a DRZ this year. Cheers from Ottawa.

    1. Hi Paul: Glad it sucked you in! Try this link:

  2. Paul - Would you be interested in a Yamaha XT250? Guy I met today has a nice one, low miles, looks to be in excellent shape, wants to sell for around $4k. He's going to post it in next few days.