Wikipedia goodness, ermines, and les motos

A few random things:

The Wikipedia articles on The Price is Right and TPIR’s pricing games are a great read if you’re a fan of the game.

Speaking of Wikipedia, I learned via their article on heraldry that the blazon for the coat of arms of Brittany is “Ermine”. That’s it, just “Ermine”. Any heraldic geeks out there who know of any other notable coats of arms blazoned with a single word?

Tomorrow I get to go to the Ministry of Transportation to get my M2 motorcycle license, which lifts all of the restrictions I’ve had other than zero alcohol. This means I can finally ride in Quebec and on the 417 and 416.

I don’t plan on doing much highway riding (especially since the little bike will only get up to 100 km/h grudgingly) but there are more than a few rides that start some distance south or west of Ottawa, and the 417 and 416 are the practical way to get there. (There are places where it’s safer to be going 100 on the 400-series freeways where there’s a passing lane than 80-90 on two-lane country roads where the guy behind you wants to go 120 but can’t pass.)

I’m really looking forward to being able to ride in Quebec, though. Gatineau Park has some great roads, and there are a lot of day trip loops that start off on this side of the river and come back on the other side.

Just in time for me to take a week off work, too!

One response to “Wikipedia goodness, ermines, and les motos”

  1. Definitely check out the drive north of Wakefield to Val des Monts – lots of twisty-turny, low speed stuff that you’d love. Two choices on how to get that far:

    1) Cross the MacDonald-Cartier bridge and exit at St. Joseph Blvd. Drive a few km and you’ll come to the bottom of a long straightaway on a hill with traffic lights below it. Turn right at the lights and cross the Gatineau river. Follow the river North as far as the light, the weather and your seat allow.

    2) Stay on Highway 5 to Wakefield, drive through the town (with the appropriate stop at Eric’s or a draught of cold spring water – your choice) and cross the Gatineau river at the traffic light on the far side of town. Pass Edelweiss and Mont Cascades, then head north at the junction.

    Another great ride is to follow Highway 5 and take the first exit on the left after Wakefield. Follow the road to Lac des Loups. There are a few other really nice roads in that neck of the woods (literally) but unfortunately a number of them are gravel, so at very least they’re not ideal candidates for this particular summer. 8^)

    And if you really don’t like the MacDonald-Cartier/Highway 5 option, cross the Princess Alexandria, drive past Le Twist till you reach a T intersection with St Joseph. Follow it straight along until it these directions merge with 1) above.

    There is another really nice quickie ride up to Chelsea that goes through Cite des jeunes, but they haven’t worked on the road in years and until they do it’s a hazard for two wheel vehicles.

    P.S. I’m not a big bike fan, but boy do I miss summer days spend driving around there….

    P.P.S. Weekends can feature some spectacularly stupid drivers, who, hung over (or still half-drunk) are now attempting to balance their loafing-around-till-the-last-minute karma with attempted highway suicide.