time for some quick visuals

Why I tend to ride in Quebec rather than Ontario:

Ontario country roads

Quebec country roads

9 responses to “time for some quick visuals”

  1. You should have linked the hybrid maps, so people could see that those long straight roads in Ontario are in flat as a pancake farm land (glacial till plain, I think) and the winding roads in Quebec are in hilly woods (pure Canadian Shield).

  2. They can hit the button themselves, dammit :-)

    (I was going to, but the hybrid mode hides all of the minor roads.)

  3. Doesn’t the type of roads also have to do with the surveying system used when settling the two provinces?

    Gosh, its nice to actually use some of the stuff I learned in university once and awhile. :)

  4. I’d say both the roads and the surveying system resulted from the geology of the area. Those two maps are on either side of the Eardly Escarpment, which begins the Gatineau Hills. You’re right that the Ontario roads are concession roads — that’s why they’re so straight — but there are concessions there because the land was farmable. In Quebec it’s a thin layer of soil on bedrock, not capable of supporting agriculture (although there are exceptions — switch to hybrid mode and see along the river that runs along Hwy 309 at top right) and roads, especially minor ones, tend to curve around steep areas rather than blast through them.

    You can really see the difference between the areas from the Champlain Lookout, which is at the top of the Eardley Escarpment on the west edge of Gatineau Park — you’re surrounded by steep hills on either side but can see nothing but farmland straight out. Next time I’m up there I’ll try to get some pictures, but you can get the idea from here.

  5. I managed to edit out an important sentence. Insert

    That’s where the Canadian Shield and the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Lowlands meet.

    wherever seems appropriate.

  6. The roads may not make for good riding, but I have to say that concession roads kick ass on long weekends when the major roads are clogged. No need to take the highway, there’s often a parallel (but slightly lower quality) road exactly 5/4 mile away with no cars on it. :)