Chemong Lake viewed from PIne Hill Rd.

Ganaraska Underbiking

In which our protagonist’s eyes are bigger than his tires

Abandoned by my spouse for the day (apparently my charms pale in comparison to a canoe, any canoe), I figured I’d check out Morton and Dranoel for a bit of climbing and to see how the dirt and gravel surfaces are holding up.

Hitting the south end of Dranoel, I was delighted to find that the recent wet weather has caused the 3-5" deep pack of soft Gararaska Forest sand that is the typical surface of local fire roads to stiffen up enough to be ridden with 1.5" slicks.

So I continued south on Fire Route 601 to Fallis Line. Then west a titch to Glamorgan Rd. and south to Pontypool Rd.. Crossing the 115, I continued south on Glamorgan planning to head east back across on Zion Line which has very nice pavement (it’s part of the Shimano Gran-Fondo route).

Halfway back across Zion I notice Fire Route 301, it looks very rideable today. Pulling out my phone I check the maps. I looks like it might connect up with 3rd line and continue east, but it’s hard to tell. The sun is shining and I’m feeling fine so off I go down into the valley.

It’s a bit more technical than 601 but there are some great suprises, including a wonderful procession of stately pines that flank the bottom end. Unfortunately, it all comes to an end at a gate marked Private.

The homeowner was out, so I ask about 3rd. The road ends here, 3rd is about 800 meters further east, requiring bushwacking down a steep ravine, crossing a creek and climbing the other side. Not happening today. Not happening on this bike. Man, I really need a 27.5" monstercross.

After grinding the 3 km back up to Zion I raced the rain back into town, managing to get hit just as I was crossing the new, unpaved Airport Rd. reconnection. Having seen to it that I was good and mudded up, the rain disappeared just as soon as I left the dirt. I went from puddles to dry pavement in the space of 50 meters.