Omemee - Hayes Line Loop : 53 km
A quick, intense hill training ride. Drumlins out and back. Views & Neil Young Trivia.
Neil Young spent his childhood in Omemee Ontario which, along with a couple of other towns, provided the inspiration for the song "Helpless". This has nothing to do with cycling, but is one of those useless pieces of trivia one likes to have.
Heading out, or back through Omemee is common. It’s a pinch point that leads to all sorts of great rides to the west. (Keen map-o-philes will have noticed that the Trans-Canada-Trail runs directly there, think I'll add that as a feature of a different, gravel heavy ride.)
Omemee’s a pinch point because of the Bethany Hills and Pigeon Lake. The Bethany Hills, a north-south moraine whose west side can be traced simply by following Ski Hill Road, can be crossed in a number of places if you’re prepared to ride some rough stuff, but only on pavement in one spot, Hayes Rd. Otherwise it’s Bethany or Omemee.
- If you’re really an overachiever, take Park St. to Bellevue, then head right to Donegal St.. Climb to the top of Donegal then head over to Fairbairn St., the combination of the 2 hills guarantees some lactic acid burn.
- Lily Lake Road may be a mess just to the west of Fairbairn. The city has allowed a developer to begin a large subdivision on the south side (dangerously close to Jackson Park) and they’ll likely spend several years destroying the road as they build. As bad as that might be, we’re all far more worried about what they might do to Jackson Park while no one is looking.
- After a couple of bumps on Lilly Lake Rd., Stockdale Rd. puts the hurt on as you climb up to Cottingham.
- Great views On Cottingham Rd. You’ll descend into and climb out of the valley spanned by the Omemee Trestle Bridge, a much loved feature of the Trans-Canada-Trail. You should be able to see the bridge to the north.
- The Foodland in Omemee has unexpectedly acceptable pain au chocolat, and there’s also a pizza joint, convenience stores and an LCBO that usually has Radlers. There’s a municiple beach with public restrooms and a picnic area just south of downtown on the Pigeon River. Also, Chinese Canadian. This is small-town Ontario after all.
- Even the 100 meters of Hwy 7 can be a pain on busy weekends, but there’s never any traffic on Ski Hill, it’s only busy in the winter.
- Hayes/Parkhill. Hilly. Very hilly. Enticing gravel roads head north and south as you go. They’re all great.