The Triple Crown Challenge.
There is no gold at the end of this (double) rainbow . . . No parade, no ticker tape, no mention of it in the local paper.
In completing the ptborides.com Triple Crown Challenge there may be high-5′s and a well deserved pint with your friends — but what you are actually left with is bigger than all of that. It’s difficult to explain, but you’ll understand it when you get there.
The Triple Crown Challenge features three grueling routes around our area. We hope to inspire riders to explore. Explore the hills, valleys and towns around Peterborough on roads they may not have visited. Also to explore their own limits by riding farther than they have gone before. Consider the Triple Crown an invitation to test yourself.
Each of these rides has a unique flavour. When riders have completed the Triple Crown they can say they truly know the region’s roads. These routes have been carefully selected to take in most of Peterborough County; Cottage country, historic farming regions, waterways and villages.
Each rider will approach the Triple Crown in their own way. Some will try to just do one long ride in a season while others might try to do all three in one week. Either way we would love to hear your stories you gather along the road. Hit us up in the comments.
Get to know Peterborough County, get to know yourself. Go for a long bike ride.
Triple Crown Ride #1
From beautiful views of Rice Lake to the shaded lanes of cottage country this route has it all. Smooth, varied roads, rolling hills and quiet towns great riders around the whole loop.
The ride starts on the Trans Canada Trail taking riders over the Trent Severn Waterway. Continuing south over the Otonabee River riders soon catch glimpses of Rice Lake, which will appear from time to time for the next hour or so. Harwood is a good place to refuel before settling into the hills of Northumberland. Warkworth marks the turn north toward cottage country and, along the way, Hastings, which also makes a timely stop.
From Hastings the terrain flattens out for a while and the feeling of the roads become distinctly remote. The cottages of Stoney Lake return riders to a sense of civilization at the route’s most northerly point. The run home takes riders past Lakefield and along the Otonabee river once again.
Triple Crown Ride #2
Starting with rustic farmlands just to the east of Peterborough this route quickly turns north through Warsaw on the way to cottage country. Skirting south of Stoney Lake, Birchview Road winds it?s way toward Youngs Point. A few minutes on busy HWY 28 passes quickly (take extra caution here) and riders are soon back on quiet roads. A short loop north is made before riders make their way toward Bridgenorth. Although tantalizingly close to home at this point the route immediately takes riders away from Peterborough on the challenging Valley Road.
Omemee is a good place to refuel before starting the next set of hills to the south. Once again, caution must be taken as the next 1500m is on busy HWY 7. Heading south riders will crest Mount Horeb where great views are to be had in every direction. A very short section of gravel (it really isn’t a Peterborough County ride without one) leads riders to Porter Road and the winding, shaded climb of Solanum Way.
Millbrook is a great place for a late-day espresso before taking on the last few kilometers. With any luck, a tailwind will take you home.
Triple Crown Ride #3
Although probably the easiest of the Triple Crown rides this route is no less beautiful. Following a bike lane out of the city riders quickly find themsevles in the rolling farmland south-west of Peterborough. The hills, and the great views they offer, continue as the route makes it’s way toward Pontypool. Caution must be taken for the 2km on HWY #35 but riders are quickly back on quiet roads on the way to Lotus and Yelverton.
Janetville would make a good refueling stop although the grocery store is really the only amenity. Continuing north-east a few moments of caution must be taken as the route takes riders into HWY #7 very briefly. East now over Pigeon Lake and the historic causeway at Bridgenorth on the way to Lakefield, which will make a great stop before taking on the last stage of the ride.
Stoney Lake Road, Warsaw and Douro all flash by as riders complete the ptborides.com Triple Crown.
In an effort to keep to the quiet roads this route does skirt a couple of communities that could easily be reached. If riders are in need both Millbrook and Potypool can easily be reached within minutes of the suggested route.
BONUS RIDE: Crown of Thorns
This ride defines all that is beautiful about the back-roads riding in Peterborough County. No small undertaking, the Crown of Thorns is the regions ultimate gravel road test. Along the way riders will experience the quite back roads, a road allowance or two as well as some hilly terrain. Expect great views of the rolling farm country throughout
Stops to refuel (oh, and you will need to refuel!) can be made in Hastings and Millbrook. Expect both riders and equipment to be challenged on this route. Each rider should have two spare tubes on board as well as the savvy to do basic roadside repairs. This whole ride can be done on a conventional road bike but tougher-than-normal tires are
As with many rides in the area this giant loop can be shortened by cutting of part of the loop or dropping back into town early. But, hey, why would you want to do that?
The Crown of Thorns. Long, hard and beautiful. Pick a day, a whole day, clear your schedule and go for a bike ride.