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Local Cycling Routes Pt. 1

This section was bound for an overhaul and here it is.

Google maps format for ease of use. Let me know how it works. Additionally, if you are a pen and paper type and simply want to know what roads are good for what ... stop in. We ride ... alot. So we know these roads. Want an indepth explanation of the potholes out of Crowsfoot rd? I'm your man. 

The Classic Watsonberg Loop: (38km) This is a classic loop that uses Arkell Rd, 1st Line, 34 and Watson Rd. This loop takes in (depending on the direction you go) the ''Watsonberg'' a short but steep 1 minute climb at the corner of Watson and 34. This route is often used in the beginning of the season for shorter club rides and when I lived in the south end I would use it for a recovery ride (keeping in mind to head south down Watson).

The Classic Guelph Lake Loop: (30km) Another ''classic'' loop ... meaning a loop that I ride quite alot, mostly because in the morning it is hard to beat the feeling of riding down through the fog by the lake, out through the fields when the sun is just starting to warm up ... yep, its a good loop. Featuring some rolling terrain with Mill Rd. having some moderate rollers with a short, sharp climb where the road T's with Jones Baseline. Conservation Rd. also has two moderate rollers to get you warmed up on your way out. Altogether another nice short road loop.

Guelph Lake, Watsonberg loop: (54km) A combination of the two routes that are posted above. Approximately 53 kilometers in length it takes in a few short steep climbs and there are a few blue sign sprints along the way. County Rd. 29 is best ridden midday or after the busier traffic times as it is a busyish artery from Guelph to Fergus/Belwood.  

Guelph Lake, Moffat & Watsonberg Loop: (62km) This loop is common for group rides or competitive rides that want to incorporate some sprinting. The intended direction of the route is heading north out of town around the lake and then south down #29. 
Look for the markings on the map for notable hills and sprints.

Crieff Loop #1: (52km) A great loop heading out of Guelph by way Kortright and Downey Rd. 

A loop that features rolling hills and beautiful scenery this is a staple in the group ride rotation.

Crieff Loop #2: (68km) Simply an extended version of #1 ... you probably could have figured it out on your own but I thought I would make it even easier!

This map loops off of the original and takes in what I like to call the 'col de watson' and then heads over to first line and back home through Moffat. 
Of note, the Milborough line just before you reach Campbellville rd. is a little rough. But with very low traffic you will not have a problem with it. 
When you reach 34 you can make the choice to turn left and head down to Watson Rd. to take in the 'Watsonberg' if you wish to add a little bit of a burn towards the end of the ride.

Twin Ponds/Crieff/Moffat/Guelph Lake: (96km) This is another staple route that gives you distance while never moving you that far from Guelph. If you need to get home quickly or you run out of food etc... you can almost always hang a left and get back to the city in 10-15km. 

This is a loop I will do if there is ominous weather looming on the horizon or I don't want to head too far north or too far south.

Oustic/Rockwood/Edenmills Loop: (60km) This ride starts out heading around Guelph lake and then leads you out into rural Eramosa. With a good wind from the north the stretch into Rockwood can be exceptionally fast, even with a few larger rollers thrown into the mix.

Make your way through Rockwood and up a nice tough climb outside of the conservation area and you then can bypass Eden Mills by taking Indian Trail or you can simply roll right through the quaint little town. 

From that point you can simply head home or you can tack on the Moffat loop or the Watson loop for an extra 30-50 kms. 

Simple Rattlesnake Loop: (84km)This is a simple rattlesnake loop that takes in alot of the main, local cycling roads. Arkell, 1st line, Appleby and 6th are all staples for the local road cyclist.

The Rattlesnake climb can be a real challenge. Pitches can hit over 15% and early in the season there can be sand on the road. 6th line hill is not as challenging but it is a straight on shot so sometimes it appears harder. Also be prepared for, typically, a headwind with a slight uphill all the way home. Save your energy on the way out!

Twiss Rd. Loop: (74km) This loop makes me feel Belgian. As an obsessive cyclist who has never been to Belgium but loves all things cycling I will admit to being enamored by what I don't know and have never physically seen. Anyways ... 

This loop covers some of the best rolling terrain around but I will add a warning. If you are unsure about riding on 'less than perfect' roads then this loop is not for you. A little bit of sand, some slightly cracked tarmac but just so much fun!

Guelph/Safari Rd./Sydenham Loop: (111km) This is a great Sunday ride route.It takes in one of the best 5 minute (or so, depending on fitness) climbs in the area and puts you in a position to go ride the escarpment or simply head right home. 

You can make this into a truly epic day or you can keep it slightly less so and knock off a bit more than 100 kilometers. I have also included a portion that goes through the always fantastic cedar springs area and then up a favorite road, Milborough all the way to Watson and home. 

This route is intended to be started by heading out Downey northward and then returning home through cedar springs etc.

Fergus-Elora Loop: (64km) A great loop the club rides on many occasions. Fairly flat route with a few rollers the challenge on this ride can sometimes just be the wind. Relatively quiet roads w/ #29 and the Gorge road being the two busiest.

Crowsfoot/West Montrose/Elora/Fergus Loop: (79km) Yes this is a fantastic loop. Why? 

Because first it takes in Crowsfoot Rd., a personal favorite of mine, then the covered bridge at West Montrose and then one of the best roads around, Twp Rd 62. It doesn't hurt that the route takes you through Elora and Fergus, two great towns. 

Crowsfoot Rd. Directions: (50km, out and back) What used to be the best road for TT efforts and interval efforts has gradually seen heavier traffic and higher traffic speeds. For that reason I would recommend avoiding this route when it is the typical commuter time.