Paths of least resistance

Downtown cyclist Ryan Davis reveals some techniques for avoiding hills

This is something I like to apply to my life in general, but when you use a bike as a way to get from point A to point B and you’re not out for exercise or a leisurely pedal, then it’s key to know the paths of least resistance in such a hilly city.

Getting out of downtown: Fairmont to Elizabeth

ROUTE MAP

If you’re down on Water or Duckworth and need to get out of the downtown, head east towards the Fairmont hotel. Everything flattens out along there.

Then you can go up King’s Bridge Road and hang a left onto Winter Avenue. Winter Avenue is right by Rennie’s Mill River, and it’s pretty gentle and gradual going up to the top, and that connects to Portugal Cove Road.

This route avoids a pretty steep hill going up Portugal Cove Road, and another steep one along Circular Road.


Downtown to Newfoundland Drive: Virginia River Trail

If going from downtown to Newfoundland Drive, try the Virginia River Trail off of Quidi Vidi.

If you’re going by Quidi Vidi on The Boulevard side, there’s eventually a trail. There’s a river that connects into Quidi Vidi, and that’s the Virginia River. Right next to that there’s a trail that cuts through the woods and up towards Bally Haley golf course. Eventually it connects to Torbay Road, just south of Newfoundland Drive.

Getting out of downtown: Monkstown Road to Elizabeth

ROUTE MAP

One of my favorites is heading towards Chuchill Square from downtown along Monkstown Road. There’s that great big hill (that heads down by the St. Pat’s ball park) which gives the biker great momentum for going up the other side of the valley. It’s actually not a very steep hill going up, and the momentum you get from going down the hill carries you up the other side.

Coming the other direction, towards downtown, it’s not worth it. It’s one way only.

Heading towards downtown: through Georgestown

ROUTE MAP

Why bike all the way on Bonaventure up past Holy Heart towards The Rooms when you can bypass that hill by rerouting through Georgestown?

The last word:

As the summer goes on hitting the big hills gets easier but the paths of least resistance help the biker ease into the harder routes.