A blog intended for posting of whatever I get up to in bike touring, not necessarily in Nova Scotia (in fact, hopefully soon definitely outside of my home province!). Most likely will be retrospective rather than posted as I go along. The intent is to entertain, perhaps to inform, and even to satirize a bit (who, me? go on!) as the mood strikes. And if it happens to inspire a reader to do some bike touring of theri own, so much the better.
Some day I might even start taking along a camera and add a few pics.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mountain Profiles of the northern Cabot Trail (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada)

During the last week of August 2010 I stayed in Cheticamp and rode the mountains of the Cabot Trail on alternate days (more level roads on the between days). My bike computer has an honest-to-God slope measurement device on it, not subject to the calculation errors inherent in GPS devices. The following graphs all show exactly 10km of road. although the climbs are somewhat shorter than that. Statistics for the blue shaded portion are given below each profile thumbnail. The brown shape is the elevation profile, the red shape is the slope data.

Clearly the eastbound side of North Mountain (ie Cabot Trail loop in clockwise direction) is the hardest in terms of pure slope and the distance during which it is above 10%, but the westbound side is longer in duration so if one goes too hard on the first bit one may well suffer more. And on any given day the wind may have the final say in which climb is the worst, or should I say more challenging!

French Mountain.

Distance 5.6km, climbing 396m, average slope 7.13% (min 0.6, max 10.8)

Note the two little legbreakers before it!

Mackenzie Mountain.
Distance 4.3km, climbing 317m, average slope 7.45% (min -0.6, max 12.9)

North Mountain, eastbound.

Distance 3.9km, climbing 378m, average slope 9.85% (min 0.1, max 14.3)

North Mountain, westbound.
Distance 5.4km, climbing 386m, average slope 7.31% (min -3.1, max 14.2)


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  2. Did you do these climbs loaded? What kind of bicycle? Considering cycling the cabot trail this summer. Thanks!

    1. Hi, my fiance and I biked these mountains on Louise Garneau road bikes. We had 4 panniers that fit our stuff for a 5 day trip. 2 panniers on each bike. I would recommend getting front panniers for this trip, as much of the trip, is climbing hills and descending. It would offer more control.

      although only 300km in length, It was incredibly challenging. I would recommend you get a lot of saddle time prior to doing the cabot trail.

  3. I cycle it every year on a road bike. See lots of cyclists touring with gear as well. You will have no problem.