Photo submitted by Matt Surch, “During winter in Ottawa, Canada, our favourite way to spend a Sunday is to drive 40km north to the town of Wakefield, Quebec. Wakefield is situated along the Gatineau River, formerly a primary conduit through which logs were driven to Ottawa to be turned into masts for British ships and milled for myriad purposes.
We bundle up in the parking lot of our favourite bakery, Pipolinka, then head further north along the east side of the river on snow-covered dirt roads to the Paugan hydroelectric dam, a colossal structure completed in 1932 that generates many more watts in a day than we can hope to put into our bikes over a lifetime.
Pictured is the generating structure behind me, its glass reflecting the man-made lake and old Low village, submerged in its depths. This area is where we developed our love and appreciation of gravel riding, inspiring us to organize an annual event that takes riders up and over the dam in early summer: The Ride of the Damned. People tend to think we’re crazy for riding up there in the winter; they don’t realize how absolutely beautiful the land and lakes are covered in snow. Rider: Matt Surch Photo Credit: Max Rubarth”
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