The bike to Montreal was long and hot. When we stopped 30km into our ride I felt nauseous and exhausted. I am so glad Nellie was there to lead the next 20km through the wind otherwise I would probably still be pouting on the side of the highway. After many breaks in the shade and even one that included a slushie (the only thing that didn’t make my stomach upset), we were greeted with great enthusiasm by my brother Nate in Montreal. It was particularly exciting to see him because the last time was right before I left on this great journey in Newfoundland, over 2000km away.
As well as reuniting with my brothers, it felt as though it was the first time where we could no longer tell people that we were simply cycling to Ontario (as we had been doing for those who don’t know where North Bay is). The reuniting and proximity of our provincial destination gave me a sense of accomplishment of just how far we had ridden. We were almost at Ontario. Although we still had a ways to go, down to Toronto and up to North Bay, we had sure come a long way!
Our day off in Montreal was well needed after the hot cycling the previous day. As we cooled down my appetite came back and I was thankfully able to enjoy a plate full of sushi Saturday afternoon.
Equally as exciting, we spent the heat of the day in an outdoor pool!!
Treatment of mild heat exhaustion is awesome, especially when i get to visit with family at the same time.
Sunday we left late to get some more visiting in before our short day of riding. Then came the rain. It felt amazing to ride and not be overheating. I felt like a five year old splashing through the puddles with a massive grin on my face while everyone in the street ran for shelter.
The rain subsided just as we hit the Ontario border where stopped for the night before heading to Ottawa the next day.
More details of our arrival to Ottawa in the next post. All I can say is flat tire.
After some intense rain and two flat tires our total kilometres of the day only added up to 91 in 4h35min and so a slow average speed of 19.8km/h. Our route required a lot of zigzaging. We rode along the canal through the city and along the water to ile perret where we jumped onto hwy 342 that abruptly ended at the border to Ontario. So we briefly jumped onto the transcanada and now camp in Ontario for the night!
Its been a great to meet Nellie’s family and get a taste of quebec culture the past few days. It was challenging at first to understand their play on words and heavy accent but think they equally had a hard time with my name. I think it settled as ‘Hedger’.
Yesterday Marcel and Diane took us across to the old city which was beautiful with narrow cobblestone streets it felt like a little Europe.
We walked across the plains of Abraham, through the chateau and down to the market.
That evening we went out of the city to Nellie’s dad’s place where we had a fantastic meal and he showed us traditional quebecois folk music and instruments! I have never seen anyone play a little wooden tap dancing man, but apparently its possible!
This morning we took the ferry across to Québec where we jumped on the bike path to follow the chemin de roi. After some complex directions through the city, and descending then ascending the coast several times we made it out to follow our flat windy ride along the river.
The cute villages kept the 150km interesting. Due to the wind our average speed was only 21.1km/h, so it still took us 7h00 to arrive.
There weren’t many hills apart from in Quebec so we only climbed 913m today, enough to sleep well.
Today we took the day off to visit with Nellie’s family and see old Quebec city. Beautiful!
Today we rode along la route verte/hwy 132 through flat countryside to Levis. It was only 104km, but due to the heat and our generous time constraints it took us 5h15min. An average speed of 20.1km/h was nothing to brag about, especially since we only climb 560m and returned to about the same altitude, but neither of us got heatstroke, and that’s what really matters.
The past three days we have been along the route verte, a well established cycling route along the river.
It made for some fantastic views.
The route is just peppered with gorgeous little villages with bakeries, dairys, breweries, artisan shops and of course cheese curd factories!
We tried our best to take advantage of the bountiful region in the limited time we had.
..including some of the roadside apples we spotted along the way.
The biggest challenge was definately the heat. The last day especially, we had only 100km ahead of us to Quebec City to meet up with Nellie’s family but it felt harder than the day of 160km. In 36C and no wind ice cream didn’t even seem appealing. I just wanted an ice bath and a foot rest.
Around the middle of the afternoon when I didn’t want to go any further, we stopped for a water break and I checked my email. Somebody had donated $250! I was instantly remotivated. Although the remaining 30km were hot, it felt worth the strain to know it will one day help a family stay warm in the winter.
So we keep pedaling.