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Trip Logs

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Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed July 4 Causepscal, PQ 110 4240
Today we started our crossing of the Gaspé, but it didn't go too well at first.  We had skipped breakfast assuming that we would find something 10 km into the day in Mont Joli, but everything was still closed.  On the far side of town we stopped for some GORP and English Muffins, but they weren't doing too much for us and we were happy to find a grocery store in the next town.  While we were sitting outside eating we noticed that the Fleur de Lis flying outside of the Municipal Building was flying upside down!  Nadia went in to tell them and the Mayor thought it was pretty funny.  After breakfast we were rolling along and got to accept the coolest donation of the trip:  A car with a kayak and skis (?) on top slowed down, rolled down its window, and passed me $10 on-the-fly!  I was just scared that I was going to hit them, take myself out, and scratch up their car!  When we got to down-town Causepscal we found out that the next campground was more than 55 km away, but that there was a place a couple of kilometres back up the road where we came from.  Being late in the day we decided to throw the Ratchet-Effect rule out the window (which clearly states 'No Backtracking'), and headed back to the campsite that was close by.  Scott definitely paid the price for this decision, because half-way there we accidentally ran over my trailer and wiped out huge.  I got off of my bike to see him lying on the ground with his head on the sidewalk, but luckily there was no spinal injury, heh heh.  Scott walked away with a scraped elbow, side, knee, a charlie-horse, scuffed up panniers, and a badly bruised ego.  In his words, "You'd think after 4200 km I'd know how to ride a bike!"  AB
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tues July 3 Rimouski, PQ 125 4130
This morning we were treated with an amazing tailwind, and as a result were flying along at a nice pace.  Mid-morning we stopped for repairs to Scott's bike and for Nadia to make some phone calls to sort out her life back home with her campus job and scholarship.  Luckily it wasn't too hard for her to organize things with both of them.  Shortly after starting again we were biking along a very nice road (smooth, light traffic) when a very green cop pulled us over.  According to him, we were not allowed to be cycling on highways (which was ridiculous), and that we would have to double back to some secondary roads.  We pointed out that we had been on the Trans-Canada Highway since Calgary, that we were on the nice alternative to cycling the Auto Routes, and that this was our seventh day of cycling in Québec and hadn't been pulled over yet.  None of this convinced him, but when he was calling the 'incident' into his station he was told over the radio that as long as we were twelve years old we could be there!  Since we had been speaking in English he had no idea that both Nadia and Scott knew what came over the radio.  After a late lunch and a nap in Rimouski we set out to find a bike shop and hardware store for Scott and totally lucked out.  The bike shop had a huge service department, and because of the language barrier in describing just what he needed Scott was invited back into the work area to pick out what he wanted.  Kid in a Candy Store.  Our campsite was pretty cool, with awesome views of the St. Lawrence (which is now very tidal).  Unfortunately Nadia missed it since she was feeling sick and headed straight to bed after dinner.  AB
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon July 2 Rivière-du-Loup, PQ 72 4005
Well, again it rained pretty hard last night, but luckily the rain seems to be holding off during the day.  Overcast and slightly drizzly makes for pretty nice riding, actually.  As long as you remember to take off your sunnies so that you can still see!  Shortly after we got going Scott needed to stop at a bank, and it's a good thing we did because I had to adjust the new chain that I put on my bike.  Turns out that I should have counted the number of links in the old chain before mounting the new one, which turned out to be WAY too long.  Such an obvious thing, but it totally slipped by both me and Scott.  About 15 km along we found a hardware store and stopped for Scott.  It had the bracket that he needed, but no screws.  Oh well, at least we're one step closer to rigging up his front rack.  This is the stop that we had our 'Board Meeting' about whether to ride the whole Gaspé or not.  We came to the consensus that it wasn't worth it to ride out around the Peninsula - which would be about 8 days or riding out of our way - since the weather out there was supposed to be crappy.  At first I was a little disappointed with us deciding to cut across to New Brunswick, but quickly got over it.  after coming this far I'm happy to just put my head down and head for Newfoundland.  Things like the Gaspé can wait for its own trip!  Riding along this part of the St. Lawrence is incredible.  The roads follow only Prairie-flat floodplains, with small mountains sticking up out of nowhere.  We got to Rivière-du-Loup around dinner time, and I was surprised to see how big a town it actually is, having only seen it from the highway before.  We stopped for groceries, strapping them to our bikes any way we could, and then headed up the big hill out of town to our campsite.  After eating way too many grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner we called it a night.  Another 100 km down!  AB
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun July 1 Rivière-Ouelle, PQ 124 3933
HAPPY CANADA DAY (from separation central)!  Kind of ironic, isn't it. :)  It rained hard last night, and after bagels for breakfast we got going.  They didn't quite do it for us, and we were all a little sluggish.  Luckily after warming up we were flying at about 28 km/h for the morning thanks to a nice tail wind and good roads.  We stopped at a Tim Horton's for a break, and oddly enough Scott had been there before.  In the parking lot we met a Scout leader and his wife from Toronto, who were on their way to PEI for the Jamboree.  Apparently 16000 people are descending on the island for this thing, so we were a little thankful that it should be over before we get there.  We stopped for lunch in St Jean Port Joli where they were celebrating Canada Day.  I was surprised, but maybe it was ignorance on my part for assuming that there wouldn't be anything done for it out here.  That night we found a nice campsite by the river where we took care of some laundry.  Unfortunately for Nadia it was partly because the can of pasta sauce decided to explode all over her.  On our way to bed we were serenaded by some 'slightly tipsy' (read: hammered) locals signing O Canada, which was pretty amusing.  AB 
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat Jun 30 Levis, PQ Tourist day 3784
When we got up we took full advantage of the bottomless continental breakfast that our hotel offered.  If we were going to pay $80 for the night, we would damn well eat all the toast that they could possibly throw our way!  Because of the rain we also hung around until the 12:00 noon check-out time, but eventually had to be on our way.  That was about when we realized that we had left our shoes on the porch all night in the rain.  Doh.  The plan is to head into the Old City, be tourists, and then head across the river and find the first place to camp.  When we got to the Old City it was a pretty cool place, but absolutely packed with tourists since it was the Saturday of the long weekend.  The Québecois may not celebrate Canada Day, but they certainly don't look a long weekend in the mouth!  While we were there we found an Internet Cafe before heading back to the bikes, where a cyclist told us all about our planned route up the Gaspé.  Good French practice for Scott and Nadia, but I was bumbling along just to keep up with what they were talking about.  After grabbing some dinner in a little restaurant in the centre of things we took the incredibly steep downhill run to the ferry terminal and crossed the St. Lawrence to the South Shore.  On the way to our campsite Scott's front rack committed suicide again, leaving us hoping that it would be able to hold out as far as Pointe-Verte, NB.  It was a cool day in Québec, but by the end the three of us were ready to call it and get some sleep.  Out campsite has an incredible view of the ever widening St. Lawrence, and I'm looking forward to heading out the Gaspé.  AB
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri Jun 29 Quebec City, PQ 107 3784
It was raining slightly when we got up and rolling, so we decided to break camp and head to a grocery store for breakfast.  While we were there a nice woman donated her change to our cause before heading on her was.  A bridge on our road was under construction, so we followed the detour only to find that it took us out to Auto Route 40!  Imagine cycling on the 401.  Parents please ignore the last sentence.  So we walked our bikes along the edge of the Auto Route, peddled like mad across the bridge, and then made our way back to our road.  We stopped for a break to make some phone calls and found out that the Toronto Star had published our story in the Lifestyles section.  It had a few inaccuracies and failed to mention the website, but oh well.  Scott had begun to notice a rattle coming from the front of his bike, and at lunchtime realized that his front rack had busted.  The Falcon rides on!  He fixed it up by rigging up a cantilever system with a compression strap and was on his way.  After riding through the rain for a while we arrived in St. Foy (a 'burb on the west side of Quebec City) and decided to look for a motel.  As it turned out all three pay-phone phone-books around had the 'Hotel' section ripped out!  We eventually found a place and settled down to a Harvey's dinner (now there's nutrition for you) before heading to bed.  Back in the hotel room Scott got on the horn and MEC agreed to send him a new rack to Shannon's parent's place in New Brunswick.  We also heard on the news that it was the 20th anniversary of Terry Fox's death.  We were all touched, but on a more practical note that will teach us not to do our homework before starting out.  We could have grabbed way more publicity for our fundraising effort had we thought about it.  AB 
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu Jun 28 Champlain, PQ 159 3677
Today seemed to start slow, even though we made pretty good time out of the city.  It just seemed like Montreal went on forever, but things seemed to move better once we crossed the water off of the island.  While we were riding through the city, a guy in a Ville de Montreal tree truck stopped us to give a donation, which was awesome.  Then as we were crossing the bridge a guy in a tow truck slowed down behind us, turned on his twirling hazard lights, and escorted us off the bridge before going on his way.  Unfortunately for him he got pulled over for speeding a kilometer down the road.  No justice.  In the first town out of the city we happened to see a bike shop, and stopped to get some more spare spokes.  The people in the shop were really interested in our trip, which I found a little surprising.  Now that we're in Quebec, where there seem to be a lot more touring cyclists, I would have thought that people like us stopping at their shop would be more common.  Go figure.  In any case, we were more than happy to talk with them for a while.  The highway on the east side of Montreal was great.  It's a small, well paved (we weren't expecting that in Quebec!) road that follows right along the river, which was beautiful.  We saw tons of other cyclists, but almost all of them were heading west, so we couldn't stop and talk to them.  Quebec is pretty cool because the government has put bike lanes all over the place, as well.  We read somewhere that there are over 2000 km of these lanes across the province.  Arriving in Trois-Rivieres at around dinner time, we found out that there were now campgrounds until Champlain, about 20 km away.  While Nadia was finding this out in the Info centre, some guys on a restaurant patio were asking about our trip, and the things that we had seen and done.  After Nadia came back we headed to a grocery store for some dinner.  We actually wanted to find something like a Subway, but it was looking like we were out of luck, so I suggested that we just hit the supermarket.  After having dinner on the sidewalk outside of the store we got riding again, and promptly passed a Subway, and then another one 5 km down the road.  Oh well, you can't win 'em all, right?  Throughout this trip more and more Spokey-Dokes have been showing up on Scott and Nadia's bikes, and I've taken to calling the two of them Spokey Dorks.  I realized that I had been paid back for that, though, when I looked down at my trailer's wheel after dinner and noticed a single green Spokey Doke on one of the spokes.  That'll teach me!  We flew through the last hour of riding to the campground in Champlain, and were excited to find that it was right on the water.  In the end that really didn't matter, thought, since we were all in bed pretty much as fast as the tent could be set up.  Bye for now, Adam.
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed Jun 27 Montreal, PQ Rest Day 3518
Ah Montreal, the first major city that we've hit in Quebec.  Its also making me realize that my French is a little on the weak side, but at least Scott's and Nadia's is pretty strong.  We slept in until around 8:00, had breakfast with Jean, and then hit the city.  We went to a park by the Central library, which was in a really cool building, to use the internet, but they were all booked up.  So we hung out in the park for a while and read and slept before Scott headed off on the Metro to his grandmother's house for lunch.  After visiting there for a while, and catching up on Wimbledon, he walked back towards Jean's apartment while checking out the city.  Meanwhile, Nadia and I wandered around the city, grabbed lunch, wandered some more, grabbed some groceries for dinner, and found our way back to Jean's place.  The three of us had stir fry for dinner, and then went out for Popsicles for desert, since the day's 33 degree heat was still going strong.  Later in the evening Jean got home and his friend Grace came over to watch the fireworks that were being set off over the bridge to the south shore of the river.  The five of us climbed up onto the roof to watch what ended up being a pretty cool show.  After it was over, we sat around talking for a while, planned our route for the next few days, and went to bed.  See you all later, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue Jun 26 Montreal, PQ 107 3518

We all slept in ‘til 7:30 after being up talking way too late last night.  We were all half-awake at 6, but getting up just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.  We had a nice breakfast with Trevor, and continued our conversation from last night.  We were feeling quite lethargic, and it was already a hot day by 10:00 a.m.  We sadly had to finally leave at 10:30.  We had a great time with Trevor, and didn’t want to leave, but we did have to make it to Montreal.  The Quebec border was only a few kilometers from Trevor’s place.  There was only a little sign on the bridge since it isn’t a major crossing which merits a major sign.  We did our ritual of entering a province and hitting up the visitors’ info for the provincial map and camping guide.  The road was positively awful.  It was rough, with no shoulders, and being heavily used.  It was a bad introduction, and if it continued, it was going to be a long trip through ‘la Belle Provence.’  After a few kilometers we turned onto our road and found smooth pavement and a generous shoulder, so things were looking much better.  We were moving well, drinking tons of water, but there were one too many pot holes and I broke a spoke and got a flat tire.  We stopped to make the repair in the shade of a few big trees in front of a farm house.  We took a little siesta in the shade, slathered on more sunscreen and hit the road.  It is an understatement to say that we were all feeling quite tired and lethargic.  We stopped for a late lunch at a grocery store in the outskirts of Montreal and drank tons.  Nadia got caught in line behind a man who was very animated when he was trying to return a bunch of grapes he had bought.  We bought a map of the city and started our Downtown Urban Montreal Biking At Sun Set (D.U.M.B.A.S.S.).  Actually it wasn’t so bad because we were going against rush-hour traffic.  The cyclists in Montreal are however totally insane.  We bought a bottle of wine and found Jean’s place, a gorgeous Montreal apartment.  Jean is an old friend of Nadia’s Mom.  We undertook the ritual for arrival at a new stop: showering so as not to offend our host.  We sat on the balcony and enjoyed the view while talking, dining, and then talking for a few more hours.  Jean has some wonderfully interesting stories about his travels and his work, and definitely has a strong social conscience.  He told us all about his travels when he was, well our ages, and how he lived with all different ethnic and socio-economic groups, it was wonderfully interesting, and got us to thinking about our next trip already.  It was a very windy and threatening evening, as I was glad not to be in a tent.  Speaking of which, we officially made it across Ontario without camping thanks to our families and friends.  We have been quite spoiled.  - SK


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