- Cycle Day #62 Montreal to Repentigny. 74 kms
- Cycle Day #63. Repentigny to Trois Riviere. 117 kms
- Cycle Day #64. Trois Rivière to Donnacona. 94 kms
- Cycle Day #65. Donnacona to Quebec City. 50 kms
Cycle Day 62
The Route Verte is fantastic. Quebec loves cyclists. We thought the bike paths through Vancouver were great, but in Montreal we sauntered west to east for 70 kms along the St Lawrence, through parks, on streets of Old Montreal, beside Atwater Market, and watched people surfing, rowing and sailing on the river. It was perfectly grand until Gear Guy started singing April Wine songs like Oowatanite and I’m On Fire for you Baby. For me, how about Lady Run Lady Hide?
Seemed like the entire city of Montreal is on vacation during “Construction Vacation” when all construction is supposed to stop the last two weeks of every July. This seems a bit arcane given the short construction window in our country, but hey, everyone looked happy!
Quebec drivers have been astonishingly polite to us – waiting behind us on roads, waving us on at intersections, even backing up when they were blocking the path!
But the cyclists are crazy aggressive. It’s like Rambo meets the Tour de France. We laughed out loud at some ridiculous antics by cyclists. But maybe it’s us that aren’t on the program. So we started running red lights and stop signs. Just to fit in.
Cycle Day 63
Weather continues to be hot and sunny. Route Verte continues to deliver. Rolling through Quebec farmland is, well, wonderful.
Trois Rivieres is a city with only deux rivieres, but explorers mistook an island separation as an extra river, and the name defiantly stands.
Cycle Day #64 and #65
The mileage signs in Quebec are a bit of a moving target. So is GPS. Don’t know what the deal is there but our days seem to grow from an initial estimate of one number and end up that number +X. Strange. Aiming for Quebec City for example, our distance estimate somehow grew from an expected 117 kms to an actual of 154 kms. Gear Guy blames the GPS, I blame GPS user. Despite being another amazing ride, with the 31 degree heat, we stopped short of Quebec at 100 kms and stayed in Donnacona, of course – sister city to Transcona, where we were lucky to find the only rental place had only one room.
If you are ever looking for a place to stay near Quebec City, call up Lise and Jean at Gite aux Deux Pignons. Beautiful home, great pool, delicious breakfast and cold beer. Doesn’t get better.
Short 50 km cycle into Quebec City.
Traffic on the Route Verte today was busy – cyclist traffic – young and old, fast and slow, everyone was out. Though, with Gear Guy still singing, this time Leonard Cohen songs, most tried to avoid us.
There is a tremendous number of the strangely shaped 3 wheel Can Am motorcycles on the road. Built by Quebecois Bombardier, there must be some kind of rebate if you have a Quebec address. Interesting how the driving audience has expanded with these more stable machines. I’m sure we saw an elderly Beagle driving one.
Quebec so far has been day after day of superb riding, fun and friendly people, and tremendous food. And you can buy cold beer, like, anywhere. Then it got better! We rolled up to friends Cendrine and Jim’s amazing condo in downtown Quebec City. Endless people watching opportunities, restaurants everywhere and the best ice cream store ever. All this while being entertained by world class buskers. Think we’ll stay and hang out till the fall maybe?
We walked around the Plains of Abraham and the museum, trying to make chronological sense of the victors of the multiple wars and skirmishes. Next day tour guide extraordinaire Francois gave a group of us a lesson on “being confused in Quebec history”. Indeed, by the time we left we had lessons in history, architecture, sociology, art, medical system, religion, food and a bunch of other stuff.
Did you know that the statues of Cartier and Champlain bare no actual likeness to them? They are just conceived as products of imagination, along with much of their attire, which in some cases wasn’t even the fashion of the age. Disappointing, as Champlain the statue is quite dashing in his Musketeer outfit.
Our francais is improving and folks are very polite and patient when we try. Google translate has been helpful but not perfect, especially with menus. I couldn’t order “moules a la savour” which translated to “mold with flavour” even after I was assured it was mussels. Gear Guy’s initial vocabulary seems to be limited to “Oui”, “Biere”, “Merci”, “Je suis desole”, but it’s building. He took French all through through High School but he readily admits that he and his buddies only did that because the French teacher was hot.