We are back to RV living once more. Our time in Quebec will be short but the impact is high.
Based on Jim 2’s recommendation we travel east along the north St. Lawrence shore. That is
where we find the lovely “green trail” system. The trail is occasionally astounding, occasionally
frustrating, and in sum a great step forward.
Our route takes us along fresh, smooth trails through woods with overhanging trees and
bountiful garden flowers. Cycling paradise. But then reality hits, and we are ejected onto the
street into unreliable bike lanes that abruptly end for construction, have inscrutable traffic
signals, and with surfacing that has been patched so many times with new asphalt that
potholes become spelunkable. Just as dichotomous are the skills of drivers, which can be
courteous, but also with more close calls and near misses than the rest of our trip combined.
We notice that other cyclists rarely return our friendly waves, and pedestrians are frequently
startled by our bell chime when passing, suggesting it is rarely done. On the other hand, we see
way, way more cyclists here than anywhere else.
We make our way down the St Lawrence Seaway for two days, stopping first in Trois Rivière
and then in Rivière d’ Loup. The first day was a hard one – 140 km and 670 m elevation. The
second night is a crazy success – we start slow ish, and enjoy the scenery. There is a gentle
tailwind, that slowly increases in speed over the course of the day, and so do we.
By mid-day we are surprised at our morning success and decided to aim for our furthest
optional destination for the day – a daunting 206 km with 750km verticle. This would be the
longest ride ever for both of us but, nonetheless, we made it. More incredibly, we both do it with
an overall avg speed better than 30km/hr. This is the new high water mark for our cycling
abilities. For two older men with a movement disorder, should we still be improving? Well, we
Off to New Brunswick tomorrow.