Day 58, August 1: Edmundston to Perth Andover, Bairds Campsite, NB

Today started with the type of weather we enjoy, 20 degrees and partially overcast with a good forecast promised by accu weather.

As we were stuffed from last night we agreed that rather than the traditional breakfast we would stop enroute at the first breakfast place.  After less then an hour we stopped for an enjoyable and hardy breakfast.

The boys at the bike shop the night before recommended a secondary road to Perth Andover, Highway 144. This was a treat as it was much less travelled as anyone in a hurry uses the Expressway #2.  This road had a nice wide bike lane a posted sign, “No Trucks Allowed”.  Although the road was quite hilly it was a really enjoyable ride along the Fiddler’s Route.

Aug1FiddlersRoutWe followed the Maine/ New Brunswick border most of our way and the below photos will give you an idea how close neighbours can be, living in two different countries, separated by a river.

Aug1BorderWe made very good time until we arrived in Grand Falls where we stopped for a break and enjoyed the scenery.

Aug1GrandFallsOn leaving Grand Falls we had another 40 km to our destination but the ride went very quickly, with a good path and little traffic to be concerned about.  The entry into Perth Andover was spectacular as we rode along the St. John River into the picturesque little town with a  bridge connecting the two main streets on either side.

Aug1PerthAndover

Aug1BridgeWe stopped at a small general store  for a drink and decided a nice double scoop  of maple ice cream was in order, along with some fun!

Aug1FunAfter checking into our campsite and  relaxing for a few minutes we headed to the BISTRO for dinner.  A bit of a story… but I will update you on that tomorrow as I am fading here  at the keyboard.

Cheers,  Sid and Team!!

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Day 57, July 31: Riviere du Loup, QC to Edmunston, NB

This was not the special ride with the great scenery that we have become accustomed to… so not too many towns or photos to share.

We were disappointed from the the start of this day as the internet talked about a paved trail door to door which we thought this would be great and so we put a little more effort into finding it than we should have!

When found the trailhead we discovered that is wasn’t paved, it was loose peastone, but decided to try it, thinking it would become the paved trail we read about.   Then our bubble was burst when I spoke to another rider and he said it was not paved any of the way to Edmunston and gave us directions to get to 185 which was a four lane highway but should have a decent bike lane. We followed his directions and made our way onto the highway and very soon we recognized the sounds of transports coming from behind, edging their way to beside us.  This was not what we wanted after enjoying several days of little traffic and very few trucks.

Luckily the bike lane was ok, definitely wider than on the highways through Ontario.  But then the bike lanes came to an end when we were 40 km from Edmundston because of  highway construction.  This made for very stressful riding as the highway in many places narrowed down to two lanes with no bike lane.  We finally arrived in Edmundston, very relieved to be there and off of our bikes for the day!

Hugh was having trouble with his gears so our first visit was to The Source bike shop where Andre diagnosed his problem very quickly and put on a new chain, and at the same time he made some corrections to my derailer and tuned up my wheels.  Great store,  good tech… if ever in Edmunston and need bike help, this is the store!

The bonus of the evening was meeting up with the Dagneau’s at a local motel with a restaurant attached that they were staying at for the night.  If you recall, Bill was our support driver from Winnipeg back to Thornbury.  They are on there way to Janet’s brother’s cottage outside of Moncton and have extended an invitation for us to spend Sunday night at the cottage.  It didn’t take long for us to  say yes, we are looking forward to Sunday.

We  finished dinner  and drove back to the campsite in heavy rain, and now ready for a good night’s sleep.  Good night to all.

Cheer, Sid!

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Day 56, July 30: St Jean Port Jolie to Riviere de Loup, QC

This will be our tenth day back on the road as we continue the final leg towards our destination of Newfoundland. We expect another enjoyable 100 km ride today, as without question it has been a real pleasure riding in the belle province. This province really makes it easy for cyclists with the multitude of paved trails  and the consideration from the drivers. Highway 38 and Verte 5 has provided us with a bike lane from Montreal through to Quebec City on the north side of the river, when we crossed to the south side we picked up route Verte 1 that has brought us today to Riviere de Loup.

Riding has been relaxing as we have not seen a large truck in 4 days and we have thoroughly enjoyed biking through all the small towns with the history attached and the scenery that has made this part of the trip so memorable.

July30Favouritespot- jon

Favourite spot, hoping Jon will paint!

Hugh and I were again in tourist mode today so we had time for photos and stops.  We have really gone upscale from A&W but won’t discount it because they were there when we needed them.  I had no idea how scenic it would be completing the ride from Quebec City to here, a lot of other cyclists have figured it out too, as there are many on the road  travelling in both directions.

July30Lunchspot

Stop for Lunch

July30LunchI am not sure what tomorrow brings as we head towards Edmonston and back on the Trans Canada through New Brunswick. We are planning to meet our friends the Dagneaus for dinner in Edmonston, they were in Cobourg today, they make a little better time then we do!

July30Relaxing

Relaxing after the Ride

Just trying to decide what’s up for dinner tonight, I think it’s a cook in with maybe a little cribbage or backgammon to follow.  Catch up tomorrow.

Cheers Sid and team!!

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Day 55, July 29: Quebec City to St. Jean Port Joli, QC

Accu weather was spot on, we awoke to blue skies and sunshine with a nice wind out of the west, that lasted all day. Only a short distance from the site we found Route Verte 1 and started our ride to for St Jean Port Joli.

With the wind at our back and smooth pavement we were riding at 35 to 40 km+,  making very good time to cover our 100 km ride today. We got slowed down as I had a flat after passing over some broken glass…almost forgot that those things happen as the last time it occurred was in Northern Ontario.

The ride was very picturesque with small towns and great views of the mountains on the other side of the river.  I believe it was Mt. St. Anne that was in full view directly across from where we had a stop for food fuel.

This was a very relaxing day and we took full advantage of being tourists stopping at many points of interest…something that we have not been doing enough.  We only have one longer ride left on our schedule until we reach North Sydney so today’s ride should become more of the norm.

We arrived in Port Joli to a nice campsite on the river with great facilities and a good grocery store close by. We enjoyed a home cooked meal of salmon, rice and salad along with a nice bottle of California wine.

July29-citysignI am attaching a number of pics of some of stops along the way that included the Quebec Marine Museum – the three photos were of real interest:  the sailboat was the first boat to circumvent North America, the larger boat was the last steam powered ice breaker in Canada, and the third was an experimental hydrofoil that the government built in the 1970’s that didn’t quite make it.

July29-sailboat

July29- IcebreakerJuly29-HydrofoilAlso, an amazing church built in 1765, our lunch spot, a sculptor’s road side store and some views that we enjoyed from our bicycle seat.

July29-churchJuly29- lunch spotJuly29-souvenirsJuly29- viewGreat day!  We are off in the morning to a campsite near Riviere de Loup. Catch up tomorrow.

Cheers Sid and team!!

 

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Day 54, July 28: Village of Champlain to Quebec City, QC

I awoke this morning at 6:30 to blue skies and sunshine, anticipating the short 90 km ride to one of my favourite cities from a historical standpoint, and now for our new pastime, eating. Unfortunately current weather can’t be trusted, and as per the forecast, our sunshine was replaced with incoming rain clouds.

July28QuebecCityWe headed off 9:30 am, passing through many small villages along Hwy 138, Verte 5, with an excellant bike lane.  The history in these places, incorporated in the mid-1600’s would be fascinating, and I’d love to just snoop around… but not on this trip!

July28ChurchesWe covered the first 50 km in good time although Mr. Wind was back in our face with some light rain. With the St. Lawrence in full view along with many farms we rode a narrow strip of land along the river, and much to our surprise we started to climb!  There were hills but took them in stride after what we have climbed over the past several weeks.

It started to rain harder as we were approaching the city….unfortunately I chose to be positive and not dress for rain, and soon became soaked. We stopped at a parkette and read a sign that encouraged us to take a dedicated trail along the water to the city.  As we set out for the last 25 km I realized my gear shifter was not working, giving me only my two most difficult on my large and smaller ring. I endured riding in my smaller ring until we came to the first hill, that reminded me of the bottom part of scenic caves.  I took a run at it, but that’s why they invented gear bikes!  I was soon off my bike, and made a call to Chris at Kamikaze.  “Sounds like a cable that is about to break, by adjusting one of your derailler screws you can probably get a slightly easier gear for a little while”  Thanks Chris!  We did that, it helped.  But as the day went on, hills became a grunt and I knew this was not going to work for long.   Hoping for some flat to finish up with!  We came to a community and I found enough words in French to get directions to a bike store.

Excellent, it was an English speaking bike technician, who was so knowledgeable and friendly, and was able to replace the cable and reset the limit screws so everything was working and shifting smoothly.  Meanwhile Hugh had struck up conversation with a friendly cyclist, Claude, who informed us the next stretch over the bridge was not bike friendly, especially in the rain.  We took his generous offer for a ride!  This made life easier as our campsite Etchemin was very close. I have Claude’s business card and look forward to following up with him on one of his trips to Toronto.  An interesting entrepreneur, he started to work in a foundry as a young person doing maintenance and is now the majority shareholder of a very large foundry supplying Ford with transmission parts, good things happen to good people, thanks Claude.

After warming up with help from the furnace, showering and getting started on this blog we piled into the car and went  back over the bridge to old Quebec.

July28FeudalFieldsI was hoping that the rain would stop, but it was a heavy downpour for the entire evening, oh well another soaking! We chose a restaurant called  Parmesan’s that made for an entertaining evening of wonderful Italian dishes along with a wandering accordian player.

July28Quebec1  July28Quebec2Checked the weather forecast when we got back to our home away from home and accu weather said a better day ahead, hope it is right.  It’s been a long but enjoyable day, so I am signing off and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Catch up tomorrow when we will be in St Jean Port Jolie.

Cheers Sid and team!!

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Day 53, July 27: St Sulpice, Trois Riviere to Village of Champlain, QC

I was awakened this morning by a heavy downpour at 5:30 am and when I rolled over an hour later it was still raining hard.  We checked the weather report and decided to wait until 10:00 am when thunderstorms were to subside to just light rain. It was a good call!  We only biked through a little rain for a short period of time, it did circle back later, but luckily we were already at our site.

We rode highway 38, Verte 5 the whole way which was a great choice providing us a nice wide, smooth bike lane and no hills all the way to Trois Riviere, about 130 km.

The ride took us through beautiful scenery and many small villages. We stopped in Trois Riviere for lunch, enjoying a view over the St. Lawrence. Following lunch we rode back one street from the water and picked up the 38 again, and rode the bike lane to our campsite just on the other side of  the Village of Champlain.  We finished today with less then a 100 km ride to Quebec City.

Our stay tonight is a RV site with attached marina and restaurant, very elaborate compared to most places we’ve stayed. We had dinner at the restaurant and no complaints.  Quite lucky as we took a stab and hoped for the best, ordering our meal in french.

Although we rode over 130 km today, it was a very easy ride, it is amazing how much easier, and less stressful it is with our own bike lane and very little navigation required.

Looking forward to a good night’s sleep and visiting Quebec City tomorrow.

Cheers, Sid!!

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Day 52, July 26: Rigaud to St. Sulpice, QC

We are on a roll, awoke to another nice of day blue skies and very little wind and headed out on the road at 9:00 am.  I spent the time between 7 and 8 getting through to Rogers and trying to figure out with a technician my problem that is creating difficulty in sending my messages. We’ll see if their suggestions work soon enough.

Our day started with an easy ride into the village of Rigaud  and then along some rural roads with little traffic except several groups of 15 to 20 riders out for their Saturday morning club ride.  About 25 km from the start we reached  the sign saying ferry to OKA… the 20 minute trip across to the North side of the Ottawa River was $2.00!  Good deal.

When we arrived at OKA the Saturday morning market was set up with some delightful home baking.  Couldn’t refuse a fresh chocolate croissant.  Also wanted the chocolate coated blue berries, but could only buy them by the box, and with our day ahead they would melt for sure.

To our surprise Route Verte 1 started right at the market , a paved bicycle path that took us through conservation areas, subdivisions and street corridors, it would be the perfect pathway from Wasaga Beach to Meaford, or a good start would be paving the existing Georgian Trail.  It was impressive seeing people of all ages walking, jogging, roller blading, and cycling.

We covered the next 40 km on this trail without incident, but then the saga begins.  At some point on the other side of St.Eustache we missed a couple of sign markers. The logical thing to do was to check my Garmin but it was busy recalculating a new route so we decided to check initially with a cyclist for directions.  That was not the best decision, and started off the next four hours of asking many people for directions, to only find a couple who could parle Anglais.  So a long story short, because of the language barrier and our enunciation we ended up in St. Sophia instead of St. Sulpice, which is a 60 km difference. As it was after 5:00 pm and we had already put in over 130 km we called Jon for a pick up and ride back to our site on the St. Lawrence.  Welcome back Jon!!!  It all worked itself out just fine, as we found a metro where we could shop for dinner and buy a couple of beers to enjoy as we waited for Jon to arrive.  It’s now 10:45 pm, which is way past my bedtime.  Off to Trois Riviere in the morning, taking a straight road, so we shouldn’t get lost.  Good bye for now!

Cheers, Sid.

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