After a restful night at the TR delta and a luxurious bubble bath, I set off at 8:30am with a minor sunburn and a sore butt. I had plans to meet a friend in Montreal for dinner (150+km) and hoped that if I pedalled fast I could avoid further pain to my face and seat.
I had a steady rate going until just outside of Louiseville, where construction had turned the side road into 2″ deep gravel. Riding up hills have nothing on riding through thick gravel. There were quite a few times I considered turning back, but after 1 or 2 km of this, I was treated to the most beautiful road! It reminded me of the tree arches in Kauai going from Lihue into Poipu.
The pedalling continued, past the ribboned streets of Louiseville, the wineries, and the occasional fruit stand. I made one brief lunch stop around L’Assomption. I had hoped for food a bit earlier around Lavaltrie or Lanoraie, but there were no obvious stops along highway 138. Make sure to plan your meals!
Nothing too exciting happened on the remainder of the trip, and I hit the tip of Montreal at 3:45pm, excitedly ahead of schedule. Unfortunately… it took me 2 more hours to cross the remaining 20+ km. Let’s just say I’ve been cured of any fears of riding in traffic.
Life Lesson: when riding in the city, always leave your curb side foot unclipped. After almost bailing in the wrong direction at a busy-ish intersection, I smartened up. The loss of efficiency was well worth saving my dignity.
Life Lesson 2: Don’t skimp out on sunscreen. I got to do the walk of shame into work the following week with a bright red face and a white helmet stripe. It would have been worse the extra weight.
The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur. I got to catch up with an old university friend over a bottle of wine, and come morning we took the bus down to Old Montreal to explore the cobblestone streets, Cathedral Notre Dam, and more importantly, eat crepes.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. Maybe in the correct direction this time though. Andy and I have potential plans to do a Burlington to Niagara ride in 2016, and would love to explore other areas of the Quebec region (and other countries) in the future. Doing this ride was a huge boost for my confidence, and we are now considering joining a road biking group when the snow melts. And then? Who knows?
I’m super proud of myself for having gone from not knowing how to change a tire to doing a 300km solo trek. And now that it’s over? On to the next adventure!