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Jackman, Maine (USA) to St. Georges, Quebec

83km (total so far 920km)

I was expecting this to be a tough day since it was over hills (mountains even) but it wasn’t that bad at all. The main reason for this I think was the weather – either the wind had dropped or I was sheltered from it by the hills. If I was given the choice between cycling into a strong headwind or cycling uphill I’d opt for a hot bath and a night in watching the tele, but if whoever was giving me the choice said no, it’s either hills or wind then I think I’d go for the hills. The thing with hills is you know they can’t go on for ever – you’ve got to eventually get to the top and come down the other side. And when you’re cycling into a strong wind and you can’t manage more than 15km/h and cars are whizzing past you they don’t have a clue what you’re up against because cars don’t feel the wind, and so I’m thinking they must be thinking God, he’s a really crap cyclist going so slowly on a nice flat road and that’s really demoralizing and makes it even harder.

When there is a strong headwind I find I can sometimes go faster going uphill than going down – I guess because the hill shelters me from the wind. Also, with all the paniers I have on the bike it’s not very aerodynamic.

I get hooted by a lot of cars and I don’t really know what they mean by it (cars have such a limited vocabulary). Maybe they’re hooting to say “Yeah, go for it!” or maybe they’re saying “Get the fuck off the road!” I don’t know. Sometimes they stick a finger out of their windows – at least then I know what they mean, though I wish they’d stop so we could talk about it.