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Montreal, Quebec

Still in Montreal. Just discovered the Trans Canada Highway website. For the next bit of the trip I plan to follow this highway, more or less. There’s a Route Verte (cycle route) within Quebec from here to Gattineau, which is just across a river from Ottawa. From there it’s Highway 17 heading across Ontario, which looks like it might be a bit hilly, but it’s supposed to be very beautiful. Was talking to someone the other day and he said Ontario has what’s called the Canadian Shield, which is where the earth’s crust comes to the surface (I think).

Looking at the maps I think it’s about 1700km to the Thunder Bay on the far side of Lake Superior. If I can do that by the end of this month – which will mean me upping my daily rate by quite a bit – then I’ll have a chance of getting to the Rockies before they become too cold to cross. I reckon Thunder Bay is more or less the half way point. At the moment, if I take into account all these rest days I’m having, I’ve only been averaging 50km a day. But I’d always planned on spending some time in Montreal and Quebec City, and the route so far has been quite up and down and left and right and teething problems with the bike – now sorted out I think. The gears weren’t adjusted properly and the chain kept coming off, but got a guy in Maison des Cyclistes here to see to that and he showed mr how he did it so hopefully that problem won’t recur, though there’s sure to be others.

One of them is that the areas I’m heading into are quite barren so I’ll need to plan where I’m going to stop for the night – because I’m shooting video I need electricity to charge up the batteries, plus I need water and food for myself, so can’t just camp by the side of the road. Moose could also be a problem, especially in the rutting season (but I think that’s spring so I should be OK).

Some advice about bears – when you see raccoons you don’t need to worry about bears, since they’re never in the same place at the same time (like Clark Kent and Superman). Trouble is, I’m not sure what a raccoon looks like. Time for Google Image Search.

Montreal is a good city. I got lost on the Mont Royal the other night (the mountain in the middle of the city) trying to find a short cut into town, and had to navigate in the pitch dark down wooded paths, heading for the lights. I’ve been walking a lot here.

It was a mistake going into the downtown area at night since it was full of loud yobbish Americans saying “Hey dude, is there a Burger King around here?” and then they start shouting “America, America” just in case you anyone hadn’t guessed where they were from.

A better part of town is the Plateau area, which is where I am now. It’s called the plateau because it’s flat, which makes it good for cycling around. Montreal is generally good for cyclists.