Now in Montreal. The ride down from Quebec City was quite easy going, very flat and along a Route Verte cycle route – there’s a lot of them here in Quebec and a lot of cyclists here too.
I’ll be stopping here in Montreal for a few days. Need to check out where to go next, buy some maps and do some stretching exercises. The biggest problem over the last few days has been my left knee, which has started to hurt. The tendony bits behind the knee rather than the knee itself, though doing some stretching seems to help a lot.
Here are the statistics so far:
|date||finish||distance (km)||total (km)|
|8-Jul||Halifax, Nova Scotia||0.0|
|11-Jul||Upper Sackville?, Nova Scotia||40.0||40.0|
|12-Jul||Kentville, Nova Scotia||80.0||120.0|
|13-Jul||Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia||94.0||214.0|
|14-Jul||Saint John, New Brunswick||45.0||259.0|
|17-Jul||New River Beach, New Brunswick||63.0||322.0|
|18-Jul||Saint Stephen, New Brunswick||75.0||397.0|
|19-Jul||Maine Wilderness Camp, Topsfield, Maine||84.0||481.0|
|20-Jul||Sleeping Bear Campsite, Lee, Maine||44.5||525.5|
|22-Jul||John Bunyan Campsite, Bangor, Maine||22.6||636.9|
|24-Jul||The Birches, Maine||40.9||791.2|
|26-Jul||Notre Dame des Pins, Quebec||83.1||920.5|
|27-Jul||Quebec City, Quebec||117.7||1038.2|
|1-Aug||Trois Rivieres, Quebec||104.7||1194.5|
I just met a German couple here last night, Eva and Erk, who are embarking on a one year global bike tour, starting from here, Montreal and heading up to Quebec (along the same Route Verte I took) and then across to Halifax along a different (though probably better) route from me. (I’ll link to their website when they set one up.) I think it was a mistake going through Maine. I did a lot of kilometers and a lot of miles there but very few of them were in the right direction.
Just got my bike back from the bike shop here in Quebec. It needed a new back tyre, which I could have fitted myself, but I wanted them to sort out the gears which I’d been having problems with – the chain kept coming off when I changed into top gear. There are two screws you need to adjust and I’ve spent ages adjusting them, wasting at lot of time, so I thought it would be better to let the experts do it, though I want to learn – so if anyone knows which screw does what and can explain it in a way that makes sense then please click on the comment link below and tell me.
I’m now in Quebec City sitting in a bar. People speaking French behind me, Stevie Wonder playing on a jukebox, gamblers playing on fruit machines. Outside the sun’s come out and tourists are clapping along to some street entertainers – jugglers I think. I’m in the old town, Vieux Quebec, where there are many many tourists, and I’m one of them.
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.
Losing track of days and dates. Now in Greenville, Maine, sitting outside a public library near a lake. Did 133km yesterday and still feeling a bit knackered. Need to get something to eat and head off now cos it’s getting late.
I finished writing that last post at about 1 o’clock, had some lunch and then started cycling, heading North up Route 1, a long and sometimes quite hilly road. Got to the junction with route 6 just as it was getting dark and thunder clouds were gathering, but there was a sign saying 8 miles to a campsite so I thought I can do that, and headed off with my waterproofs and my lights on.
I’m now in Calais, Maine, USA. They did let me across the border, eventually, after loads of questions, searching my bags, but then I told the official about my page on LegJoints, which he tapped into his computer and read and after that decided I was safe to let into the country.
75km from New River Beach in the mist to Saint Stephen on the Maine (US) border. Tomorrow I’ll see whether they’ll let me in.
Now in New Brunswick. I spent the past couple of days in Saint John, resting a bit and doing some work on the bike.
Along the coast from Saint John, stopped after 60km at a place called New River Beach. I was going to cycle a bit further but it was a hot sunny day and I fancied a swim and this was the first and will probably be the last opportunity for a while. The tides in this bay, the bay of Fundy, are supposed to be the largest in the world. You can watch the tide go out (if that’s the way it’s going).