Canada · 1537 Days · 374 Moments · June 2012

Philip's Cycling adventure to the Atlantic

4 September 2016

Used up my 15min of fame Couldn't think of a better way English translation 2200km By Bicycle to rejoin his family in Acadia

30 August 2016

My trophy, complete with Gnoman A special family creation down to Sid's clay modeling of Gnoman. Can't get over it Thanks so much !
Morning after Beach recovery with Linda and Gnoman

29 August 2016

I was spinning a tail about fishing last night. The picture was from one up on the lodge's walls and dates back to the seventies.... Couldn't help trying to hook the other kind of fish
DAY 25 Made it ! The end of the rode (haha). Without words at this point, when the wheels stop. 2314 ft elevation - a lot thanks to a detour... Long road today: 124km Saw every weather, rain, damp, blustery, stormy, blue sky, cloudy.... Total distance: 2214km Total elevation: 30,401 ft (9266m)
Higher than Everest after all 30,401 ft. Cycling Vs 29,109 for Everest. After looking at today's elevation, I found I did way more elevation than google predicted yesterday - that big detour did doubling back on the big hill to match the Everest elevation was totally unnecessary !!!!
I jumped into that ocean and ran my fingers through my hair!
The ceremonial bike dipping in the water. Jeff - I know its not Cape Spear - that's another adventure
Had to stop and take this pic !!! Look who's there Looks like Juan Valdez and his trusty burro...
Welcome my son Welcome to the machine The machine world It's been a while, and can't say that I missed it 12km to go
Wood processing Interesting catch Before and after ! 18km to go
A welcome sign, now to out run the storm
Just got off doing 20km along this highway believe it or not due to detour Hair-raising, but made it Storm's a coming and i'm not there yet ! Trip's not going out with a whimper 37km and 2hrs
Been on the highway for about 15k, another 8 or so before the next exit. Weather starting to blow and lool sketchy...
Anther detour As they say, it ain't over til the fat lady sings...
Acadia and New Brunswick, we are sailing into port
Shiny bridge and causeway Wide open - really feel the blustery sea breeze...mmmm
I have figured that my legs slowly warm up and are at full power from about 3hrs-6hrs after starting. Creaky knees and complaining at the start for an hour at least, then slowly power up. After 6 hours, the bike feels heavier and heavier....
We should have just met AT Dalhousie, I'm already there....
So I just realized I left my safety vest at the last place I peeled off a jacket The last day..... At least I am wearing my neon yellow jacket and rear strobe light...
As I ride along the flats down to meet my destiny - I mean my destination, I got this picture in my head of Peter Fonda riding peacefully along that country road at the end. I hope to come to a different end that his character...
Timmy's on first day, now Timmy's on last...
New Brunswick here we are ! Cold damp wind on the bridge...rhanks for the extra narrow sidewalk !!!
Au revoir A bigger part of me than I thought is in this place Childhood-adulthood, Culture, Language all woven together.
Beautiful view from the top though !
Fast trucks, wet roads, NO SHOULDER, great....
Ok so the ego in me said - hey only a couple of hundred feet of elevation short of Everest. Let's go back down this steep hill and back up - that will do it... So I listened. Screw loose perhaps ?
In case you've been wondering, these small travel toothpastes have 21 days x 2 uses = 24 brushes I ran out a few days ago and thankfully didn't have to buy a big tube
Ok so Digger points out there is a kettle in the room.... But that wouldn't seem right for the last day...
Firing up the Jetboil one last breakfast. Definitely worth carrying it around for those gaps in restaurants. Yes it boils a cup of water in 85 seconds - I timed it of course Packs away into a little bigger than your hand, including the fuel canister, which I have so far boiled a dozen cups of water (that was their claim - I will see how many more...)

28 August 2016

DAY 24 The Gaspé is done ! Second to last day 1500ft elevation Comfortable ride - as always hills are not welcome before about the 2 hours or so it takes for my legs to warm up... Today was in my wheelhouse..
Wow what a way to finish off the trip I just got back from my last minute evening taste of fly fishing - it has been so long and I wondered if I would get any fishing in at all... Last chance... What a beautiful fish - This time I got to be the fisherman and cradle the exhausted salmon until it was ready to swim off to live another day
Google estimates the elevation I have climbed in total over my trip at about 28975 ft Mount Everest is 29109 ft. high. So over the course of this journey I have rode up almost to the top of Everest, and without sherpas - I carried it all the way (will pack lighter next time). Thankful for the food and shelter along the way. Seems boggling, but shows what one can do in 25 days and 1,000,000 pedals. Thankful I had plenty of oxygen, and didn't freeze to death. The views I had were pretty amazing and I met many interesting people along the trail.
Acknowledging my faithful steed Janis - even looks like she has a cape ! She carried me and 50/60 pounds of gear over 2000km. 2 flats (rider carelessness) Dirty and maybe feeling as faded as her jeans (me and bobby mcgee) - that's it... "Cookie", the bike mechanic in Cornwall said the best bike for you is the one you feel most comfotable with - I chose well. She is now up there with other famous steeds Lone Ranger's Silver Lucky Luke's Jolly Jumper Zorro's Tornado Don Quixote's Rocinante Woody and Bullseye (ride Like the wind !) Batman's original batmobile
The touring cyclist scopes out laundry as he does food. Clean riding clothes = Survival. Got the laundry done unofficially again, the offical story is the housekeepers do that daily but they are gone for the day. But they could not resist the crazy cyclist from the home of their team - the Blue Jays who just had a come back win. They gave me the keys to the housekeepers room and he rest is history ! I succeeded in all the places I stayed at to do laundry every 2 days without much heartburn...2 sets of riding clothes is all you need.
Wow ! First pool table in my travels, and free ! Played against myself and won !
Made it to the famous salmon river of Restigouche. Setup in the motel. I will try to arrange an evening fly fish...
Lasr few permissions of excess cycling Sugar pie and dipped cone
I'm more conscious than ever on these last days that one mistake can still end everything Even turning for a beautiful view - I stopped a be safe... Focus on Safety is obvious with the touring riders, even pointing out suggestions to improve each other's visibility - Not seen with the fast day bikers...
Quite the view from this desolated but newly paved easy to ride highway along the Matapedia
Before I left, amid the excitment and the head shaking, I still felt a swirling unfortunate negative social pressure (North American anyway) questioning the desire or need for a solo trip to start with...being hard to verbalize one's motivations doesn't make it any easier, but fortunately doesn't quench the thirst. Don't think I can explain it any better now though.... But I can say don't let them drag you is 1000% worth it... And from the dozens I met on the road, they get it - no questions asked and the reactions are 100% positive, you are not alone, and you are not crazy. Easier and healthier to change the circle you hang with than to bury that part of yourself.
I thought nature would have been the biggest plus on this trip, but as awe inpiring as that has been, it has been the warmth and positive attitudes of people I have met that has been even bigger. Totally unexpected... The unknown is not the big bad wolf - we have been brainwashed !!! Say yes to New things Learning a new language (it plugs you into their culture too) Venturing outside your sandbox Taking a jump into that Ocean and running your fingers through your hair Opportunities Adventure Stepping into the unknown Pushing yourself to find where you can go - a lot further than you think I know sounds like the usual hippy peace and flowers in your hair shit, but we need to do this regularly....
This journey away from the persistent and pervasive negativity and fear in all media whether news or movies, has been a huge positive outlook boost. Say no to Negative conversations Griping Saying Oh Well Problems without solutions And stay away from the "news" and other negative shit Because that is what it is honestly. I will do my best !
Touring solo vs 2 or more, a time for each, some of the same benefits, some different. By touring solo, you are more approachable, easy to break the ice - where are you going ? there are more chance conversations and building new friendships - no feeling of interrupting a pair or group's private space or ongoing conversation. Anyhow - So much warmth and uplifting vibes out there and back at home through skype/facetime. As much or as little alone time as you want, but lonely never!
Alone and solo are really different - I was never alone except when I wanted to be...
As soon as your bike is loaded with packs - you can expect conversations from corner stores to street corners, and of course others with packs there is an inherent bond that doesn't need compare journeys
When cycling you have to be open to lodging. You have very little distance lattitude in a day 10m down the road by car can be an hour by bike. So you look along the road and pick the best you can in that window...often closer or further than you would like, and perhaps at a different quality - better or worse, than you might have wanted - you learn to go with the flow, and that a hot shower makes everything alright in the world.
So Aileen said to me as I had lunch with her and Stew at their home in Kingston as I was riding through: " Isn't part of motivation for your trip to give the finger to aging?" And I said oh yeah - and to my bike crash 3 years ago, and to accepting the status quo and staying inside the sandbox of Expectations. That was a great lunch - amd look where that has got me...

27 August 2016

If it's catch and release for those couple of minutes when the fisherman is holding you in his hands in the water cradling you, letting you catch your breath, that's what you feel like when you stop climbing the hill - you have no choice but to stop and give yourself over, and wait and all you have is your breath. It is a special time that you don't experience in everyday life, or maybe ever if you don't let go. Then after a bit the feeling comes over you that you were released and are free to go and you leave the fisherman's hand.
So when Gnoman says "time stops for Gnoman" he's right but it also stops for me and others. I was thinking it feels kind of like the fishermen has a salmon on a hook, which has swam thousands of miles in its life. All that time the salmon is avoided getting caught but this time he fell for the glittering prize and now is on the hook and fighting for his life. And eventually you run out of energy and you give up. The white belly turns up and the fisherman knows he has you and depending on the fisherman and maybe the end of the road on a plate or released you're in the fisherman's hands
Rogers has put me an hour ahead today... Even though they know where i am ! Eastern time until New Brunswick !
DAY 23 Long ride 120km Elevation 500m or 1500ft Sunny some headwinds, not hot Milestone: 2000km !!!!!!!
Today I crossed through the 2000km distance. I know I said I wasn't counting but I'm an engineer remember... More crazy... The math is roughly 1,000,000 pedal strokes
I like this sliding 4-person bench
Watching the tide come in Ripples at a time
Always time for classic cars
Another roadside casualty This one I managed to revive
I thought I would share an email I got from Gisèle, the owner of the BnB I stayed at in Cap Chat (remember the cat ?) Entre Mer et Montagnes along with my reply - kind of where my head is at after 89km by noon, with about 200k more to go. Hi Phil, Wow, you're almost done! Go, go go! Here's a quote for you by Thoreau, from his book, Walden: "Rise free from care before dawn, and seek adventures. Let noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee every where at home." That's pretty much what you've been doing! Gisèle --------- Hi Gisèle, Thanks for thinking of me and sending the quote. It is what I have had the priviledge over living the last 3 weeks. As this adventure comes to an end, the feeling on the road changes. You want to slow down, but the push of the waves to shore is to strong, and part of you really wants to get to shore and part of you doesn't. The shadow knows his days in the sun are counting down He is slowly packing his bags, but he has a nice tan. Phil
First sighting of an Acadian flag Bonaventure, quebec
Some more...
Now here's some creative fire hydrants ! New Carlisle
A traditional fishing technique no doubt ? Hopetown Beach, Haspé
Good morning About 110k to do today On the road early !

26 August 2016

DAY 22 810m (2400ft) elevation Getting easier Man I missed getting pounded in an intense downpour with thunder and lightning by 10min... A little tight
After the storm !
Woohoo ! The weather - I remember Camilo saying on their motorcycle trip through South America that they had to have a plan every day where to be when the heavy rain came. I should have paid more attention to that on this trip, (have hd such great weather though), because I would have been trapped in a huge thunderstorm if I had decided to have a short walk on a beautiful beach half an hour before in the amazing late afternoon sun. The sun behind that one cloud told me to get going...
Made it to the motel sound of thunder ! Shower - now the lighting, thunder and rain ! Whew that was close...
I'm in Port Daniel, rounding the bottom of the Gaspé peninsula. I remember the name from when I was a kid. I think this is where we stayed in a cabin on a small trout lake, and my brother amd I spend the time catching small leopard frogs and putting them into a glaas milk bottle...
As I was riding from the point back to the main road, a manny age was Crossing the road and I said you're lucky to live here - he said they live in Laval (North of Montreal) and have been summer renting, and love it so much They are retiring here next year and have now just bought their house. He said people are nice, the place is fantastic, the village is active and artsy and no stress :)
L'Anse à la Croix What a great setup to park and walk down with a kayak and drop on the beach for a paddle in the cove Definitely bring 2-person Kayak So many spots along the different villages
Dragonfly = beauty of nature !
Sun breaking through Super glare through the fog
Met a couple on a tandem bike going from Matapedia to Percé about 350km, then bus back. Weekend trip ! Wow I don't know about that tandem setup but they say heavy but manageable...
That's it - Ronald my cycling buddy of the past week reached the Chandler ferry- overnight to the beer and cheese tour - but the ride part is over - was fun together !
Ronald amd I Just met Louis Pierre Dupuys (middle) 4th in miles rode in world on Strava Out doing his usual 200km today !!!
A covered walk bridge - here ?
And we came across 3 wild horses I am glad there are 3 not 4. So we are going down a rabbit hole L'Anse de Beaufils (Percé) 908 sur la 132
Is it Smaug (or smog) that comes up from behind Are my Safety vest, my bike Janis, and flashing strobe my shining armour, my loyal steed and phasor set to stun ? So yesterday, today, and tomorrow...
The veil has not been lifted on what lies ahead Onwards Janis !
I just got a call from Jeff a friend in Newfoundland, who saw my whining about fog....He reminded me of Crocodile Dundee - "that's not a knife - this is a knife !" Getting out the bike...
Could not resist the "been there got a t-shirt" even though I have to carry it hundreds of miles.... Those of you who know Tintin will recognize the reference !
Life as an Albino Snapping Turtle. Fog would help this turtle. My daughter Coral sent me this picture as it is hatching time on her Turtle conservation project, and hundreds of hatchlings will be released at the same GPS coordinates of each of the dozens of nests. Albinism is rare but not unheard the Spirit Bear (Kermode) in the Rainforests of British Columbia. My first thought is that it would be the kiss of death, but nature works in mysterious ways.
Fogged in. That will make things "interesting". Keeping visible has always been key to staying alive on this trip, today is no different. Will wait it out and have breakfast here.

25 August 2016

DAY 21 The dot - Just rode around town - Great to let the feeling of reaching this landmark from my childhood sink in. Tomorrow the final leg begins Still 400km to go !
Stunning natural obelisk to journey to. Talk of a special vibe, including a famous woman who lived on Bonaventure Island and was able read the the past and future from the rocks
After lunch I bumped into Ronald, a fellow solo cyclist who I met a week or so ago on a steep hill stop - common bonding point of not being able to go further... He came from just east of Montreal heading for the Magdelain Islands - local breweries and cheese shops await... We met on the road again in between mountains, then today on the town's main drag. Had a beer, (amazing scenery) chat, took in a new multimedia building of Percé's geology, then seafood dinner. Another traveller who was interesting to hang out with ! When travelling solo the connection frequencies are open at a different level
The ritual of cleaning the revolving 2 outfits continues every 2 days. At the Bnbs they offer for free or a couple of bucks. The motels either have it or not. This one didn't and I was directed to the one in town. The water cooler equivalent for travellers like me. Met a couple from St. Sauveur north of Montreal who retired at 55, they are 70. Their passion is collecting and selling Quebec folk art. They winter in Florida, summers they spend in their camper stopping at all the small villages and connecting with local sculptors - there is a real interest in this type of art. I said it looked like a great size of camper and we ended up chatting for 2 hours ! Sunny attitudes are prevalent in the travel circles so chance encounters have always been interesting and positively energizing !
Côte Surprise could mean surprise coastline given the awesome view - or also surprise slope which for me was a surprise -oh one more thing - after having thought I was done. Pretty steep and long on shot legs...

24 August 2016

DAY 20 was a beautiful day for riding, except the heat was a killer. Almost 100k in the heat and the climbs were really tough, like the Grande Côte day another over 1000m / 3000ft elevation day... all that climbing to end up back at sea level such a great vosta into the town on approach though - that's part of the encouragement for the climbing of hills....
Percé is a landmark destination, and last week the BnBs were full, found a nice place. First exposure to English in weeks... that bed looks real good after my epsom salt bath...
Bought a carving/painting from a local artist on the pier. He said he appreciated the encouragement ! indeed !
went for a boat ride to Perce Rock as well as out to Bonaventure Island where the thousands of Gannets nest took the old men with me bumped into a woman and her family the had spooted me with Gnoman several days ago.
Breaking news - we have a stow-away This is the gnome that Gnoman met this morning in Gaspé who had escaped from working with Snow White's dwarves. Well as heavy as he is, it is customary to show him the sights then send him home ! So on our way to Percé Rock I will debrief later this evening !
Hotel balcony has great view Made it !!!!!
The final push was huge another 1000m / 3000ft elevation - this time the heat was on. The goal of the pilgrimage portion of the ride was in sight. I could smell the brakes strongly at the bottom of the hill !
Ain't to proud to walk part way up these long 16 degree slopes in scorching hot sun. whatever it takes eventually you get to the top amd the odds are it goes down too fast !
Barachois estuary kayak heaven
Creative use of Pallets shape of Percé Rock
There it is the goal of the pilgrimage - Rocher Percé Still 23km (1-1/2 hrs ride away) But I had made it - emotional waves. Wow all those miles and it was there - begging me to come on over !
paddle your own canoe !???
Hard to internalize that yesterday afternoon I rode that whole coastline from one end to the other.... boggles the mind
diving into the cold water hope there is more than this one fish
Man - the sun comes up early here - before 530, and dawn at 430.... We are off to Percé after a rest. Nice to see Gnoman finally havong someone his age to talk to...

23 August 2016

made it to the town of Gaspé my stop tonight at a bnb now for a local micro brew there are come great ones here.
DAY 19 took a while to warm up after the big rain all day and overnight. just got nicer all day By the time I was in the national park it was idyllic - sun, breeze, views - price to pay hills and distance. 83k and most elevation 1000m or 3000 ft. legs holding up using zen of hills - working very well !
Detours - cyclist stress at least as the saying goes it was terrible with an end better than terrible without an end some mean tree sheedding machines going along the sode of the road probably 18" trees just shredded
reverse of Dante's inferno you got to go through heaven before you went through hell... hopefully more heaven to come
haven't been able to move from here for a while.... perfect....sun, breeze, 20C/68F has never felt so good reminds me of Hanalei in Hawaii
sunglasses or no sunglasses mostly don't wear them - yes they are very comfortable and cut the glace and give a beautiful sheen, but... you the feeling of the wind on that part of your face, enough to take them off most of the time. sort of like the wind in your hair
tons of wind almost blew the phone out of my hand be careful of gusts today !
There is so mich wind today that boats can fly
the paise that refreshes even a Griffin
Griffin's cove ahhh yes
Welcome support while climbing a hill ! Had to stop :)
Back to deep blue sky
Are you kidding me ? Reminds me of The Martian where depending on the intonation the meaning is opposite I have learned to stop worrying and love the climb just remembered I had this app Theodolite 16 degree incline....a long up ramp
you learn after pounding rain what really stays dry. For me the 2 rear Ortlieb bags dry as a bone ((thanks for the loan Mark) the front bags i bought Axiom both soaked mostly up from the bottom... also the Timbuk2 bag also let wet in... spend the money on the true dry sacs....

22 August 2016

DAY 19 Ok about distance.... Today hit the 1000 mile mark (1600km) Elevation even more than yesterday at 2500ft (830m) - but I'm getting better mentally mostly and it makes a big difference What started off with a breakfast and half the ride in the sun ended up with a chunk of riding in a downpour. Even got soaked inside my rubber shoe covers. Fortunately all safe, the motel had a washer/drier and all worked out. A bath with epsom salts ! (most places just have showers) No restaurants around and water has a boil advisory, so had sardines, beef jerky and a nuce cuppa tea....
Another Google maps issue that could not have been worse, except if I hadn't been suspiscious due previous bugs. I was 3/4 up this long hill when it said it was at the bottom ofnthe hill. I was about to turn around then I looked to the top and saw what could be the motel. Last thing I wanted to do was abandon all that effort, go down only to find it was at the top. So I called them - yes we are at the TOP of the hill... that last part of the climb felt suddenly so easy !
so quickly a sunny day tirns to intense rain - soaked to the bone, but not cold, and in some ways made ride easier, more cocooned focused amd flowing. I think the hills went by easier... I kept my ride shorter to 50k today to allow for the climbs - but getting out of the downpour and subsequent thunder after I had stopped was an unexpected bonus. Got to use up some of those Epsom salts (heavy) I have been carrying - few places have baths - mostly showers... And early enough for a nap - nothing like it on a rainy afternoon. Also, the campground attached has a washer/drier, so all ready to go again !
Hey, this is where Marconi did his first transatlantic broadcast. Continent east point, but why not Newfoundland ?
2 of the couples are finishing their loop along the coast as well as through the provincial park - beautiful and great roads they are doing the longer of the 2 loops. about 5000m of elevation though as it runs through the mountains a lot of the way...
passed by 3 couples so far and it is only 900am. 2 couples older than me, one younger. And this is in the mountains ! So while what I am doing is out of the box for many, there are more out there than you imagine !!
ahh the hills, ine after another they come. My first achievement today: I passed this caterpillar on a hill...
Expected rain, woke up to sun. Restaurant doesn't open until 700. Get out the quick boil and have a cup of tea down on the beach...feel of sand and waves goes deep into the soul, especially without and man-made sounds. Great way to start the day

21 August 2016

DAY 18 The first and biggest single climb plus a bunch of orher tough ones...ride/walk/zigzag/walk/ride for 20m/ repeat in pounding sun.. ended up with over 2000ft of climb in elevation today... Have now rode over 1500km.... Tomorrow more elevation but more split up - din't know if better or worse...also rain forecast....a new day
Another Bouillabaisse ! What can I say - all that seafood in one bowl. Cod, sole, salmon, shrimp, scallops, lobster, tomatoes, white wine, spices
chill time
Today was the first of several mountain days. Brutal, but managed without tears this time, very hot sunny day and gusty winds and really long climbs. The big one today the locals all just call "la grande côte" - no good translation but something like the big climb.... steady ramp for miles. too steep to ride except for 10-20m at a time, some walking. Also used switchback (zigzag) back and forth across the 3 lane road when no cars of course - cat and mouse, managed risk/reward. And after the big climb, there were more that needed same techniques. 54km took 5 hours. Fortunately room was ready and shower then nap - first on trip - totally wiped out. Sitting on the beach relaxing is the reward sinking in now...
Manche D'épée handle of the sword stuck in deep symbolical no doubt well it is at the start of the mountains.... so here we go
Bar Rayé Striped Bass - Nice way to start the day

20 August 2016

DAY 17 Made it to "base camp" tomorrow first big mountain / i must learn to love them ! Apart from Ste Anne des Monts, which has a run down vibe which i hit early in the day, always along the coast vistas keep impressing more apart from that 2km of gravel Then of course there was the parasail off a mountain and talking with Dominic about his paralysis from bike crash
then some fried monkfish (baudroie) local of course and plentiful not yet on the mass menu
After asking me where I was going, one of the guys running the café said he did a bike tour of the Himalayas 6 years ago many of the areas that were devastated by the recent earthquakes...43 days, camping...
Made it to my Auberge in the next village - every bay has a village of course! They have a very interesting cafe/bistro - check out the menu My choice the sea of course: Chaudrée de la Marée (Cauldron from the tide), then pan fried fresh fish !
So the more important footnote to all of this is a meeting Dominic. He is the guy in the wheelchair. He said he would watch my bike while I was up in the air. I told him it was everything I had. He said "family is everything I have". He said it so matter of fact. Talk about sobering perspective. He is a fraternal twin. His brother works with the parasail expert. He is 35 now. When he was 20 he was in a car crash with his cousin driving impaired. He became paralyzed. he was in a coma for a year and couldn't talk for years so he is regaining capability slowly. I could understand him if I really focused. They have lived here opposite the ocean for their whole lives. So this was what I needed to hear.... Dominic told me they were going to take him up parasailing later this year. I talked to Yvon the instructor and he said yes and it would take some special conditions but they were going to do it. I can't imagine what that will feel like for him after 15 years in a wheelchair.
Wow ! my ride down !!! Yvon saw a whale shark in the bay a little while ago !
Ok so i rode into this little village Mont St Pierre - took pictures of this mountain 1340ft. little did I know i would be parasailing off the peak an hour later !!! I watched a guy come in, and that was all it took. Wow ! a rush followed by peace and awe...and the blue sky and the sea were amazing more pics from the gopro later...
typical village in each bay. Beach, road, commercial, houses
Chic-Chocs are what these Gaspé Mountains are called.
what is a belvedere ?
spread the light - pretty simple path
so why not jump into that ocean and run your fingers through your hair ....don't say oh well
That's it - watch the sun dissolve the fog
Fresh water from the waterfall stopped amd pumped a couple of litres. Cold and tasty
Cowboy lunch by the sea Sardines, bread and coffee! oh and a 100ft waterfall
I have noticed that being plugged into work the last couple of days silences the inner voice. Gnoman is nowhere to be seen. I guess you really do need to break from the umbilical cord to work to get a real vacation. Me and a reminder for me to give those on holidays a real break...If it can't wait I'm sure the talent in the biz can forge ahead...(forge...inside joke)
Good Morning and Goodbye to Gizèle and Dany at their bnb Entre Mer et Montagnes excellent company, laughs, and comfy night's sleep Having transformed to Cyclist, I am on a roll...

19 August 2016

DAY 17 more of a struggle today for some reason all mornong until lunch. Felt like a lot of work. Now I know why - 800m or 2400ft of elevation over the ride. Also more of a cross wind.
pretty and brand new bnb since july La Maison Entre Mer et montagnes great talk with owners who moved here from Quebec City 2 months ago to start this bnb. I met another couple who offered me to go out to dinner woth them in Ste Anne Des Monts to a seafood place - excellent trout and my bar is high since catching them as a kid...
hmmm a barrell sauna for sale... get the backpack out
The reward for riding 4hrs so far....cod cakes, fries and lots of kapuch...
I like wind power, but boy does it ever wreck the look of the countryside.... yuk
so Cap Chat means Cape Cat Like Cape Cod except unlike Cape Cod, there really is a cat Interestingly I saw it for sale about a year ago and here I am riding past it....
just met a guy my age biking from Montreal to Chandler, where there is a boat that goes to the Magdelain Islands, 3-day tour of the islands local cheese factories and micro brews, then then boat goes back to Chandler or Montreal....sounds like a great excursion the other chap is a young lad from Quebec City going to Percé. bumped into first back outside quebec city days ago...
Look what snuck up on me while we were talking about out dog !!!
pretty falls and statue nested away in a village off the main drag

18 August 2016

DAY 15 same program - cool cloudy turning to watm sunny then back to clouds in eve 22C temp fastest pace by far. turned out the 17km tailwind was the driver. Well fun anyway !
Got my ride sone in record time same miles as yesterday, couple of hours faster - i thought it was my legs kicking in but it was more the 17km/hr tailwind !!!😁
Beautiful falls next to house once a mill no doubt

17 August 2016

DAY 14 - two weeks Today started super tough Legs said not going up those 3 hills. So first push the bike - 3 times 15min each. will need to re-arrange bags to remove rear bag when pushing or screws up the knees from being on an angle. They did say the view would be worth the punishment and no doubt about it... glad it wasn't 100k day.... Early enough here to cross the street for laundry, sit with a beer on the beach, and a local seafood dinner. Dig these shorter rides - must do more this way to soak in the trip... Biggest elevation day so far - 500m (blue mountain). Roll that 50lb wheel up the hill Phil.... As long as it jeeps being worth... weather cool early as usual, rained lots over night, but cleared up for another beautiful riding day low 20s (70s)...
Bistro Nipigon on the Terrasse - moonrise Foodie Mission: Local food from the sea every day Today: Bouillabaisse (morue, moules,...)
The moon says the moment is important. There, gone, back, sort of... When a beautiful moment comes, be there for it. If it sounds corny, it is only a defense mechanism that we use when we recognize that it is true but we still don't do, so we ridicule...
Clothes in the wash Beer on the beach
Gite de la Maréchante was perfect for a rest. Nice couple running it, nice relaxed atmosphere. Would stay again....
Made it to Ste Luce 3 killer hills where the humble traveller pushed and pushed up . The reward was as promised breath-taking views of the towns and ocean from the quiet road - far from the logging trucks amd caravans of cars...
The Onondaga Oberon class submarine 1965-2000, cold war 500,000 nautical miles...
lunch by the water in Rimouski, boardwalk, bike lanes, ferry-like sitting spots. oh and the ocean...runs for next 30km
met 4 girl rugby players at my bnb this morning - 2 from Sherbrooke and 2 from Montreal !!!! Small world Nikki
Great views of the ocean over the rolling hills !
Pushed the bike - way too steep My introduction to more serious hills. Made though !!!!
i forgot at breakfast on the kitchen table they had these....check them out. A friend of theirs is a wildlife artist by profession but has some fun with a sharpie using beach stones - what a riot ... I didn't even know they were stones until i was was told...
goodbye to Alain and Sylvie at the Chez Chouinière Bnb ! great sleep and chats !
Pancakes, blueberries and... Day Lillies Hemerocalis apparently mildly hallucogenic....after 2kg... but what isn't after you eat 2kg of it...

16 August 2016

DAY 13 Today was a great riding day started at 630, stopped for roadside breakfast and tea, the just rolled and the pace picked up. got here at 130 even after the breakfast and lunch stops ! i thought i was heading downhill but it was net up 300m today so the legs delivered ! Boy did I ever luck into a great place -
made it to a destination early 1:30. ok so i was on the road for 6hrs but did 100k so excellent credit due to beautiful weather, favorable wind, felt downhill but was net up 100m with plenty of ups and downs now shower and a ride to the beach, Massage in a yurt by the ocean by former Cirque du soleil masseuse, dinner and conversation from France to Auberge de Montagne des Chic-chocs - an ecoresort hilltops in the Gaspé protected mountains
Sitting at a picnic table outside I met a couple from Montreal. the woman asked if i came from there because she recognized my accent to be from NDG where she lived for 25 years. She knew my primary school Ste. Catherine-de-Sienne... They had just gone whale watching and saw a blue whale very uncommon, as well as belugas and others - they said go for sure - takes 1/2 day. So would be great to try on the way back Linda ...
One of the places I wanted to see was this old mill along 132 near Trois-Pistoles Little did I know I had passed it. I must have been rolling and looking left. With the hills I had done 85k already and couldn't face backtracking 10 then doing it again.... Even cycling doesn't slow thongs down enough... At least now i know it is between L'Isle Verte and Trois-Pistoles
I asked Gnoman if i should shoulder one of these antiquities.... he would not look at me...
memories of these ferry crossings all the way up the coast
freeze dried eggs and tea by the sea !
wind at my back wind in my sails a captain appreciates the help!
riding past this bus reminded me of Into the Wild....sad ending to an adventurous young life
sunny morning up bright and early with the cows !

15 August 2016

DAY 12 No longer psosting distance since - so what ? It is about what happens along the way, and making it there safe and woth a coordinated end meeting. Was a fun ride today, cold ans cloudy then slow clearing and warming to become the PERFECT summer afternoon in the mid 20's (75F)! WOW. what a change from yesterday and the vistas were beyond camera to take in.... forst smell of ocean too.... Rest of week looks good xx
so our neighbours 2 doors over - Sue,Rob,Nikki and Danielle coordinated to meet me on theor way to PEI and to drop Nikki off at Acadia University. Amazing timing and we should find easier ways of going out to donner together than 1100km from home ! thanks for making it happen - it means a lot
sunset time !
staying at Airbnb Étoile de mer Josée has her own jewelry biz amd shop
Kamouraska - here i am !
first smell of the ocean !
Dada contemporary art gallery and Airbnb (was in between distance for me!) See attached pics I know Gnoman was right in there too ! wowiwlwlwl I had a great chat with the artist /owner Daniel Hamelin. Oh he said the Gaspé is even prettier than when i saw it last 40yrs ago
come on....
Cameras just can't take it all in the soft breeze, the feeling of the sun on the skin, the blue of the sky and the sheer size of the panorama You have to stand here for a while. view of the Gulf and the North Shore mountains I would have had to cycle if I had taken the left turn at Albuquerque
Sailors song festival this weekend will miss it :(
Some memories mum ? St Jean Port Joli
all butterflies here on the south shore, while on the North Shore the clouds of mount doom await.... but that's another adventure
what houses !
Racines de mer Roots in the Sea
so I've been seeing a lot of cars lately and noticed they have expressions - presumably in sync with the owner's mindset at the time ? anyhow - are recent models ever scowling and angry - (probably why Trump is popular) with few exceptions checkout the pics... Buying anger and driving it for years is a sad social indicator of the future... several years ago - smiling cars. some manufacturers are staying positive - look around !
all peaceful and calm as i set off what a difference

14 August 2016

HALF WAY TODAY !!!!!!! 974km = 1/2 way i am at 984km. DAY 11 Progress Weather: when I woke up at 600, he rain was coming down so hard i went back to sleep. first time i have had to face strong winds head on, all day - made ye flats fell lile mountains. Rain all day - drizzle on/off returned from the country to the shore for view of the St.Lawence once past Quebec City. 4pm arrival today gearing for bigger rides next 2 days to get me to Trois Pistoles, where I decide what to do next - maybe ferry to amd from Tadoussac for a break - we will see Google for bikes was a pain today again - my destination was on the right road but 200m futher along...
nice evening walk doen to the pier. sleepy little town Bertier-sur-mer
made to my next stop La Voie du Fleuve ! tough riding day - wind much more issue than rain, both persistent today.... whew...
mmmmm local fromagerie .....cheese
meal by roadside - no food stops - need food and hot chocolate - there there poor baby
first view of salt water - made it to the top of this hill east of Quebec City...
Gnoman keeps his eye out for me through the raining and blowing and slow going
half way for today well covered for wind and rain wind slowing progress, rain holding off...
Hommage to a frog: when transformation crosses the road, it may or may not get run over and end those aspirations - i may have run that one over - but i hope my swerve was enough -i will do my best to stay visible and predictable amd safe...
thanks to Marc at St. Lambert-de-Lauzon for a noce country unwind and some olympics catchup 10k run....
freeze dried breakfast -enchiladas, and a good cuppa remember to take the dessecant pouch out !!!
pounding rain - went back to sleep !

13 August 2016

ride a bike from Picasso's perspective
DAY 10 Progress: 76km To date: 910km Remaining: 1090km approx Weather: had called for rain all day, was beautiful sunrise and ride- windy Stayed along the shore for view of the St.Lawence Google for bikes was a pain today again once has been raining steady all evening
a relaxing stay in the country in a nice old house, Marc's cord wood home made structures and stone walls - wow thanks Marc and his border collie "Magique" caught up on some olympics !
another google maps for bikes bug...turn left now... fortunately kept going straight and it all worked out
what u looking at ? a real steed looking at Janis
Welcomed with open heart by Nicole amd Bruno, great dinner and talk about life, her Parkinson's since 2000, and how when both are inclined to sit and share, Airbnb can be a window from the host to the outside world and cultures through traveller's eyes, while the traveller connects with the host and their culture. Given both are adventurers simply by taking the chance through Airbnb, and those people tend to have open and positive outlooks on the world, it makes the journey more uplifting and special. So a solo trip is not an alone trip...
The artist / my Airbnb host and her garden !
Saw on the news this morning Hot air balloon festival in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu just east of Montreal aug 13-24 Some amazing balloons Can't turn back now ....
Bonjour aube ! Stunning dawn today

12 August 2016

DAY 9 Progress: 80km To date: 834km Remaining: 1166km approx Weather: 20-22 rain then cloud An American milestone: passed 500 miles today Typo read mules almost left it Imagine - passed 500 mules today - more memorable for sure and funnier Stayed along the shore Google for bikes was a pain today trying to route me away from the awesome shoreline vistas for no apparent reason. I ignored Google and all was way better!
when we talked about Parkinson's, which Nicole has had for 16 years, she has had to switch to the left hand to write and paint because of the shaking (she is left handed but was forced to write with the right...). She says the most frustrating thing is people finishing her sentences etc, not realizing they just need to slow down, and let the conversation happen at her speed.
Nicole's studio
Arrived safely in Leclercville At Nicole's AirBnb Atelier Chat Bleu She is an artist and the translation is "Studio of the Blue Cat" Dinner, studio tour and art talk and sit around the fire and chat waiting for the Perseid meteor shower !!!!! Cloudy :(
St Pierre Les Becquets
Met Felix, walking along the road. He is going from Revelstoke BC where he worked to Quebec City where he is going home to University. He started in April with his dog walked sleeping in hammock, through the Rockies snow and all , then biked across the prairies pulling a dog basket - to Ottawa where dad picked up bike and dog. And is walking Ottawa-Quebec City. 40k per day. On road 91 days. He said if you need shelter go to a dugout at the baseball diamond - covered typically ! Now that's a trip !
Working around closed road... Rerouted to main highway ... Great - at least a decent shoulder
A different eat work balance ?
From one end of the map to the other today St. François du Lac To Leclercville
Many awesome stone houses
So who is fenced in ? Maybe Gnoman would say "there is no fence".
Peaceful lower key and only a bit of wind
First day in the rain All day no escape Off we go

11 August 2016

DAY 8 Progress: 98km To date: 754km Remaining: 1246km approx Weather: 32 hot ! Keep moving Beautiful trail through Sorel .tense afternoon heat and traffic - glad Google diverted me a couple of times to quieter streets. Now to bed...
Made it to Nicolet, QUebec 98km 6:45min
So Google maps for Bikes is a mixed blessing. this time it diverted me off the main 132 Hwy with trucks and no shoulder, to a deserted peaceful country road... However last time big curse as I followed Google along a 45min trail that came to a dead end under a main bridge in the evening fortunately I was able to go Up along the bridge and get around a gate - losing valuable evening time so caveat emptor
Wow nice cycling paths as part Of Quebec's La Route Verte cycling network The pavement with dashed line is super practical - I would pick over crushed limestone any day Tons of people use it !!!
So white so blue Rio Tinto - iron and Titanium
Roadside stand " Downside" is you get to eat the whole basket at one sitting In the shade looking over the river
A rose from Linda xxx
École de Musique "Chasse Galerie" music school We saw this play last Christmas - lumberjacks make a deal with the devil to get back to Montreal to be with their girls for one night !
Merci à Carole Gite de la Madelon
Also time to roll on with the same smooth vibe as the large tanker going by
So in 1692, a 14 year old girl and here 2 younger brothers held the fort against attacks for 8 days !

10 August 2016

DAY 7 Progress: 76km To date: 656km Remaining: 1344km approx Weather: 32 mostly hot ! Slug to get around first the locks - having to wait nearly an hour, then Montreal even with the trails...afternoon heat and traffic....glad I shortened up the ride today when I booked this am...
Made it to Verchères safe and sound Gite de la Madelon Nice evening ride along the river - lots of green and nice churches !!!!
La route Verte est vraiement Verte
Heat stop after crazy busy 20min carrying bike up 3 sets of stairs then down the other side and across multiple lanes of traffic - in the green bike lane - respected but wow... Rode the gauntlet... 25km to go....
Au revoir Montréal ma vieille ville
So dry that the trees are dropping their leave in summer
Olympic stadium ! La ronde
Wow - grasshoppers everywhere - each roll brings dozens to jump
I told Gnoman that's where I did my first triathlon - racing around the Grand Prix track The speed !!!! He had that wry smile ...???
S2000.... On another note
Montreal as seen from the south shore west end
Wireless ear bud = The Doors One more thing then I'll shut up for the long ride along the seaway Lots of routing through towns, google maps in the ear means LA Woman.... Eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel Honestly one of best safety things to do !!!? But only in one ear so you also hear what's going on around !!!
What a newb... I got stuck at the lock to wait for the same boat I passed earlier. I watched the gate go up ! The Florence Spirit has the last laugh !!! 45min for lunch , and a chat with a cyclist who toured south of France for a week 30-50 days ride, 1 day hang out wherever...same for Vermont Sounds like a plan Linda !!!!
So many small hydro power stations !
Tomb of Kateri Tekakwitha
Desolation Boulevard Not a soul for miles on this road just us and the boat - meanwhile civilization is around the corner
Following along the canal playing tag with the Florence Spirit
Oka crisis seems a long time ago
Heading out on a scorcher round the south end of Montreal !! Should be a pretty ride with hopefully a cool breeze along the St Lawrence

9 August 2016

DAY 6 Progress: 107km To date: 580km Remaining: 1420km approx Weather: 32 mostly hot ! When Joanne said I was 1/4 done already - it made me feel sad - feels like 10-15% - much better w
Ephemeral indeed Life Party on Bob and Doug Real Quebec beer
These pictures suck compared to the human eye and brain - a mind boggling sunset so big sky and humans can Soak it in not cameras... Sitting Elevated, in Adirondack chairs, over the big lake and nature on display. Was truly one of most beautiful ever and for 45min at least combining pre sundown and beyond.... Speechless...was fun to FaceTime with Linda and show her the sunset !!!!
More crazy sunset pics from last night - from real camera...
D'Youville Manor is set in a wildlife refuge Lots to soak in.... I Made it !!! 107km
Scariest moments - I had wasted my time with Google Maps for bikes - led to a dead end after an hour of dirt roads in the evening - beta.... I ended up having to take a skyway or a tunnel to get across the river. I chose the tunnel - And I must say waiting at the red light for 5 minutes failed it up a few notches - one way, made me be obvious and try not to become a statistic - it did cross my mind that this could be it ..... Went under for several Minutes riding in the tunnel. Not this time or the other 3 times I was on a highway shoulder for too long....
The "Bicycle Brisé" or broken bike in English fixed my tire issue. Torn up by a pothole - probably where my phone flew off. Check out the next pic where he checked out the front tire and pulled out a thorn that leaked like crazy - imagine another flat in the wings. Now 2 new tires and tubes with another spare.... And my old rolled up tire as spare....not too much Au Cas ou.... I'm ready to go again....
Felt like run in the rapids In the picture - real highway 100/hr.... Only bridge over, cyclists allowed ! Dumps you from bike trail into highway and back to bike trail
Yup merge into the highway... Keep you posted
Bike venue is how autocorrect changed Bienvenue :) Let's see how the bike network is in Quebec
Been back on the road for an hour - all holding up, have scoped out a bike shop en route in 30k (90min or so). Lunch will have to wait - the steed comes first
So 3 minutes after leaving the South Korean travellers, I hear a big hissing from the back tire Pulled over into a park (lucky) and changed the tube - looks like tire damage so will look out for bike shop....and keep and eye on the tire - hopefully all good !