July 11: Green Valley to Montreal (~128km)

Bikely map

Having stayed up kinda late the night before, we rose a little late. our host then made us a nice big breakfast including sausages cooked in beer, and eggs with fresh spinach from his garden. Follow that up with more pleasant chatter and, needless to say, we more than a little late getting going (at least by my standards so far for days where miserable-weather-avoidance didn’t influence the pace of morning activities).

The Montreal-dwelling friend had warned me (as had other people I encountered earlier in the ride) that road maintenance standards fall of dramatically upon crossing the Quebec border. Sure enough, while quite rough, the roads certainly weren’t the worst-maintained roads that I’d encountered (that distinction having to go to the stretch of Saskatchewan Road 48 which the highway department there seemed to have given up on maintaining as paved; second place going to the section of Hwy 3 in BC with the overly wide and wandering rumble strips). In spite of that, I was still mightily glad to cross the border into Quebec, and finally be done with riding across Ontario:

Shortly after getting into Quebec, we started missing turns (and making the occasional wrong turn in an effort to get back to our route). In retrospect, I’m most inclined to attribute this to the unique combination of factors where not only are there multiple roads to complicate wayfinding, but there was company and pleasant conversation to distract from that particular chore (as the route we were trying was largely new to both of us, so…).

Eventually we got to Hudson, and took the ferry over to Oka. I somehow neglected to photograph the ferry, which is disappointing because it’s still an old barge/tug setup (and neither the barge nor the tug are particularly fancy; think large raft being pulled behind some guy’s motorboat and you’ll have the general idea). Moreso because there’s a new ferry there (and a single vessel at that) which looks slated to replace the old ferry.

Once across the river, we were along a route more familiar to my friend and stopped making quite so many wrong/missed turns. That said, the late start combined with all the backtracking, stopping for directions, etc. meant that we got into Montreal too late for me to pick up the better replacement back rim for my bike, and that said pickup would need to be done in the morning (as would the wheelbuilding, which would mean another rather late start). At one point, I was tempted to just load us onto a commuter train into town to make it to the bike shop before it closed, but there wasn’t a train scheduled that would have actually accomplished that. So instead we just continued riding, and got in some time around 10:30pm. my friend’s wife (another internet friend who had actually introduced me to her husband as someone else interested in severe bike craziness) had a dinner waiting for us (said dinner had in fact been waiting for us for several hours) and after washing, eating, chatting, and making my (rather brief) notes for the day, I turned in about as late as I had the night before.

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