July 12: Montreal to Berthierville (~100km)

Bikely map

Having had a late night coming into Montreal, there was something of a late morning, and by the time I had eaten some breakfast and picked up the new rim for the rear wheel, it was already pretty much afternoon. Still having to rebuild the wheel with the new rim (a process which my host got a couple of pictures of), I wasn’t really ready to go until some time around 4pm. By this point, I’d already asked my good friend Gavin to just meet me in Montreal instead of along the way. (He’d offered to join me for the stretch from Montreal to Quebec City in something of a support vehicle role–not quite hanging out behind me with his 4-ways on, since that sort of thing kinda creeps me out, but carrying the vast bulk of my stuff to prearranged meetup points avery 10-20km or so).

Gavin arrived in Montreal and we were able to get going at around 4:45pm, AKA pretty alarmingly late. Fortunately, there were tailwinds down the St. Lawrence valley, so it wasn’t terribly difficult to sustain a pace in the neighbourhood of 30-35km/h.

What was difficult was following La Route Verte out of Montreal. From a quick glance at the map, it appeared to follow the old Chemin du Roy, which is a rather nice bike route, and also a pretty direct highway between Montreal and Quebec City. In finer detail however, La Route Verte frequently followed along on a bike trail or local road a few blocks north or south of the Chemin du Roy. This was particularly troublesome in nearby suburbs of Montreal, where it seemed to almost randomly weave through residential streets linked by catwalks, making it pretty much impossible for to drive ahead to decent rendezvous points.

On top of this, several of these suburbs had their own local bike routes which would overlap with La Route Verte for a short bit, and then turn off with a really generic-looking bike route sign. In at least a few of these cases, there was no sign indicating that La Route Verte did not follow the local bike route, so I’d follow the local bike route and get halfway lost in the process.

Needless to say, La Route Verte (initially) completely failed to impress me, and I decided to just stick to Le Chemin du Roy until Quebec City. As it got dark, I discovered that motorists (at least in Quebec), in addition to their tendency not to recognize cyclists as oncoming traffic for the purpose of deciding whether or not they can pass, also fail to recognize cyclists as oncoming traffic when deciding whether or not to dim their brights.

Eventually, failing to find a campground far enough along to have covered a decent distance for the day, but close enough not to require riding to some ungodly hour, we settled into a nice little motel just off the highway.

With the lateness (and consequent hurriedness) of this day’s ride, I didn’t take any pictures.

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