Day 139: Riviere du Loup to Degilis

There’s a pathway that extends all the way from Riviere du Loup to Edmunston, and we had heard good things about it, so today we decided to take it. From the moment we left the campsite however we seemed to go uphill. Having ridden through town to reach the campground the night before we knew this would be the case at least to leave town. We climbed and climbed, very steep grades, before things seemed to level out a bit and we reached the beginning of the path.

The path is made of crushed gravel and wasn’t too difficult for cycling. However, there was a slow and steady climb for nearly the first 50km it seemed, and combined with the gravel, made for very slow cycling. Otherwise there is absolutely no need to complain about this pathway. Though it was a rail trail, it had many turns and the climbs did distract from the sometimes monotonous riding. We road mostly through forested areas, and every 10km or so there seemed to be a rest stop with a couple picnic tables, a toilette, and even a couple spots which offered camping, a fire pit and a grill for cooking.

Late in the afternoon when we reached Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac we stopped for lunch. This was a great spot right on the lake. From here we rode along the lake until we reached Degilis. We had hoped to make it to Edmunston tonight but the slow riding didn’t make that possible, though still any 100km day is a good day.

Day 138: Montmagny to Riviere du Loup

Again an early start – we’re on a roll! We had even finished our restaurant breakfast before 9am. We had the wind at our backs all day today and it was amazing. It was the kind of wind we were facing many days in California, but this time we had the chance to see how amazing it is when that will is helping you and not hindering you.

Not too far into the morning ride we passed the Quebec Maritime Museum. In the back I could see two large ships, potentially interesting, so we took a closer look. While there we could see they were setting up for a show and we were told some singers would soon perform, and that it should be good. We sat for the show and they certainly were good. It was a group of men from New Brunswick performing maritime music from many years ago.

Riding on, we rode past many small towns, most of which we picturesque and of interest. The next stop came when passing a small road-side cassse-croute which looked like a bit more than your average casse-croute. Sure enough, inside there were many newspaper articles and write ups about the restaurant, so it seemed we picked the right place. I enjoyed an ‘Asian inspired’ veggie burger which was a nice change.

We’ve transitioned again into a new landscape. The mountainous terrain is now on our side of the river too, starting first with small ‘button’ rocks, and now with a larger mountain range surrounding us. We passed up and over one small mountain range, and on the other side the temperature dropped significantly – possibly 5 to 10 degrees it felt like. We will see if these cooler temperatures will stick with us as we will soon be facing coastal temperatures again.

Arriving in Riviere du Loup we picked up Subway sandwiches before we rode the long and mostly downhill way to the campground.

Day 137: Neuville to Montmagny

Another early start today saw us on the road and riding 1 minute before 8am. We passed many more cyclists today as we approached Quebec City. Consistently waving, smiling, head-nodding and saying ‘bonjour’ to the many who passed by. The closer we got to the city the busier the route became. At one point there was even a cyclist drafting behind me – I always assume they must want to pass me but maybe he enjoyed being able to take it easy for a bit.

We rode right into Quebec City along the pathway and stopped at the market for lunch. There we enjoyed a long leisurely lunch. Then we went to find the ferry across to Levi. While waiting for the ferry a family came and talked to us – the kids being a bit shy to use their English, but we were happy to be able to practice french with Norman. It’s been so nice to speak French over the last few days and not have people immediately speak English back to us. Jesse spoke for the duration of the ferry with Norman while I took some pictures and walked a bit around the ferry.

On the other side we had great views back to Quebec city – certainly the best location for any picnic. The farther east we rode the more the pathway cleared up and again we seemed to have it to ourselves. We stopped for ice cream – which seemed like a good idea at the time, but ended up leaving us feeling ill and taking an extended break at the next nice rest stop we found. At least it was a very nice rest stop area right on the water in Berthier-sur-mer.

In the town of Monmagny we setup camp with a waterfront and waterfall view – at least until an RV pulled up and parked directly in front of us, but the sun had already set so it wasn’t too disappointing.

Day 136: Trois Rivieres to Neuville

It now feels like we’ve entered the ‘real’ Quebec. Where its possible that our french is better than others English, so we’re actually able to practice without who we’re speaking with to instantly switch to English. We are passing quaint small towns with a different feel, and generally offer pleasant riding with many things to look at even if we don’t necessarily feel the need to stop.

I’ve also noticed the gardens – we have passed many vegetable gardens, and they look (nearly) as good and organized as those in Mennonite and Amish country. It seems every small town has a large and spectacular church, we pass many fresh fruit and vegetable stands on the road, and pass numerous cyclists along the way.

There are also many rest stops along the – we don’t have to worry much about finding a washroom or having enough water. We even found a rest stop specifically for cyclists today, even including an outdoor misting station too cool off at.

Day 135: Montreal to Trois Rivieres

An early start, especially considering we were leaving Montreal, and we were even joined by our neighbour Peck, who rode a fair distance with us before turning back. This was the first time we took Montreal’s bike pathways east off the island. We had taken them west many times before. We did know the turns we wanted when there could potentially be any confusion so that was certainly helpful. Otherwise the ride off-island was not overly spectacular, going past many industrial buildings and the working Port of Montreal.

Once off the island we had some nice waterfront riding again. It was a long way to Trois Rivieres but we made it without a problem – we must now be getting used to the earlier sunsets.