Day 116 Victoriaville to Richmond, Quebec: Deja Vu - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

August 24, 2011

Day 116 Victoriaville to Richmond, Quebec: Deja Vu


The first motel we tried last night wanted $140 before tax. Yikes, we thought, this is sure not Idaho. We headed down the road and the second one (after a bit of hard staring from us) settled for $100. This turned out to be your full on quality motel. We could tell because there were two pieces of chocolate on our pillows. There was also a dressing gown, shampoo, coffee, sewing kit, and etc.

One bike spent the night in a storage room behind the front desk
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We were also told that the price included breakfast. We of course have seen included breakfasts before. It's usually toast, apples, corn flakes type stuff. If advertised as "hot", it means instant scrambled eggs and sausage, and/or the chance to make your own waffle.

Imagine our surprise to find a flat out fruit and croissant type spread.

French pastries
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Many fruits
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Never offer stuff like this to cyclists on an all you can eat basis!
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A staffer holds the door.
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It took a small bit of doing to find the bike path again, but we did get on it.

Dodie chose the road over the Tim Hortons. (Of course she had a pile of stuff from the breakfast buffet in reserve).
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We asked directions of a man who had his daughter in tow with this gizmo.
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I think she likes the thing but did not like the delay!
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It's not like we never overtake anything on the trail.
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Back on the trail, it was the same now familiar story of super duper rest stops and great signage.

Another great stop
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The Velogare was done up really nicely.
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Montreal is still three sleeps away.
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The end of one trail and the simultaneous start of another.
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The trails have many local names but they have been seamlessly integrated by the Route Verte.
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Now after a half day more on the trail a slight touch of ennui is beginning to creep in. Being a rail trail, the grade is unchanging. The surface since Plessisville has been a very acceptable fine grade of packed gravel. Howevert this plus a consistent headwind has made for a fair amount of rolling resistance. So the experience is becoming a little bit like an exercise bike with a moderate resistance set, and you get to pedal more or less the same for hours and hours.

At one point I asked Dodie whether she missed the thrill of having 50,000 pounds of semi-trailer bearing down on you from behind and passing one foot off your bar with the sound of a tornado. Dodie (being sane!) denied there was any thrill in this. Hmmm, I guess I agree. But maybe they will pop a little hill in here for some added interest!

Oh, oh, those hills are getting close
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A giant cycling centre
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A defaced sign, one of several, with the English spray painted out. I added my own gafitti to it. It says "It is not the English that are the problem, the problem is ignorance like this".
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Dodie and Claude Rochette. Claude lives in Richmond and was out for a jaunt to Victoriaville. He guided us to the good camping in town.
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The trail has deteriorated a bit here in Cantons de l'Est compared to the previous county.
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Nearing Richmond we came to these gates in advance of some train tracks. Gates normally constrict the entrance to the trails, to keep unwanted motor vehicles out. They are a bit of a bug, because the clearance to our straight bars and protruding mirror is slightly tight. This gate, however, had lots of room.

Steve had poo pooed the sign's advice to dismount
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So I said, well we sure will not need to dismount here, not that we dismount at any of the gate. It turns out that the people who put up the dismount sign were not concerned about the gate, but about the tracks. The result: Deja Vu on the great Souris, Manitoba flying leap. This time though we were going really slow and Dodie therefore fell slow. This gave me time for a photo or two!

Dodie begins to pick herself off the tracks while I wield the camera.
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The BoB is not happy
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The tracks
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Not nearly as dramatic as last time
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Richmond, Quebec
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The CIBC building was erected in 1859
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The history of the casse croute (snack bar) by the bridge. There seems to have been a major flood in recent memory.
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Twenty two kinds of poutine on offer (including "regular").
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Twenty dollars worth of junk food. Actually it was great, and included two cans of Pepsi. The people in Quebec, perhaps as an urban legend, totally prefer Pepsi to Coke. This legend was so strong in our youth that "Pepsi" was a slightly derogatory term for a French Canadian.
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But the place is cool
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The river at Richmond. It's the St. Francis.
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The bridge is narrow but not scary.
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Well be careful what you wish for. It's one km uphill to camping Melbourne. When we asked directions in the little grocery store in town, ad older looking lady (like maybe early 70's) directed us to the snack bar and also to the camping. she elaborated about the hill: She has lived here all her life and used to live up the hill as a little girl. Each day she walked down to go to school. That is except for snowy days, when her mother would take her up and down in a horse drawn wagon. At the same time the wagon could carry the family's groceries. One time a dog scared the horse and the wagon overturned. There ensued a circus in which the lady and her mother chased the cans of Carnation Milk and etc. down the hill. All this was told in French. I didn't catch it all but Dodie filled in the gaps. Later it turned out the lady spoke really perfect English. We are glad most people have given up the rude practice of switching languages. This gives us a chance to learn. Also, out here, we have the priviledge of talking to people like Claude Rochette, who we are pretty sure did not speak English at all.

It's a fully one km hill up to Camping Melbourne
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The church has a slate roof. Richmond is apparently famous for slate roofs.
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Camping Melbourne. $20 per night.
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We relink with Mathieu and Melina. Here they combine heads with Dodie to scope our the route ahead. We had decided to bypass Sherbrooke already, and they added the news that apparently the Route Verte had been washed out in places i that direction.
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We learned that Mathieu and Melina are post grad students in geography at University of Quebec (Geomorphology and Urban Studies of Brazil).

The "lake" near our tent. Swimming is possible, but it's really cool now.
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Still in a huddle about the route. It's a bit of a cyclist party. Some folks who had flown here from Nova Scotia to cycle pulled in too. Only in speaking to them did we discover that Mathieu speaks pretty much perfect English.
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Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 6,718 km (4,172 miles)

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