Stumble Upon: Day 65 - Cornwall Ontario to Beauharnois Quebec - And Then We Pedalled...... Cross Canada 2015 - CycleBlaze

August 6, 2015

Stumble Upon: Day 65 - Cornwall Ontario to Beauharnois Quebec

We started the day with only a vague plan of ending up on the south shore of the St Lawrence near Montreal. This would then set us up for connecting up with some of Quebec's Route Vert cycle network to take us through some of the eastern township area and then North to Quebec City.

All of this was more notion than plan when we set of this morning. However as we sit here tonight it has miraculously solidified into a fairly firm and good looking plan. It didn't seem like this at 6 pm though.

We got a fairly late start this morning. The die for this was cast the night before. We had a really really good, but late Thai dinner last night. We also had a few Beau's Lugtread Lagers. Some of you might remember the cool beer glasses I posted a few days ago from Wapous. These were Beau's glasses. Not only are the glasses cool, the beer is very good too, and a perfect complement to the delicious Thai dishes we had. The long and the short of all this is that I was stuffed when we left the restaurant last night and promptly fell asleep when we got back to the hotel. Kirsten characterizes it moe as "passing out" but I think that's a little harsh. Regardless, the journal didn't get written last night. It had to be done in the morning. That's why we got a late start. Thanks Beau.

Really good Beau's Lugtread from Ottawa - had some more of this in Cornwall!
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We were pedalling away just after 10 on good bike paths and or good shoulders on county road 2. We were rapidly approaching Quebec and it dawned on me, with the help of several large roadside signs, that Glengarry county, where my ancestors came to in the late 1700's, borders Quebec. Probably only interesting to me, but I get to write what I'm interested in.

Glengarry county, where Ontario began! My ancestors came here in the late 1700's. My great aunts, who were born here in the late 1890 - 1900 period still spoke Gaelic
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The weather had cooled off but the wind was still strong from the north west. We were largely traveling east or north east so this made for really good biking conditions.

About 20 km out of Cornwall we met Yves and Norman from Montreal. They were just competing a circuit from Montreal down he south bank of the St Lawrence, returning on the north bank. They were very helpful with information on cycling in Quebec.

Yves and Norman from Montreal ... Heading home after a tour around the St Lawrence
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Our last bits of pedalling in Ontario. Much much nicer than when we entered!
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We were soon in Quebec. Everyone that we have met on this trip has commented in their blogs and e-mails on how good the cycling is in Quebec (and that points out the fact that they are all well ahead of us now too!). After a few hours we agree with the consensus view.

The biking here is great. Separate bike lanes for the most part or well marked and segregated bike lanes on the roads and highways. And lots of people out riding, which begs the classic chicken or the egg debate. I'm firmly of the view of egg first (ie infrastructure) and then the chickens (bikers) will come.

Someone else coming home. Kirsten was born and raised in Arvida Quebec
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We were on trials like this for a good portion of the way from the border to Valleyview
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Our vague plan started to get a little more form once we hit the border. We were going to bike into Valleyview in Le Grand Isle, look for a bike shop or a bookstore, and pick up a copy of the Route Vert Guidbook. This would tell us everything we needed to know to plan our trip across the province.

Things were working out nicely. Bike paths like the one above, some even going by parks with outdoor hockey rinks with their own artificial ice plants! No wonder Quebec produces so many great hockey players, this is how it should be done everywhere!

Outdoor rink with its own artificial ice plant! Great mix of old time tradition with modern convienence.
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Our new plan seemed to be working perfectly, as soon as we rolled into Valleyfield we stumbled on a really good bike shop. Luc and Didier unfortunately didn't have a Route Vert guide, but they did have lots of advice on routes and maps for the local area. Thanks guys!

Didier and Luc at Velo Station in Valleyfield
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Okay, so we'll have to look somewhere else for the Route Vert guide. For tonight we'd just pull out Google again and find a camp ground or hotel. No problem, campground at Mercier, 57 km away, a little out of our way but doable. Off we go on the well marked Route Vert route 3 out of Valleyview. Once again really nice biking on bike paths though woods and beside the St Lawrence. The only flaw in the plan was that it was after 6 pm by the time we got to Beauharnois and we still had 30 km to go to get to what might be a campsite. That's where our next stumble upon came.

Rather than rely on Mr Google, we thought we would give the Apple girl a try. We asked her if there we any hotels near us. The prospects looked grim. We were beside an aluminum smelter and a large hydroelectric power plant. However, Ms. Siri, in her dulcet tone, said the Hostillerie du Suroit was 5 km away. A quick phone call and 20 minuites later we were checked into a comfortable and very affordable room looking out onto the St Lawrence. Thirty minutes later we were in the very nice dinning room having salad and salmon (me) and soup de jour and moules (Kirsten) and a bottle of Pouilly Fuisse. And guess what, this place is one of the places listed for route 3 in the Route Vert guide book. And guess what else, they had a copy of the guide book and lent it to us.

We now have a plan, and route, that will connect up parts of Route Vert 1, 3, 4 and 8 to take us all the way through Quebec. If the rest of the routes are as good as what we were riding today it's going to be a sweet time in La Belle Provence.

Song of the day:

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah Mclauchlin

Seems to fit with our day today

Historical moment of the day:

I'll give the nod to the McLeods colonizing Glengarry county all those many years ago.

We will be looking for these over the next week
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Cleaned up and ready for a relaxing dinner
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Today's ride: 109 km (68 miles)
Total: 5,896 km (3,661 miles)

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