Suggested Listening: Roses by OutKast
Total Distance Cycled: 982km
Trois-Rivières to Quebec City: 132km
With it raining pretty hard while we got ready we opted to take our time in hopes that it might pass before we set off. While we ate breakfast Claude looked up the weather for us and looked like the rain was passing through so we’d hopefully get lucky and miss it. Breakfast this morning was another hearty bowl of cereal with peanut butter, banana, and strawberries. It’s been such a treat this trip starting each day off with a solid meal instead something like a meal replacement bar.
After saying our goodbyes and getting some photos we set off towards Quebec City with the rain having completely gone before we left. Patience paid off. As we left I couldn’t help, but wish we could have stayed longer. Claude and Maryse were so sweet and it was so nice getting to spend some time with people that Shantel cared for so much. I loved seeing her so happy around them. Perhaps one day we will get a chance to visit again.
Despite hearing about a heatwave hitting southern Quebec this morning it was actually a bit cool. The cool weather and overcast sky meant that the sun’s heat which has been draining our energy wasn’t so bad. If I’m being honest the first 90km of the ride felt like it went really well. My left knee was bothering me again for a bit, but not as bad as yesterday and it felt like we were making good time. Besides a couple quick roadside stops to relieve our bladders we only stopped once all morning. The morning stop was at a Metro grocery store so Shantel could use the washroom and we could get a few treats for the road. Shantel picked us up a couple of Cliff bars each and a 1 litre box of chocolate soymilk. We saved the cliff bars for when we were riding, but polished off the chocolate soymilk pretty quickly.
Powered by the chocolate soymilk the kilometers seemed to fade away in front of us. My right knee continued to nag me, but if I was careful not to push too hard I could avoid the worst of the pain. It was just a few minutes after noon when the sun decided to show its face. Naturally it occurred just as we were making our way up one of the bigger hills of the day. As the sun continued to beat down on us we opted to ride for a bit more before deciding to stop for lunch. Our options were Subway or A&W. Shantel wanting the veggies we opted for Subway. I couldn’t help, but laughs dn send a photo to my coworker Christine as she had just said earlier today that I hadn’t had enough Subway this trip. We were both quite hungry we so opted to each get a footlong and than share another one afterwards. While we ate another cyclist on tour came in as well. I didn’t end up chatting with him at all because I just assumed he spoke French. It might have been a poor assumption, but I based it on how well he ordered his food.
After finishing off our second round of food and a quick shoulder massage from Shantel (she’s the best) it was time to get back on the bikes and finish off our last 44km of the day. Stepping outside felt like being slapped in the face by the sun. Time had passed quickly in Subway and it was now probably the hottest and most humid part of the day. I consistently found myself wiping my forehead to try to stop the sweat from dripping into my eyes. I wasn’t very good at it. We of course persevered (like we had any other choice) and kept moving along. The ride felt pretty good for the both of us besides the heat and the road conditions overall were pretty good. Most of the time we had a fairly wide and smooth paved shoulder. The few low points were a 3km stretch of gravel road and a handful of respectable hills – one of which was gravel. One of the highlights of riding for me though came right after the gravel hill as we got a freshly paved 1.5km downhill. The best part was that it wasn’t steep so we coasted down it quickly, but not the terrifying break neck speeds that scare me.
It was around 4:30pm when we arrived at our hosts (Suzanne – the sister of Claude) which means this was the earliest finish of the ride so far. Shantel and I both felt quite good about it. Once introductions with Suzanne were made, Shantel and I fell into our regular stretching and showering routine. Once we were cleaned up we went for a refreshing swim in Suzanne pool. It has been such a treat having a pool to swim in the few days of the ride it’s going to be hard not having one tomorrow night at our Air BnB.
After showering again after our swim Shantel spent some time talking to Suzanne. Since I speak no French and Suzanne speaks limited English so we weren’t able to chat much with each other. Shantel provided translation when necessary. I think she understood how grateful I am for the support on our ride. On top of hosting us, letting us do laundry (and the hanging out clothes for us) she also offered to drive to a nearby restaurant we were hoping to indulge at for dinner. We had a feast at an amazing place called L’Gros Luxe. I know we still have two weeks left in the trip, but I’m calling it now – we won’t have a better meal. The food was so tasty and the service was great! We spilt a vegan poutine with vegan chicken (that was amazing), Shantel had this super yummy burrito (half of which we have left for a snack tomorrow), and I had some of the best tasting vegan deep fried chicken on a sandwich I’ve ever had before. I could have eaten 10 of them. For dessert we split some an amazing chocolate brownie and chocolate ice cream. The whole meal and night our with Shantel was such a great way to celebrate finishing our first week on the road.
After the walk home from the restaurant we both got straight to business on trying to share about our day. It’s worth mentioning that while all of this happened we reached our fundraising goal! From this point forward everything is bonus. I am hopeful we can fundraise even more though since the money is we used by the Alzheimer Society of Canada. We also reached another milestones yesterday worth mentioning. As of yesterday we we surpassed the first quarter of our riding distance.
With tomorrow’s ride including a short ferry rand about 160km of cycling we have along day ahead of us so I’m calling it a night now to get some rest.