‘Cross Canada: Days 38 & 39

Day 38

Well. I lied. Today wasn’t a short day. On paper, a short day was planned for, but the wind threw us a curve ball. With some straight headwind on tap for tomorrow, we decided to turn today into a longer day (actually the anticipated average length of 5 hours, we’ve just been finishing the days quicker than expected).

Not wanting to be discovered by the morning park-goers we made short work of packing up and moving our morning onto Tim’s. This may have been a record pack-up; going from waking up to on the bikes in less than 30min – (25min, to be exact, but who’s counting (Oliver)).Wanting to spend some time in Ottawa, we decided to knock out the morning 70km in one go. After a smattering of winding backroads, a handful of honks, several “why do you do the things you do” gesticulations given, and one “move over, asshole!” shout received, we made it to the place where many important people in our country gather…to do yoga. Also, politicians.After snapping some pics and talking to some people we tried one two three nearby shops for some Ottawa or Ontario stickers. No luck. We meandered our way over to the National Gallery and tried the expansive gift shop there. No luck. So we wandered into Byward Market for some tasty Mexican lunch.Refuelled and definitely overheating in this humidity, we sought refuge in the mall. This also seemed like a good place to look for stickers. One two shops later we left empty-handed…except for some Gatorade and candy, of course. There’s plenty of Canada stickers to be found everywhere, just no Ottawa or Ontario ones. Tired of sticker-hunting we decided to move on with the day and take the scenic route out of town along Sussex Drive to see the embassies and politician’s houses.We made one more pit stop on our way out of town to see…planes!! Finally, at the Air & Space Museum we found some stickers. Not Ottawa or Ontario-specific, but they had some nice air force ones. With stickers stuck, we made our way to Rockland.After a brief refueling stop in Rockland, we pushed on another 60km down the road to Hawkesbury. This means we only have around 100km to do in the bad wind tomorrow! We had a very quebecoise dinner of St. Hubert’s, and wondered why this part of Ontario isn’t just part of Quebec.Tomorrow we make for Montreal, where we’ll take another rest day and catch up with some of Oliver’s friends.

Day 39

Once again, we made short work of packing up and relocated to a Tim’s. Today was actually going to be a short day since we had a specific destination in Montreal. After much faffing about around town, we finally hit the road for what would be the day to end our 30kph streak; having not had a day below 30 since the day to Drumheller. Straight away we were into Quebec with it’s bumpy – albeit, quiet and fun – backroads and a just-strong-enough-to-be-a-nuisance headwind.By a result of being on La Route Verte (Quebec’s bike trail system) and it being a beautiful day, we saw tons of cyclists out. A little strange since we hadn’t really seen many cyclists for quite some time. After passing at least a dozen dispensaries in a couple kilometers stretch, we stopped for lunch in the town of Oka.
From here, we hopped on the separated bike path and said good-bye to any speed we had going for us. Though a separated bike path through forests and fields was a nice change.Soon enough though we were into Laval and back on (reasonably well-signed) city roads. We only got lost a handful of times as we made our way around Laval and then into Montreal proper and eventually to MEC Montreal. We had some time to kill and some parts to get, so we hung out at MEC – as one does – for an hour or so.
Eventually, we braved the city traffic and set-off across the downtown core to Oliver’s friend’s apartment in the heart of Montreal. Managing to not get lost despite all the construction we were only a couple minutes late.
After a week straight of riding, though it’s flown by, it’s time for a rest day and to explore more of Montreal in this sweltering heat!

Cheers and Ride On!

-Evan

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