I am feeling worn and tired. Sorry for the delayed update, pics will follow ASAP
Quebec to Buie St Paul (3rd Sept 2017)
I decided to follow the Trans Canadian trail out of town (via the nearest Timmies). The trail follows the north shore of the St Lawrence which at this point is tidal and beginning to widen in to the delta.
Following the trail led onto country roads leading through small villages that had an Alpine kind of feel, I followed the low route for the tail only to find that not only did the trail stop but the path through Reserve Nationale Faune du cap-Torment is a non-bike path! So I had to back track and rejoin the main road… this proved interesting…. the quickest route took me straight up a huge hill gaining approximately 500m in 5km, and to make it even more fun my gears decided this moment to decide that I hadn’t tinkered with them enough lately so I lost not only granny gear but my second lowest too, I couldn’t actually make any headway so ended up walking the bike up. Not a happy bunny and I may have said one or two words about the Trans Canada Trail (I think I may write a review of the trail and pass it on to them too).
For the next 30km I gradually worked my up more hills, not a steep but without the climbing gears I was really struggling! Thankfully the last 20km was down hill but my legs were done, I had done 110km with 1200m of accent averaging 18kph. I would class this as a tough day.
That evening I stayed in a motel again. Buie St Paul comes across as a nice town and for some reason feels a bit like a small skiing town, not sure if it is though!
Buie St Paul to Saint-Irenee (4th Sept 2017)
God my legs are tired! And its going to be another tough day. I planned a short day and hope that my legs would feel better after the first few km… that was before I realised the first 7km had 300+m of accent. This was going to be a grind fest but luckily I had sorted the gears on my bike and the views were quite impressive.
Even with the views and the working gears I only managed 33km, and in that there was 700m of assent. I was destroyed. I need a rest day.
Saint-Irenee (5th Sept 2017)
My legs are burned out from the hills over the last few days, I had a wander down the beach and a look round the village but otherwise rested up. Can’t believe that after the amount of time I have been on the bike I can still burn out like this!
Saint-Irenee to Saint Simeon (6th Sept 2017)
A day off had helped the legs a bit, the first climb out of town (600m from where I stayed) was 17%… this didn’t help my legs. and this was the way the day went, up and down for the 49km to Saint Simeon. I didn’t see much of the scenery as I was struggling so much on the hills, each one being above 10%. The weather has also turned colder so on the downhills I am starting to get chilly, my motivation is defiantly getting low as and I must say as I go into the last 1000km of the trip this doesn’t seem to help, after all its just round the corner now.
Just a small one.
Saint Simeon to Rivier-du-Loup (7th Sept)
Very short day today, I crossed the St Lawrence by ferry but I didn’t fancy playing in the mist and drizzle so help up at a motel.
Rivier-du-Loup to Simeon to near Saint-Louis du Ha! Ha! (8th Sept 2017)
I’m still struggling, I just don’t fancy riding any more but I have distance that I must make, the day is chilly and some fog still left over. I am back to wearing sleeves.
I re-joined the trail and followed it south east, the trail tended to have a great surface of fine gravel over some kind of hard-pack meaning that the going was quite easy but the general gradient was up all day with a total accent of 550m, not too tough but noticeable. Although these trails are good and keep you away from the traffic, I must admit that the scenery doesn’t seem to alter much, its trees and some swampy areas and that’s about it, also they tend to follow the roads in the area and when my legs start to get tired I really do begin to wonder if I should have been on the roads, the riding would be easier and I would probably make better time…
Saint-Louis du Ha! Ha! to Edmundston (9th Sept 2017)
First place I passed today was the entertainingly named town of Saint-Louis du Ha! Ha!, apparently named for the fact that people make that noise when they come to a boundary or obstacle…
At about midday the weather started to look like it was turning and not long after the heavens opened, luckily these trails are really well maintained and have rest stops where the old stations on the rail line used to be, this is a distance of about 10km between them, and I managed to get to one just before the torrent started. I ended up sat in the shelter watching the rain blow across the lakes for nearly an hour before it cleared up and blue skies came out. As would be expected the trail was a tad damp and made for some interesting riding for a while.
At about 60km I crossed over from Quebec to New Brunswick and, for once at a Canadian provincial border, nothing seemed any different.
About 20km later I arrived grimy and covered in grit from the trail, I checked into a motel, had a shower and collapsed onto the bed. I just feel tired all the time at the second yet don’t seem to get a good nights sleep! After a nap I headed out scavenging for food and ended up at the old faithful Boston Pizza.
Edmundston (10th Sept 2017)
I only managed to get a few hours sleep last night as the neighbours were coming and going at all hours so I decided to have another rest day and ended up sleeping most of it, what a waste but I obviously needed I just hope I can sleep later!
Edmunston to Perth-Andover (11th Sept 2017)
I started the morning with a smile at Timmies this morning before heading back onto the trails, they had started to get rougher as I followed the St John River, its also funny to think that just over this stretch of river lies the US, there is nothing separating them apart from a 20m wide stretch of slow moving water.
It was another uneventful day on the trails, a brief stop at Grand Fall which is not so grand due to the damn they have built at the top of the falls, to talk to the tourist information about potential routes and a spot of lunch before heading back onto the trail. For a tiring but uneventful conclusion to the day in Perth-Andover
I needed to do some bike maintenance tonight as the gears aren’t working properly again, I have a feeling the rear cassette and the derailleur may both be wearing out but I will nurse them through as far as I can, its not long till the finish line now.
Perth-Andover to Hartland (12th Sept 2017)
I have to say the trails have started to get tougher, they seem to be less maintained and more broken, in fact I am beginning to worry about what it might be doing to bits of the bike and to me. My hands lost feeling in them after about an hour and a half riding and I am starting to just feel battered.
The trail was pretty much the same as before and I was getting bored so had a short 60km day, I know tomorrow will be a long one so time to rest up and get as much energy in me as possible.
Hartland to McAdam (13th Sept 2017)
I am moving slightly away from the river now too which means that there are more hills, none too bid but with the gravel under tire its not easy getting Eve to move up them. I have been using the lower gear ranges more and more, just as well I fixed them!
As today wore on I just got more and more tired so found the quickest way of the trails and onto the road…. it turns out that the main road round this are is gravel and in about as bad condition as the trial, I am really feeling battered and I am getting chafe for the first time in months due to the broken surface!
I got to the town of McAdam at about 6pm and headed for a motel, I needed a shower and a bed… the motel had closed…. There was a b&b…. I couldn’t get hold of them by phone or by knocking…. so I headed for the campsite and they were kind enough to give me a free night as I looked in such a sorry state and they were amazed by what I am doing. If I have learned anything on this trip it is the more sorry for yourself you appear and the more crazy you sound, the more people will look after you. It’s enough to restore your faith in humanity. Now time to put some cream on my sore bum, eat a freeze dried meal and get some sleep.
McAdam to St Andrews (14th Sept 2017)
My bum is feeling a bit better but am tired as I only got about 3hrs sleep as my imagination was working overtime, every little noise last night I was sure was a bear… the campsite was in a wood so there was a frigging lot of noises.
The day started ok, my legs were tired but I could deal with that, the road was good apart from a couple of stretches of roadworks but nothing to worry about, but as the day went on the thing that hurts me most happened, the temperature increased and reached 28 degrees centigrade, I don’t deal well in the heat, it saps all my energy. I drank over 3ltrs of water in the 4hrs ride (a lot for me) and was wanting more. It was taking everything out of me and was starting to make me feel unwell. If it wasn’t for this the ride would have been beautiful, especially the last 20km going onto the peninsular of land St Andrews is situated on, the hills overlooking the bay and out to the Bay of Fundy. I was quite looking forward to getting to town… mainly to recover and rest.
St Andrews (15th Sept 2017)
I have spent the day exploring the town and went on a whale watching tour on a tall ship! I had the pleasure of watching grey seals basking on rocks in the Bay of Fund. Also saw harbour porpoise, minkie whales and even a few finback whales, which are the second biggest creature in the world and it was probably only 30m from the boat!
I like this town, its pretty, the people are nice and the food is good. I am feeling contented, just a shame I cant stay longer!