Sunday adventures and countdown clock

Sunday was another insanely windy day in Montreal. My initial plan was to gear up for a day trip and head out to St-Anne de Belleview. That plan was quickly blown away when I took Oden out for his morning walk. Heavy winds were frigid and roaring down from the North. Instead I decided to make a short trek out to La Cordee to get front bike racks, and check out a few more gear items.

So after a windy ride to La Cordee I bump into another brave cyclist who was locking up outside the store and got to chatting. He told me that he just crossed the Jacques Cartier bridge. That has been on my list for a while so I got directions from him and decided to take a longer route back.

At La Cordee I bought my 2 front racks (and got home to realize 1 was missing it’s bag of mounting brackets!) and bought Julie a really nice set of “dry bag” front panniers. These will ensure that her camera equipment stays safe and dry even in the worst conditions. I also looked at sleeping bags, but couldnt seem to summon anyone to help me out. Too bad I was in the spending mood and someone could have made commission on 2 sleeping bags! I am looking at getting synthetic bags that are rated to -7c as Julie gets cold easily and I want to make sure that if we have some frosty nights we both stay warm. The sleeping bags are pretty much the last piece of missing equipment.

So I load up and leave and find the entrance to the Jacques Cartier bridge. There is a dedicated bike path and let me tell you that bridge is really high up. If you have never been there I cannot even begin to tell you about the view of the city. I wish I had a decent camera but I only had my iTouch. I grabbed a pic of the bridge:

and of course a crappy self-pic:


So after marveling at all the views (and vowing to have a good camera on the next crossing) I rip across the bridge, assisted by the monster winds. I discovered that you can turn off to go to Isle St-Helene near La Ronde. I skipped that entrance but was back later. I continued across the bridge into Longeuil, where I recognized the trail and was able to double back toward Montreal on familiar routes. I was almost at the crossing that runs parallel to the train bridge and victoria. At this point you need to take an overhead crossing to get over the highway, where there is a lift bridge (for boats to pass under). Well I never made it there because the one and only place to cross over the highway is closed from April 16th for “approximately one month”. Soooo…. I double back (into the wind) eventually get back to the Jacques Cartier. This time I am going mostly uphill and into the wind (35km gusts 50km) and crawl back at about 10km/hr to the exit onto Isle St-Helene. I access the island only to find myself at the finish line of some sort of marathon, with hundreds of people “walking it off” and gathering in the street. Once I got through them it was safe sailing back home, albeit slow and windy. My total 35 km ride wore me out more than some I have done with double the distance.

So that was the extent of my weekend adventures.

Monday 5:30 came up fast and despite the temptation to reset my alarm and sleep in, I dragged myself out of bed. It was a beautiful morning and even better… no wind! I geared up and headed out solo (Julie worked really late!) and was treated to a beautiful sunrise on my ride to the end of the lachine trail, and switched over to the trail ending at the Doval limits. My morning ride was a gorgeous 30km and I was one of only a few on the trail as far as cyclists go. I saw a plethora of dogs, a bunch of robins, heard a wood pecker and a cardinal. When I stopped at the end of the trail for a water break a butterfly landed on my sleeve. I assume it was attracted to my orange coat. I was glad that I got up and went for that ride, it really set me in a good mood for a Monday morning. I plan to go fora ride again tonight, not sure where but seems like a good way to kick into the May training that I previously mentioned.

So tomorrow the countdown clock begins. May 1, 2013 is the anticipated departure date. That fills me with excitement and a bit of healthy nervousness. Planning is going well but there is so much to do in the next year so we are ready to succeed.

I have decided to a weekly log on Sundays as I dont have as much time to write a full blog those days. This will summarize the training for the week, goals reached and new goals for the next week. This way my readers can track my progress and I can share my thoughts.

Still to come is my trip planned for June, this will likely be the subject of tomorrow’s blog. Later this week I will also talk about bikes and equipment that I carry on a daily basis. At some point soon I will dig out all the gear for a photo to give my readers an idea of what Julie and I carry on distance trips.

Thanks for reading!

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