Home > Day to Day > Ontario to Quebec to Ontario to Quebec again — Ottawa, Ontario to Hudson, Quebec

Ontario to Quebec to Ontario to Quebec again — Ottawa, Ontario to Hudson, Quebec

Sleep of the dead. I was really tired following the Ottawa U. event, a night at Jon’s wonderful parents’ place, and the magical day in Almonte. I got into my dorm room, showered and fell asleep. In that order. And about that fast!
Great room. Great cafeteria. No in-room Wifi. Carleton deserves credit for its facilities — the best to date. Apartment for two felt almost new. Wonderful shower and bathroom. Fantastic breakfast. Would have loved WiFi access in the room but, then again, when would I have used it? And the  military bands marching in the parking lot were an impressive bonus!
Bram Moerman. Showed up at Carleton at 08:30, as arranged by Les Humphreys from Almonte. Bram gave us expert tour guide insights as we rode along the Colonel By Canal, through the downtown area, onto Sussex Drive and from there on the bike path leading out of the city. You couldn’t hope for a better combination of guide and cyclist.
Scenic route
– Three rivers converge. The Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau. Spectacular vistas from the heights near Percy Falls and eastward.

– Spectacular buildings. Embassies, government buidldings, official residences, private mansions — a steady stream of eye-catching architecture, ranging from beautiful to dated to gaudy and back again!

– Fantastic trails. Some of the best I have experienced to date. The National Capital Commission deserves a lot of credit for their achievements in this regard. And the trails are very well used, by cyclists and runners and roller-bladers and hikers! What a gift!

– Steam engine. Perfectly restored and pumping steam into … a big corn-boiling vat! Part of a summer farmers’ market. Very cool!
Best ferry. Actually three of them, constantly carrying cars and bikes and pedestrians across the Ottawa River. The more traffic the more ferries are added, so there is almost no waiting. Amazing. And it cost us a steep (ha!) $2.00 each!
Over to Quebec. Why? Wide shoulders! Quebec takes cycling serious — this much is evident from the superb shoulders next to a two lane road. The shoulders are superbly paved. Cycling does not get much better than this!
Bram is a fast rider. Maintained an average speed over 27 kph while providing constant commentary about the scenes and sites, as well as anecdotes and stories and personal vignettes. Really enjoyed riding with him!
Pop goes the spoke. I was riding behind Bram when I heard a loud ‘pop’. Bram stopped. One of the high-tech spokes on the front wheel of his Cervelo Soloist had snapped. There was no easy way to remove it let alone repair it. So it was time for him to head home. He did not seem concerned about riding back. And he wrapped up our time together by asking a few insightful questions about SchoolBOX and then making a cash donation!
Detour, metal plate, pop goes the tire. And I get to feel like a TOTAL NEWBIE!!!!. We approached a detour around a bridge undergoing repairs. The road veered to the left and dipped into the riverbed. Thick metal plates covered big gaps in the pavement. I jumped over the first plate without incident. Then I attempted to jump over the second. My front wheel landed short of where I planned — right on the sharp edge of the plate. As I rolled forward I heard the sharp expelled blast of air escaping my tire. And it went flat instantly. We pulled to the side. I pulled out my spare tube: it was the wrong type! How had a Schraeder valve spare made its way into my panier? I have never owned wheels that use such tubes! Such a valve can’t even fit through the opening in my rim! Thankfully Owen has a patched tube which he lends me. I attach my high-tech pump and start … nothing! No air is getting into the tube? What the…?! A close inspection shows a split plastic fitting, causing all air to escape! Can this get any worse? Owen’s pump works flawlessly. We are rolling again. I am deeply rattled by this close call. This could have been much worse. And I was not prepared. Nuts!
Stunning river views. From the road we are riding on, lush fields and pastures roll down to the river and up beyond it, on the Ontario side. We come across the Mouseketeers — Jim is fixing his second flat of this day! Landen had been riding with them and joins us for the rest of the ride.
Another ferry. Back to Ontario, next to the fantastic Carillon Dam. $3.00 this time. We are tired and thirsty. The riding is hard, hot, no longer fun.
The State of Hudson. Who knew? I get the sense that nothing would please the residents of this area more than if the river was rerouted so that they would  become part of Ontario. And then the nice homes are replaced by fantastic mega-mansions, some with hundreds of meters of lawns and flower beds and trees separating them from the road and from the river. Incredible wealth, at times muted and at other times garishly on display. Toronto’s Bridle Path mansions would pale next to some of these edifices!
Overwhelm at camp, 170 km later. This day is finally over. We are exhausted, the final ‘Century Plus’ (over 100 miles) of this Ride behind us.
C4SB shirts for the team – yeah! Jon produced Cycle 4 SchoolBOX shirts at reasonable cost and in record time! Everyone was thrilled!
OK Showers. Mega-Mosquitoes. Loud music ‘will end by midnight’ is brought to an early end by rain.
Hope to blog tomorrow!

“Fuelled by Equator Coffee!”

imagePercy (?) Falls in Ottawa, where the Rideau River joins the Ottawa River
imageThis is where three rivers join: Ottawa, Rideau and Gatineau
imageOttawa River is BIG
imageWeekend Fair outside Ottawa. This perfectly functioning steam engine is used to…boil corn!
imageAnd the engine must be certified annually — it generates very high steam pressure
imageBram gave us a wonderful guided tour from Ottawa, for 65 km. Then one of the spokes on his Cervelo Soloist snapped… so he turned around and headed home.

The beautiful hydro dam at Carillon, Quebec. The structure on the right is the lock system that lifts boats past the dam. We crossed the Outouais (sp?) river back to Ontario by ferry just downstream.

Categories: Day to Day
  1. August 7, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Keep riding on, my friend. So great to see you in TO – and now you have crossed this vast province and are in Quebec! You continue to inspire as you journey on.

    Sending much love and wishes for wide shoulders and good weather!


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