We just spent 9 days pedalling under the sun, totalling about 470 kms, saw beautiful lanscapes and met lots of interesting people. It was definitely a good start ! 🙂
We left Montreal on Wednesday the 29th of June. We started the day by making Stéphane, who crossed Canada on his bike and shared a lot of tips with us, try out the Pino. We then decided to follow the St Lawrence river, by going along the route verte (i.e. ‘green road’) in Quebec and the Waterfront Trail in Ontario. Between a puncture of one of the trailer’s inner tubes, and a green road that was a bit monotonic at times, nothing really interesting happened during the first two days. It’s worth noting though, that once in Ontario and more specifically around Cornwall, the scenery was more pleasant and the road more interesting.
On Thursday night, we stopped at a campground on the Long Sault Parkway (11 islands linked by a beautiful 11kms road that was recommended by Mike, a cyclist we met on the road near Glen Walter). Kevin and Marie join us there for the week-end. Lots of firewood, sausages, burgers, etc. : we spent 3 days of intense BBQing 🙂 After this very fun week-end together, we are sad to see them leave.
On our way to Kingston and when we arrived in Brockville, the freewheel system of the stoker position blocked completely, immediately creating a feeling of panic. We stop at the nearest campground to check what is going on : it’s actually ‘only’ the little fixation screws of the free wheel hub that ran away, and one of the 2 last ones got stuck between the pedal and the free wheel hub. Thanks to Eric at the Bike Rehabilitation Center in Brockville, this is fixed quickly the next morning and we’re ready to go see the famous Thousand Islands. Eric is so nice that he even gives us new handles for Tracy so that her hands can rest more comfortably ! The road next to the Thousand Islands is beautiful : almost all the islands (and there are actually a thousand) are inhabited, even the small ones. It’s there that we meet Kevin and Anthony, two Canadian cyclists, with whom we shared a meal and a much appreciated espresso they prepared on a Bialetti (so cool they had this while travelling !). Tired, not really knowing where to go nor where we would spend the night, we took the ferry to Howe Island, a rather big island on the St Lawrence just before Kingston. As the sun was going down and our legs were getting weary, we started asking everyone we met if they knew where we could plant our tent without bothering anyone. We were finally allowed by one of the island’s inhabitant to set up camp next to his patio overlooking the river. A really nice gesture that we gratefully welcomed as there is nothing better than watching the sunset while swimming in the river after a hard day of cycling !
After having repaired a broken spoke on the front wheel (the frequency at which bike related problems appear is starting to be worrying), we set out to see Kingston. The city does not really appeal to us, so we move along fairly quickly, but not without taking a gigantic breakfast in a typical/cliché place the kind of which we had only seen in north-american movies (very long, with a policeman talking to the owner at the counter, and all the other customers eating in small booths). Going north on the K&P trail (a former railway path that linked Kingston and Pembroke, now transformed into a hiking/cycling path), we met Brian and Myra. After a short talk, they very generously invited us to stay at their place for the night. We gladly accepted their invitation, put our trailer in their car, and cycled the 15kms to their home as fast as the wind! Their house was perfectly located, next to a wonderful little lake. After a very refreshing swim, they suggested we took canoes and kayaks to go around the lake, something we will not forget considering how beautiful the scenery was in the sunset. Otis, their dog, went with us after having convinced them that he was way too excited to stay alone at the house! Brian and Myra were wonderful, and we spent the evening chatting with them cheerfully. Following their advice, we go back on the K&P trail in the direction of Sharbot Lake. As soon as we arrived, we looked for the provincial park, planted our tent in the campground and directly went for a swim in the lake (it’s something we really appreciate in Canada, there are so many lakes and rivers that we can swim very often!)