Farnham to Sherbrooke

Weds 29 August 2007
Delta Hotel, Sherbrooke Quebec
114.7 km, 20.1 kph, 5 hrs 42 mins  (770)

We decided to go all the way to Sherbrooke today to enjoy a day off tomorrow, our anniversary. We continued on the Route Verte for the first 50 km, taking a gradual uphill to Granby and Waterloo. Morning break in Granby, lunch break, good take-out, in Waterloo.

Stopped at a beautiful cafe in Eastman to cool down, it’s a very warm day. Then along Lake Orford to Magog, down the Magog River to Sherbrooke.

V pretty towns, Magog in particular, on the shores of Lake Mephremagog. Olin did a quick bike repair in Magog. Mostly road later in day, not too hilly and good riding.

Excellent dinner at Da Tony restaurant.

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Chateauguay to Farnham

28 August 2007
Auberge le Pigeonnier
Farnham Quebec
86.3 km, 4 hrs 4 mins, 21.2 kph  (656.1)

We took a clever and complicated route cross-country to St Jean sur Richelieu, Olin as navigator. Serious agricultural zone with serious agri-chemical flavour to the air. Stopped in the very pretty town of St Remi. The towns are announced by the spire on the church, and the church is always in the centre of town. Most seem to have new zinc paint. Tiles? A rehab program?

St Jean sur Richelieu is on a canal and river, boats and bikes. Excellent lunch at Samuel II.

Then followed the Route Verte to Farnham, crushed gravel on old railway bed. Beautiful cycling, gentle grade. Stopped for night in motel run by immigrant Chinese family. Dinner across the road and early to bed.

Cornwall Ontario to Chateauguay Quebec

Quebec!

Monday 27th August 2007
Rustik Motel Chateauguay Quebec
104.5 km, 20.8 kph
5 hrs 2 mins

Beautiful day’s ride today down the St Lawrence River through cottage country, houses perched right on the river, with all the toys – boats, sea-doos etc. Two good ol’ boys fishin’ off the dock. Nice warm day and fairly flat countryside.

Olin broke a spoke at the end of the ride yesterday so our first stop was a very excellent bike shop in Cornwall. Quick stop at the waterfront but no exploring the old locks (used before the St Lawrence seaway was built). Couple of minor breaks but no stop for lunch until we crossed the QUEBEC BORDER! Three years _____days and ______km to cross Ontario. I wish we were in Quebec for a longer time but are cutting across the Eastern townships to Maine to get to my FCM meeting in St Andrews.

Lunch at a small roadside cafe, my usual BLT now a BTL and even better than usual. Almost immediately found a paved separated bike path – much greater commitment to cycling facilities here in Quebec.. except we are feeling more threatened as Olin was nearly run into by a hotshot Porshe which turned right in front of him.

Crossed a channel to Salaberry de Valleyfield over a very dangerous bridge. Then across that island to our second car/ bike encounter. A lady oncoming turned left and aimed straight at me. She braked at the last possible instant or she would have broadsided me. I screamed. Olin swore. I braked. Olin was busy waving his fist and ran into me. We piled up on the ground. She drove away, looking over her shoulder at us in our heap on the ground. Older lady scared away by Olin’s fist shaking.

Under the St Lawrence seaway

We rode under the main locks of the seaway, with a freighter perched high above us. Into Beauharnois, only to find to our dismay no accommodation whatsoever. We were directed through Liry for B&B’s. Found no B&B’s but a road of spectacular homes along the river – we are close to Montreal. After some casting around found a modest motel in Chateauguay. Good dinner right at the motel, il vitine, Italian food for our first night in Quebec.

Abandoned locks

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Motel Rustik

Brockville to Cornwall Ontario

Olin never away from work

Sunday 26 August 2007
Best Western Cornwall Ontario
97.1 km, 22.6 kph
4 hrs 18 mins 10.30 – 5.00

Left Brockville late-ish, with headwind and rolling countryside slowing us down. However by afternoon the wind shifted, the sun came out and we cruised through the end of the day.

Morning stop at Prescott where the Mayor, Suzanne Dodge, stopped her morning walk to talk to us, doing her job, keeping track of her city and who’s in it. People are starting to comment that we’re far from home.

Our friend Roma found us at lunch again, this time in Iroquois on her way back to Toronto. Very pretty sailing down the St Lawrence, wd have liked to stop at more of the historical sites, but it’s a long day of riding so we kept pressing on.

Cornwall – the motels are outside of downtown so we are up in the ‘burbs and will see the town in the morning.

Suzanne never away from politics – Suzanne and Suzanne

Rest stop, a lot like this along the way

Kingston to Brockville Ontario

Brockville

Saturday 25 August 2007
Quality Inn Royal, Brockville Ontario
86 km, 3 hrs 57 mins
21.8 kph, 9 – 2

Warm temperatures, flat roads, beautiful countryside, wind at our backs and an actual bike path (cheaply built and poorly maintained but a bike path nonetheless), what a perfect day of cycling. We caught our first glimpses of the St Lawrence outside of Kingston, then followed it as we went along the Thousand Islands parkway.

We took a quick tour around the Royal Military College in Kingston. Plenty of signs of fed tax $$ in Kingston – all the prisons, the college, and the military base at Fort Henry.

Lunch in Gananoque. Arrived in Brockville fairly early and had time to enjoy the town. Very pretty with many beautiful historical buildings and churches. Courthouse view up the main street. And the Loyalists are still with us. Read up on them here

Royal Military College Kingston

Royal Military College

Gananoque

Wellington to Kingston Ontario

Federal hotel in Kingston

Friday 24 August 2007
Sheraton Four Points, Kingston Ontario
83.7 km, 3 hrs 40 mins
22.9 kph, 10 – 4

Big storm in the night, we woke to a strong wind and clearing skies. Craig the proprietor brought us a continental bfast, which we ate on our deck, with Lake Ontario just a few feet away. Beautiful ride through Prince Edward county – Bloomfield, Pickton to Glenora Ferry. Fields of corn, good shoulder, flat roads, tail wind and warm air – couldn’t have been better.

We stopped at Adolphustown to see the Loyalist Cultural Centre (everything is Loyalist here). Fruit stand for a beautiful tomato (Deborah says they are the best in the world), Bath for lunch, then on to Kingston. Kingston pretty but full of crumbling infrastructure, poor streets and sidewalks, poor waterfront walkway. 9 penitentiaries but all that fed$$ not being used by the city.

Best tomatoes in the world

Glenora ferry

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Dinner at Frankie Pesto’s. I liked the limestone city hall right on the waterfront, right in the middle of things.

Port Hope to Wellington Ontario

Devonshire Inn B+B

Thursday 23 August 2007
Devonshire Inn B&B, Wellington, Prince Edward County, Ontario
98.1 km, 20.8 kph
4 hrs 43 mins, 11 – 5

Thunder showers gave us a late start from Port Hope. Our night at the spa was good, but no spa-ing. Good dinner and breakfast.

Morning cycling was slow, head wind and wet road. We had lunch at a roadside bar in Grafton, joined by our friend Roma on her way to see her son in his plays in Quebec. Passed through Cobourg, Colborne, Brighton – all attractive towns, brick homes, old churches, farming countryside.

We were a little unsure how far we could come today but the road got better, the weather warmer and the wind more favourable, so we came all the way to Wellington where we are comfortably ensconced in a B+B at the Devonshire Inn. My friend Deborah was most insistent that we come to Prince Edward county, so here we are. Going fast though to get to my FCM meeting so no lolly gagging and touristing, just keep moving.

The United Empire Loyalists are alive and well (or at least always present) in PE county.

Prince Edward county

Prince Edward county