While it didn't take me long to get ready to load Tilmann, the loading part was...well, I don't know what to call it. See, first I had to go retrieve Tilmann from the lobby. When I got there, poor Tilmann was trapped amongst a number of lesser bikes. I got the lock off, but it was pretty tricky getting him out. His front rack was hung up in the spokes of the bike next to him. Finally, I was able to extricate him. Next I took him out the front door and around to the back, where I locked him to the stair railing while I went up to retrieve the bags. Three trips later (and sweating pretty good), Tilmann was loaded. Then I had to go back to the front of the building, punch the code to the door, and leave the room keys in the box on the counter. Whew!
The beginning of today's ride was just a repeat of my exploration from yesterday--riding along the Lechine Canal. It wasn't the Route Verte, but it would get me where I needed to go. At one point, it started to rain. I pulled off under a tree. It was a good tree, but soon the rain was coming through. I put my rain jacket on and continued riding. Fortunately, it didn't last long.
I followed the canal to its very end, which was...wrong. Here's where I ended up. The next photo is where I needed to be. However, I did have a nice ride through the park.
|Whoops, no land left|
|Need to be over there!|
I rode back to where I had seen a canal lock bridge. I walked across the bridge and was then on the correct side.
|Walked across this lock bridge|
I was also back on the Route Verte (now #5). The Route Verte was mostly a bike path, but periodically it would be on the road. Mostly, I just knew I needed to stay close to the St. Lawrence River (which goes by various lake names--Lake St. Louis, Lake St. Francois--but it is still the river).
|Saw these paddlers. Not sure what it's called. The boats are very skinny.|
|Can't get much closer to the river|
I stopped for a mid-morning snack at a patisserie in Beaconsfield. It was quite delicious. I noticed English is becoming more common. In Montreal, many of the people could speak English, but with a French accent. Now I was hearing more English without a French accent.
It was a nice ride along the big houses on the lake/river. I came to McGill University. I saw a Route Verte sign with an arrow pointing right. It appeared the route went down a narrow lane that lead to a cemetery. That seemed weird. I saw two women who I asked if this was the route. They said no, the bike path went through the campus. Okay, that made more sense. It wasn't very long, and I could have just as easily stayed on the road. Then, there was a detour sign with a bike on it. I'd already had one construction detour that I followed just fine. I followed the signs only to find myself at a bridge that said no bikes. I turned on Garmin to see where I was. It appeared my only option was to go over the bridge. So I did, pedaling like mad to make sure I got over before the cars started coming from the other direction. But, once over the bridge there was another detour sign, but it was going the wrong direction. This time, I asked Garmin how to get to the next town on my map. Well, I had to go BACK over the bridge...crap! So, turns out I didn't need to take the detour...*sigh*...
The next section was a path called Piste cyclable Soulanges, basically a path along the Soulanges Canal. Somehow, when I got to the canal, I got totally turned around. If I had just followed the Route Verte 5 sign, I would have saved myself some interesting route finding.
|Going the wrong way on the Soulanges Canal|
|And now singletrack|
Oh, I was riding along the canal all right, just the wrong way. Again, I rode to the very end. After attempts of riding down a couple of gravel roads, I just went back to where I had seen the Route Verte 5 sign. Just as I reached the spot, it started to rain. I pulled in under a picnic shelter where a bunch of kids were playing. When it eased up a bit, I got on the trail. Then, I could see a sign that said St. Zotique 22km. Even though it seemed completely the wrong direction, I followed it.
Then the rain really started to come down. I deemed it too hot for my rain jacket. It was thundering and lightening. Quickly, I was completely soaked. I saw a guy swimming in the canal (not sure that was a good idea). I felt he was no wetter than I was! I saw several other cyclists getting just as soaked.
|A much nicer trail (after the thunderstorm)|
Finally, I seemed to be riding out from under the thunderstorm. Now it was time for the air dry cycle! Unfortunately, I didn't have enough distance left to get completely dry. I plugged in the address of Camping Tepee. For some reason Garmin took me off the canal trail. I totally could have stayed on it.
Anyway, I arrived at the camping place. The office said it was open, but the door was locked. There was a phone and a number to call. I called, and the guy said they didn't allow tents, or they were full, or something of that nature. I went a bit further down the road. I looked across the road and saw a motel, Rive du Lac. It was pretty cheap, so I called it a day. The forecast is for more thunderstorms tonight, so I'm not disappointed to not be in my tent. Besides, this way, everything can get dried out.
|The view from my motel room|
There are no restaurants nearby, but there is a grocery store I may check out...