Cycling from Oshawa to Montreal – Day 3

Yes there was a Day 2 before this, find it here!

August 3rd:

My second night in my toy pup tent was better than the first. Though I still had leg cramps, it was reduced and the train hooting was muffled by trees. The fact that it didn’t rain also meant that my stuff was well on its way to being less dampish! A big plus was that I had learned to bring only the minimum equipment necessary for the night into my spacious tent: I used my clothes pannier as a pillow and left the other on the bike. So there was room to curl up and get weight off my butt and my feet.

The previous day my feet had begun getting sore. I finally figured out it was the shoes that were too small and my toe nails too long. I purchased some clippers in Kingston and remedied the situation but my feet were still sore, especially my right. More on this delightful happenstance later.

I left the campsite at 6:25 and reached the beautiful town of Brockville just before nine. The whole St. Lawrence/Thousand Island area just reeks of history. And after I passed through, it could only be more so. Prescott, in particular had Fort Wellington and, 45 minutes riding to the east, the site of the Battle of the Windmill (the rebellion of Nov 1838).

After a few wrong turns I ended up deviating from the proscribed route between Iroquois and Morrisburg by staying on Highway 2. It was lunch when I reached the latter so I partook in the excellent meatloaf at the McIntosh Inn.

From here on is where my screaming seat and sore feet and sunburned face began to be paid off. Some of the best and most beautiful biking of the trip was surely between Morrisburg and Cornwall.

These amazing trails began at Upper Canada Village where some strange directions take you behind parts of the historical re-enactment area and through administrative sections. You finally arrive at a crushed stone path through the woods which leads to breathtaking bike paths on narrow causeways, views of the faraway Adirondacks to the south and beautiful islands that lead to Cornwall. You are basically moving along the tops of hills left dry after the building of the dam close to Cornwall. This 50’s megaproject allowed a much easier passage around the formerly dangerous rapids that were present here before but moved entire villages (the Lost Villages) out of the way. One of the more interesting sites is what remains of old Highway 2 on MacDonell Island which disappear into the the water of new St. Lawrence Seaway (see this map).

The bike paths in Corwall itself are amazing. There was even one delightful spot where the path was bisected by a telephone pole. The extremely bike-friendly engineers of Cornwall actually ramped up the asphalt onto the adjacent hill to give bikers more room. This is a city that cares about biking unlike many that just pay lip service to the idea of maybe and unimaginatively promoting cycling (not to name any names like “Guelph” or anything!)

In South Lancaster I was forced to detour around the route by construction on the South Service Road. Luckily Highway 2 paralleled the 401 just to the north and so I could follow it until Brian’s turn at the 38 kilometer point. Without any particular fanfare I was in Quebec on the wonderful cycling trails that are La Route Verte.

Several klicks to km 57 on Route 338 where I found Camping TePee at about 8:30 and luckily secured a spot. I did approximately 201 km. That left only about 79 klicks to Old Montreal.

My derriere was really sore, my right big toe felt like hell but I felt wonderful!

Day 4 tomorrow!


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