Monday, 16 August 2010

La Route Verte 5

15th August: Beaconsfield, Montreal to Berthierville

Odometer: 120 km, Start: 9.15am, Finish: 5.00pm, Avg: 20.7 km/h,
Weather: Overcast, Temp: 18-25°C
Road Conditions: Followed La Route Verte 5 all day. Signage and road paint pretty good. Out of town road sections had mostly 1.5m paved shoulder. The last 10km until the approaches to Berthierville on the #138 had no shoulder but traffic was light. Ascent: 120m/120m.

It took me most of the morning to clear Montreal. In fact I had 55km showing before I left the island. Luckily, navigation was easy as I was following a marked cycleway: La Route Verte 5. (La Route Verte is a 4,000km series of bikeways within Québec, financed by the provincial government. The development is overseen by the organisation Vélo Québec).

Lake St. Louis, Beaconsfield

I left Beaconsfield and took the Lakeshore Road to the Lachine Canal where I picked up a cycle-path and followed the canal to the docks and Old Montreal. It wasn’t particularly scenic along the way but it was nice following the water course.

The cycle-path along the Lachine Canal into downtown Montreal
Crane on the Lachine Canal section

La Route Verte 5 went around the houses (literally) through Montreal and was a bit of an obstacle course. I didn’t enjoy it that much. Too many twists and turns, curbs and road junctions to negotiate. It would have been better than a busy highway, except it was Sunday and I could see the road I was shadowing (rue Notre-Dame) was very quiet.

Jacques Cartier Bridge across St. Lawrence, Montreal
Ships near the Old Docks

Nearly two-thirds of my day was urban riding and it wasn’t until after St. Sulpice that I left the conurbations behind. Near Lavaltrie I stopped off at a roadside fruit stall and had some framboises (raspberries). I spoke for quite a while to the nice lady running the stall. The fruit growing business was a hobby and used to help fund her daughter’s musical education, apparently. After I told her about my exploits, I got a free drink, although I probably should have insisted paying a little harder as it was such a tiny stall!

Followed La Route Verte 5 all day

From Lavaltrie, I was closely following the St. Lawrence River, as I will be doing now for the next four days all the way to Rivière-du_loup. Approaching Berthierville (the hometown of the former racing driver Gilles Villeneuve) the clouds were getting heavier and it started to spit with rain. I quickly found my accommodation using the GPS and managed to stay dry for another day.

St. Lawrence river, near Berthierville

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