Sunday, 29 August 2010

Soggy day riding to the Confederation Bridge

26th August: Bouctouche to Borden-Carleton, PEI

Odometer: 113 km, Start: 9.00am, Finish: 5.30pm, Avg: 21.1 km/h,
Weather: Drizzle/Fog AM, Showers PM, very humid, Temp: 18-24°C
Road Conditions: No Road report. I tried to follow the “Acadian Coastal Drive” again to the Confederation bridge but three closed bridges resulted in large detours. 

A soggy day sums it up nicely! It rained overnight and turned very humid. I had set off in the dry though and it was supposed to be a improving picture during the day. I thought I’d got away with it again! Not this time, the weather forecast was off. It didn’t take long for the drizzle to set in. Several heavy showers during the afternoon and the lovely humidity ensured I stayed very damp. My skin was crinkly (again) by the evening.

A small portion of the 13km length of the Confederation Bridge

I wanted to follow the Acadian Coastal Drive for the second day down to the Confederation Bridge, but there were several closed river bridges on the route. (There seemed to be an unusual amount of road and bridge maintenance going on). Bridge closures are a bit of a bummer as it usually means a lengthy detour. A lengthy detour riding a bicycle is BAD. Add detours to the list of things that make me shout a lot!

The body-blow was the closure of the #955 which was a bike friendly road along the coast for the last 30km to the bridge. The detour was on an main road going inland followed by 25km on the Trans-Canada Highway… in the pouring rain! Lovely.

You can't ride your bike across or walk...

Approaching the bridge there were signs indicating pedestrians and cyclists aren’t allowed to cross. Instead there was a shuttle bus to catch at the information centre just before the start of the bridge. It was a strange system to catch a lift across. You had to use a phone in the centre to call for a lift. (I think the buses stay on the PEI side until they’re needed rather than having one or more stationed at each end? Maybe there’s some logic in there somewhere…).

I had to wait about 20 mins, just enough time for a snack and a walk to the observation tower to look out at the bridge. From the tower, you can only see the first couple of kilometres before the bridge curves away behind itself. It’s still quite impressive though.

...there's a (24hr I think) shuttle bus for bikes and pedestrians

After loading the Nomad on a trailer (annoyingly I had to take all my bags off), I and three foot passengers were whisked across to the other side and we were on Prince Edward Island!

PEI has a good network of bike paths, some of them following the course of the island’s railway line which was closed in 1989. I’m hoping to travel the 65km to Charlottleville, the island’s capital, off-road on the Confederation Trail. It should be a good ride. Shades of La Route Verte in Quebec…

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