I didn’t post on the 1st because after my ride I wanted to see how the next day went. Then I didn’t post yesterday because thw wifi was too sketchy. And I will save today’s ride for tomorrow. But here is July 2 and 3:
The views on the ride out of Quebec City were pretty. Much of the route was along Quebec City’s large river – the St. Lawrence – and all of it was green, which is quite a contrast to much of Laura’s Ride 2016 and Laura’s Ride North.
The ride was also incredibly bike friendly. Miles of good bike paths took me out of the city and across the river and when they ended the roads had wide shoulders that were in good shape. I felt totally safe which was nice.
Well, totally safe as far as vehicles were concerned. The heat was something else. While it got to “only” 95 with humidity, it took quite a toll on me. I say “only” because 2 years ago when it got to 95 we considered it to be cooling off. And even last year there were some 100 degree days. But this time it got to me. I didn’t get sick but it did zap me pretty good. And then with around 30 miles left, I started to cramp. That made riding a challenge, (As if it wasn’t already.)
I stopped frequently because I am determined not to do what I did a couple of years ago when I let my body temperature get too high and kept riding. As Sal would say, that isn’t prudent. However, that can be easier said than done when there is little shade, not to mention no stores, and therefore no air conditioning, available.
One stop was on a bit of grass under a tree that provided shade. As I was lying there I saw an elderly woman walk onto her front porch at a house across the street. She motioned to me and I tried to communicate that I was fine. She disappeared into her house and then came back out with a bottle of water which her gestures showed was meant for me. Well, I couldn’t very well ignore that so I got up and walked across the street and thanked her as best I could. Our communication was limited because she is one of the numerous people in this part of Canada who only speak French. I sat on a stair on her porch until she went back inside and returned with a chair for me. Despite our language differences I learned that she is Teresa Prentiss, she is 86 – she called my 71 young, showing that everything is relative – she has 4 children, 9 grand children and she was born in Maine to an American father and Canadian mother. I hope I was able to make Teresa know how much I appreciated her kindness.
That wasn’t the last time I found some place along the road to lie down where there was a bit of shade. I did manage to finish the ride – 79 miles and 3,500+ feet of climb which isn’t horrible but was about twice what Google Maps had listed – though it was a good thing that the last bit was downhill and not a climb because my legs would have locked up for sure. As it was, I had to wait about an hour to shower because once in the room everything started to cramp. My legs, my feet and my hands though it was only the leg cramps that really hurt. And “really hurt” doesn’t do it justice.
I was very thankful for both my electric shifting and disc brakes while riding because I was having difficulty with my right hand – cramps – and would have been able to shift cogs, or beake my rear wheel otherwise. (Greg H., if you are still having hand problems as a result of your guillain barre syndrome, I strongly recommend both.)
The room in St. Georges was easily the smallest we have stayed in on any of the rides. There was no way to cram 2 bikes into the room – I did bring a spare – so we had to leave one in the truck.
Today was listed at about 3,500 feet but was actually 4,600. It wasn’t as hot as yesterday – it topped out at 90 and was typically more like 85 – but I think that yesterday was still lingering because I had to fight cramps a number of times. Fortunately I was able to pedal through them but at my last stop beside the road I couldn’t move for a few minutes as both thighs were quivering as they cramped. While I was resting, there were at least 2 vehicles that turned around so they could come by to ask if I was ok. Aside from the cramps, which they couldn’t help, I was ok but I yelled out my thanks for them asking.
When I was a few miles from where I thought I should be I stopped to enter the exact address into my phone. In doing so, I cancelled the present directions. The problem was that there was no cellular service which meant that Google Maps wouldn’t connect. Because I was headed downhill I definitely didn’t want to have overshot my destination – I wasn’t in the mood to do any unnecessary climbing. I tried to flag down the few cars that came by to ask for directions but I guess they thought I was going to highjack them with my bike because no one stopped. I ended up walking to a house that was set back from the road – this is definitely a rural area – to ask for directions. Craig Fisher not only gave me directions, he repeatedly asked if I had everything I needed and even offered to drive me to my destination. Thank you again, Craig!
Tonight we are at the Inn by The River in Forks, Maine. Which means that we crossed the border from Canada to the USA. We were even “treated” to a large homemade “Trump – Make America Great Again!” sign at the front of someone’s home on the route here. My thought was yes, let’s make America great again, like it was before the last presidential election. But enough wishful thinking.
The Inn’s setting is beautiful, marred only by the insects that left numerous lumps on Ale when she tried to go for a walk this evening. We are finally adding a meal photo. Both of us had 14 oz Rib Eye steaks but only Ale finished hers. I was sorry I couldn’t give what was left of mine – at least 1/4 – to Blue. (Here is hoping that Vixen, Sal and Kat’s beloved companion, is doing as well as possible considering that she is also a cancer victim.)
Well, another 83 miles and supposedly 3,500 feet tomorrow. I hope.
Thank you for the comments and messages before I even started,