Odd vehicle to chose.
Sept 14th. Day 45
For being next to a highway I slept late. Woke up at 7:45. Guess the constant sound is not so bad.
Bought a few fruits at the store. Then back to the info place (they were yet to open at 8:20 when I pulled on the door) not much there for me. It was set up for people going into the city. I was getting out. They had one map i might have used but it was $4 and I would only use it 2 days. Really all I wanted to know was how to get back on the 132. It was shit with headwinds for the last week, but at least I could depend on it to take me somewhere useful.
I got verbal directions to the bridge. The Pont de Quebec. The big cool old bridge I rode under last night when I was getting super pissed at quebec and their “bike infrastructure”. I looked at “bike map” in the info place. Only 20% of the bike ways are on the road. Most are separate. Total shit. Stop teaching drivers bikes don’t belong on the street. And stop thinking bikers just want to ride into the woods or someplace like that.
So I rode over a cool bridge.
Back on the 132. I rode and rode. Nothing special. Small towns with farms between. Ones with nothing. Or maybe a gas station only. And of those none had a coffee machine I would be caught using. Either stupid packets or the damn thing would not have room for me to put my mug under the drip spot. So stupid because it seems like Canada as a whole is good about recycling and at every real grocery I go to there are a noticeable number of people who bring their own grocery bags to use and reuse. But they all seem to be lazy as hell about their coffee habits. But I have not seen a Tim Hortons in days. They are cool about filling my mug vs a paper cup. I might not be the only one.
About 12 I think I’d done 28 km. Slow and tired and lazy. But moving a little, a little at a time.
I watched two falcons flying, gliding, looping around. And then they were trying to do it. Falling in the air. So cool.
Later I saw a hitch hiker. Stopped to talk. Alex. White dude w dreads. Not really a hitchhiker, more a train hopper but off course a bit. He gave me an apple. Lots of apple trees around I guess. He didn’t like the 132 and was more into getting closer to the highway 20. I showed him my map. But right then I was off my map again. But it helped him a little.
Later in the next town I finally got a coffee. My mug is 16oz right to the top(no room for lid). 5pm. About time.
Just out of that town i had a semi about brush me. So scary because he had no on coming traffic, could have given me room, easy. I had zero shoulder. Was the kind were they repainted the white line over the crumbled broken and lost edge of road. So I HAD to be just inside of the line on the roadway.
Well, I lived but that couple seconds were not fun.
And later I met André. Of Vélo André. A small bike shop out of his garage in St Pierre les Becquets. There was a bike hanging from the roof and a sign over the garage door. Had to stop.
His English was good but he was a little unsure of himself. A short guy about 60 or something. I just thought it was neat and odd that he had a bike shop in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I don’t think you could buy a gallon of milk in that town but you could buy a bike.
He told me he was wanting to take a trip of his own but needed to wait 6 weeks to recuperate from a bike crash. Showed me his trailer he planned to use.
Told me this year was not so good for selling bikes. Two years ago was very good he said. He’d been selling bikes for 14 years. Later he said he’d worked in Montreal and spoke English there for work, but since then not so much. Also that he once was a farmer with cows and fields for crops, but sold it all and kept the house and garage.
He had some electric bikes and a stack of maybe 8 or 10 boxed bikes he had yet to sell. They all said “made in Vietnam”.
Before I left I asked for a photo. Just a portrait of him on his gravel drive in front of the open door and Andre sign.
Traded emails and I was off.
Oh he also told me there is a difference in expression for have a good day when said in the morning and when said in the afternoon. Makes sense there would be but I’ve been basically saying goodmorning to people morning, noon, and night for the last couple weeks. I’m so dumb.
I was ripping 30+ to the next town. Coffee. It was the fastest 17km of the month.
In Bécancour I asked how far to next town. Still lacking a map. The only answer I could get was 20 min in a car.
Distance and time are not the same thing but in a different country I’ll take what I can get and just smile.
I stayed where I was. Just filled my water. Sat by an outlet listing to music till dark and then rolled to the park I’d scouted to camp. Was getting cold, could see my breath.
Between soccer field(no one playing) and a baseball diamond (now the lights were on? And no one playing) I rode out to the back edge of the park. Against the trees I set up.
Soup and crackers for dinner.
In bed at 8:59p
Tim Berry on the iPod.
-I noticed the zipper pulls on my new Arkel bar bag are the same as the ones my old ass Cannondale panniers.
-the word for black is Noir. Cafe Noir. Black coffee. I learned this back in NB but seen it spelled today on an ad for scratch-off tickets. Like a knock off mastercard black but a scratch off i guess?
I’ve been happily married to this road for days now. I have been bouncing around a bit but that’s ok too. My only regret is that I was just a handful of miles from a town named Dayton and I failed to realize until I was two days ride past. Oops. That’s one Dayton out out of the 20+ in the states I might not see.
Day one. Condensed.
Rolled fully loaded for the first time w this set up out of Crown Heights to meet Andy at Pies n Thighs. Had pancakes. Talked about climbing. Went to Outlier to say bye. Jesse gave me a paper swan and a patch I wanted. Rachel took my picture. Went to mid town said bye to my roommate. Rode to central park. Said bye to Crihs. Rode out of the park together. He also took a picture. After that alone.
Was nervous but felt good. No phone but was hearing phantom rings.
Writing in a notebook 20 years older than me.
Rode on Bronx River Road and 22. Lots of stone walls at the road on 22. Pretty, shady.
It rained twice. And those were the only times I talked to anyone. Both time guys asking about my trip.
Had the song by sting or police in my head for hours. I can’t stand losing you.
Camped for free. Rained more at night. Nervous but slept well
rode 79 miles to Danbury, CT.
I think that riding through many new towns and cities a cyclist is bound to not have a good understanding of drivers attitudes. Signaling helps. The reason I’m thinking of this subject is because I was riding in Brooklyn and some guy rode by me and did what’s in this image showing “right turn”. My thought was – no driver is going to understand what that means. These signals were made for drivers way back before cars had turn signals. And all these signals use the left arm because a driver could not safely stick their right arm out the window. To use this Right Turn signal while riding a bicycle is silly.
As a bike rider we can use either arm to make a turn signal.
Left turn = left arm extended
Right turn = right arm extended
Keep it simple.