Monday, 21 May 2012

On a tour of the Island completed

Well, I have now pretty much circled the Island of Montreal. I picked up Leonardo from the bike shop yesterday. I forgot to mention in the previous post that the bike mechanic who was making the diagnosis of Leonardo's problem, asked me if I used it for touring. He had noticed the bundle of spare spokes duct taped to the frame!

I set off this morning on Leonardo and had breakfast at Beauty's, before making a quick visit to the MEC. I took L'Acadie to the end and turned Westwards along a vague continuous series of bike paths, bike shoulders and parks. At around the Parc-Nature Bois-de-Liesse, I was lured away from the Back River by lovely shady paths and before I really knew it, I was "dumped" on a pretty good bike path under a power line. However, it was very near the center of the Island rather than at the edge. But, it was going in the right direction.

The bike path came to an end along with suburbia. I was treated to a glorious country road complete with a wide, paved shoulder and a tail wind to boot. I zipped along it, before entering Senneville. Senneville tries to pretend it is an exclusive country municipality and not part of greater Montreal. It makes for decent biking, but I don't think I would want to live there.

I found lunch in the construction chaos that is Ste-Anne de Bellevue. I was disappointed by the wind direction returning along Lakeshore Boulevard. The weather forecast had been predicting winds out of the South-West. In fact, they were out of the South-South-East, thus somewhat in my face. They were strong enough to make the lives of some kite-surfers near Lachine very interesting, if not scary.

I stopped at the Dairy Queen in Lachine for a banana Blizzard. While I awaited my order, an older man asked me how many kilometers I had done today. As I had removed my new bike computer from Leonardo while I went inside the Dairy Queen, I was able to pull it from my pocket, and show him the mileage on it. It was 76 km at that point. After my snack, I soon got on the Lachine Canal bike path and zoomed along to the McAulsan Brewery. It was doing land-office business selling beer to numerous cyclists and a few roller bladers. I stopped for a pint of their India Pale Ale which is one of their best products. It is hoppy bitter goodness. However, it has two drawbacks. The first is that it isn't available all the time. The second is that it is more expensive than their regular brews.

My total stats for today are: biking time of 4 hours, 10 minutes and 21 seconds; distance of 88.07 km; average speed of 21.0 km/h; maximum speed of 53.8 km/h; 1336.2 calories theoretically expended (hah!) and odometer 88.9 km.

Time for a bath. I have recently observed that one way of knowing if you have been really riding hard, is that if the bath turns relatively opaque before you start washing yourself with soap! ;-)

All in all, a good way to spend Victoria Day. I approve of the Monarchy on the grounds it would far too much trouble to replace it with something else. As well, the anecdote by Lars Mathiesen in this BBC article reveals that her majesty isn't above getting her hands (or at least her shoes) dirty. It also plays into the fact the Monarchy is very much in favour of sport.

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