Monday, February 13, 2012

Planning for spring: Quebec to Montreal

Last year was a bad bike camping year for us. We only managed to do one overnight trip, and even that one had to be cut short due to health issues. Well, there's always the next year, and the cold of winter is a great time for daydreaming and actual planning of tours to come. Very high on the list of tours to do is a one-week ride from Quebec City to Montreal via Sherbrooke on the Route Verte 1. Using OpenCycleMap and the official guide I have mapped out a 445km route. The idea is to start in Quebec City and then ride back home to Montreal. This has the advantage of allowing us to ride as fast or slow as possible, without the pressure of having to catch a train. It will probably take about a week at about 65km per day.

We'll be taking the train to Quebec City, which is slightly complicated: the only regular train with checked luggage service (and therefore with bicycle transportation) is the Ocean, going from Montreal to Halifax. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop in Quebec proper, but on the other side of the St. Lawrence, in Charny. In addition to that, it gets into town rather late. The alternative to that is to take the "Bike Train," special VIA Rail trains that don't require you to box up your bike. The downside is that these trains only run on the weekend (and maybe only in the summer? Not sure.). So we'll have to see what works best. We'll probably do the fully-loaded camping kind of trip, and judging from a POI file of campgrounds in Quebec that shouldn't be a problem. Since I'm vegan, we'll probably do most of our cooking ourselves and I hope there will be sufficient shopping infrastructure for me not having to eat pasta and tomato sauce each night...

Have you been on this ride or portions of it before? It would be great to get feedback on the route, camping choices, and what the infrastructure is like.

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