|Mercier Bridge with floating ice at sunset|
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Spring has finally arrived in Montreal—at least kind of. The forecast predicted mostly sunny skies with temperatures a little under 10°C. Not too shabby. I clearly have lots of pent up demand in me for riding, and so after doing 50 km on Friday, I planned a 100 km route for Sunday. The route was a variation of two longer rides I had done before, with a new connector segment to keep the distance down. The other change was the direction in which I was doing the ride. Usually when riding in the Monteregie I do the southeast/south part first in order to have a better change of catching the usual southwest to west winds on the way back. As the wind forecast for Saturday promised rather strong winds from anywhere between southeast and northwest, I figured I might as well mix things up and start out by going southwest.
Well, once I crossed the St. Lawrence Seaway onto the mainland I was greeted by a strong headwind. The area just south of Montreal is very flat and characterized by vast fields on black soil—and more recently wind turbines. Few trees provide shelter, and I was struggling to maintain even 20 km/h. The wind also meant that despite the relatively mild temperatures and the spring sun I felt little incentive to stop and take a break. Once I reached Saint-Urbain-Premier, after about 45 km, I circled through the little village to find a bench or other wind-protected spot, but to no avail. Since Saint-Urbain was also the point where I would change direction from southwest to southeast I figure I might as well keep going. This was the new connector segment, which turned out to be a nice addition to my road collection, especially with the wind now at least coming mostly from the side and back.
|Were the engineers slightly drunk when plotting this road...?|
After another 10 km I reached the turnaround point and now had the wind fully in my back for a few kilometers. Glorious riding while it lasted—which wasn't for too long. I finally took a lunch break, fully exposed to the wind, before continuing back towards Delson. The view of the numerous windmills with their rapidly spinning blades accompanied me for most of the way. I reached home in a pretty exhausted state after 108 km.
I really miss having Gunnar, my road bike, for rides like this. It's just not the same on Wolfgang.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Hooray, I can get to the South Shore again. The Jacques Cartier Bridge bike path has reopened for the season. Definite sign of spring!