No more meetings No more stats No more Nessie’s dirty looks.
It’s adventure time!! Woohoo!! All our paniers packed, gear checked, beef jerky purchased, and route set, we were ready to go on this great big adventure that we have been anticipating for what seems like forever!
Day 1: Ottawa – Papineauville (84km)
We started from my house, in the south end of Ottawa, swiftly cruising to campus for a brief pitstop (for me, a brusk “reality” check from a brilliant and intimidating biostatistician regarding my thesis project, for L, a quick nap on the grassy knoll and a cup of coffee), we were ready to roll!
Things were rolling pretty well. We were cursing down the beautiful bike paths of Ottawa, I was having some minor issues with my derailliers (since I was not able to get into a bike shop to get a tune up. Side rant: Ottawa needs more bike mechanics! A week before my trip, I called 4 bike shops in the city, and the average wait time for a tune up was 3 weeks. Three weeks! This is outrageous!!).
Unfortunately, moments after leaving Ottawa my tire exploded. No exaggeration. Literally within a minute of crossing the bridge into Gatineau, my front tire BLEW up. It actually went KAPOW and KABOOM like in comic books. Luckily, it was directly beside two helpful cyclists who pointed me towards the Maison du vélo where a couple helpful fellows helped me replace my tire. Unfortunately, my spare tube got pinched during this process, causing yet another flat. Back off, put on a patch, tire back on, patch didn’t hold. The helpful gents stole a tube from an old bike, threw it in, and sent me on my way to Pecco’s to replace the tire (which had been shredded in the whole tire explosion process.
Only a few hours, 2 iced coffees, and a bag of cookies for our Maison du vélo friends later, we were on our way once more. We took the 148 directly east, which turned out to be a really terrific route. Paved shoulders the whole way and plenty of scenic and interesting things to see along the way.
We found super groovy spot in the woods to cook our meal by the water and hang our hammocks. Unfortunately, we walked through a patch of poison ivy to get to this spot, which continues to harass us more than a week later.
Day 2: Papineaville – Lachute (86km)
The next day dawned beautiful and picturesque – another sunny morning. We packed up and hit the road, cycling a few km to our picturesque breakfast spot.
The day was super hot, an unfortunately, Lisa heat stroked out, so we decided to cut our day short and hole up in a hotel room in Lachute so she could cover her body with cold water and let her brain un-swell from the heat. After a long chat, we decided the best option would be for me to continue on the route alone and Lisa would head back toward home, where my dear bf would pick her up and bring her home.
So our best buddies bicyclette adventuré came to an untimely end, but that meant that my solo adventure was just beginning. I felt a little bit sad to part ways with my buddy, a little bit scared to go it alone, but also excited for the next leg of this journey.