Saturday morning in Montreal came bright and early, for some reason I couldn’t sleep in, don’t you hate when that happens? I chilled with my iPod while I waited for everyone else to get up and I was super surprised that Patrick had all of my staples on hand. Goodies like banana’s, apples, boiled eggs and a cinnamon raisin bagel, which is a must eat for me the morning after a night out.
I went with an English muffin with jam, carrot muffin and a boiled egg for breakfast.
I packed a banana, apple and the bagel, with PB and Jam, for our ride.
The day was going to be a scorcher so I filled my camelback with a mix of water and powerade (I didn’t have time to grab coconut water before I left TO, boo!).
Montreal is a true cyclists city. Bike lanes and paths are everywhere and the bike lanes are usually well separated from traffic with barricades.
Quebec as a whole is amazing for cyclists with their Route Vert pathways throughout the province. I really wanted to bike along the St. Laurence on this trip so we planned out a route starting from the Port in Old Montreal.
I took an (awkward!) obligatory photo with the anchor for my girls (Hi girls!) before we took off.
Our route took us out and across from the city.
Soon enough we were crossing the St. Laurence which was kind of freaky but mostly awesome.
For some reason I am fascinated with the St. Laurence river, I think it’s because so many people came to Canada on the river, it’s sort of like the Canuck version of the Statue of Liberty… kinda sorta maybe? It’s pretty iconic.
The path we were taking would take us out onto a long narrow island in the middle of the St. Laurence. This is not the best picture but here we are in the middle of the river, there is water just to the right of the photo. So neat!
To the left to the left.
On the right.
Clearly I needed a self-po to immortalize being in the middle of the river. Happy girl!
I should probably mention that I said I wasn’t going to stop and take many pictures since I was biking with others. That lasted about 1km. I don’t think anyone was surprised or irritated. Actually I’m pretty sure they were expecting me to stop way more than I did, thanks guys!!
When we first crossed over we were in the middle of the Montreal Formula 1 race track.
It was so awesome to bike on the track, we were in good company with tons of cyclists and some speed skaters training on roller blades.
About 2hours, 44km and a few photo stops into our ride we stopped for lunch.
Bagel bagel bagel.
And an apple for hydration.
We had a great view of the Lachine (I think) rapids!
At this point I ditched my white long sleeved shirt. It was HOT!!
I can’t go back to biking in Toronto after this.
We biked with cyclists of all levels on our ride and we had a lot of fun pushing ourselves to pace with fast riders and picking some of them off. One thing I like to do is check out what gear others are biking in, sometimes trying their settings helps me to bike more efficiently. Doing this also reminds me to bike smart, as in don’t try and push a big gear the whole time and maintain my cadence. I tend to bike hard and then glide for a little bit, slowing down my pace. It’s such a habit that I often don’t notice it. On this ride I was doing the majority of the pacing so I tried to pay attention and avoid gliding too much.
Our goal for the ride was to hit at least 50km but we really wanted to do more like 80-100 if we could. Early on we decided to go all out for the 100km and paced ourselves accordingly. I had never biked that far on one ride so I was excited to accomplish a new personal best.
Overall the ride was great but it was definitely challenging. The weather was gorgeous but it was also very very hot and humid and we were biking without any shade. On top of the heat, the humidity and my allergies were aggravating my asthma, my chest wasn’t tight but I could feel that my lungs were irritated… I’m sure it didn’t help that I have been forgetting to take the daily inhaler that reduces lung inflammation, oops! Don’t worry, it wasn’t severe, just enough to be irritating.
There also wasn’t anywhere to refill our water bottles so we ended up rationing our water which wasn’t too bad, just not ideal in that type of weather. We did find a fountain halfway through and I have never been so excited to use a bacteria laden fountain in my life!!
My body was trained enough to do the mileage but you do get sore riding in the same position for 4 hours so I found stopping for a minute and doing a quick stretch was helpful. Usually I don’t like stopping but I need to keep in mind that stopping quickly does not equal quitting. Those quick breaks made me feel instantly refreshed, we stopped 3 or 4 times.
As great as the ride was the last 7km was rough. My butt was tired of sitting on a bike seat, I was boiling and only had a few sips of water left with a bunch of hills to go. By the time we hit the last 3km we were all ready to be done and all I could talk about was wanting to lie down in the grass. We eventually stopped pushing through to take a quick stretch break, which made a huge difference and helped us finish strong.
When we were done I was so psyched that we had actually finished 100km!! Can you tell how red my face is?
I know you’re all envious of my ghettooooo helmet.
Right after I took this self-po I downed a bottle of water in the shade and felt great, not sore at all! Well, not sore except for my poor behind. I may not be super speedy but my body was clearly trained to handle this and more, woohoo!