The 4 Weeker: 4 semaines 4 provinces

Les Statistiques:

  • Time on the go: 4 weeks
  • Distance biked: 1700 Km
  • Tournaments played in: 2
  • Ultimate league/practice/scrimmages attended: 8
  • Nights spent in a tent: 7
  • Money spent: $1050
  • Weigh in: 179 lbs
  • Number of times someone has asked me where I am biking to next: 10000
Week 3 and 4: Fredericton to Ottawa

Week 3 and 4: Fredericton to Ottawa

I guess both languages were hit in this leg of the trip so I will try and do them both justice in the most unconfusing way possible. Donc on y va en français et anglais.

Mon look apres le frisbee a Quebec

Mon look après le frisbee a Québec

Mes hôtes à Québec, Déb et Charles-André, travaillent dans l’industrie alimentaire donc lundi matin tout le monde s’est levé tot et j’étais sur la route vers 6h30. Ce n’était pas un matin facile à cause que le dimanche on avait joué deux games de frisbee dans une ligue d’interior à Québec, malheureusement on avait perdu les deux. Il faisait beau dehors et après la deuxième game l’équipe s’est installé pour prendre quelques bières et de la pizza sur le patio de Janelle. On a quitté la maison de Janelle dimanche soir avec des bières pour la route installées dans nos bouteilles d’eau et c’était une belle ride dans la nuit à Québec avec de la bière. Sur le retour Charles-André m’a montré le chemin pour quitter la ville le lendemain. Encore une fois un gros merci à Charles-André et Déb, leur générosité était incroyable.

Le pont a Trois-Rivieres

Le pont a Trois-Rivieres

Trois-Rivières était mon objectif pour le lundi et malgré les efforts de plusieurs je n’ai pas trouvé du frisbee à jouer lundi soir. Surtout il faut remercier Isabelle qui m’a invité chez elle à Shawinigan avec même une offre de transportation en char. Quand je suis arrivé à Trois-Rivières en bonne heure j’ai décidé de continuer pour me rendre plus proche à Montréal. J’ai pris une photo du pont à 3R où juste à côté il y a le motel coconut et tout le monde qui a joué dans la série CQU4 à 3R connaît le Coconut.

Le lever du soliel a mon site de camping

Le lever du soliel a mon site de camping

My decision to push past Trois-Rivières only got me so far and I ended up in what I hope will be my worst camping site of the trip. Surrounded by farmers fields that gave off the scent of manure the only redeeming quality was the sunrise I got to see. Things do seem to be getting warmer and I had no difficulty with the cold that night, I even wore some cotton to bed.

Un petit pause sur le fleuve

Un petit pause sur le fleuve

Pushing into Montréal was a real grind and a light headwind knocked down my speed a couple of notches. Fighting out the wind I managed to arrive just in time for rush hour traffic, which in Montreal takes on a whole different meaning. I took some cues from some dress wearing locals on bixis who went by me weaving in and out of traffic; I am not ashamed to say that they passed me. Finally I landed on the comforting couch of Tyler and Caitlin, two friends who I know from the Odyssey language assistant program, not to be confused with the ultimate team. Cereal, pizza, playoff hockey, and beer were on the menu and it was just what I needed, some serious couch time.

Ça semble que l’été a frappé Montréal le moment où je suis arrivé. Charles-André m’a mis en contact avec un gars, Nic, de l’équipe Odyssey qui m’a invité à jouer avec les gars de l’Odyssey le mercredi soir. Le mixte powerhouse, était en train de pratiquer quand je suis arrivé sur le terrain. Ils ont vraiment une équipe forte à Montréal et c’était un plaisir de jouer avec eux. On a joué un peu d’Open contre Mephisto et c’était une belle game sur le turf artificiel à UdeM.

Montreal is a fantastic city and particularly getting to see the summer in take off mode was something special as my little strolls around the city showed people out enjoying the beautiful weather. Tyler and Caitlin were just the right kind of hosts for me. They left me to my own devices for the most part and Caitlin made an amazing stir-fry dinner with one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had for dessert.

There is about 200Km of road seperating Montréal and Ottawa and with the promise of good weather I set off with my first companion of the trip who would be staying on the road with me for more than just one day. Dave and I met as part of the Canada World Youth program, we were in different groups but participated in the same exchange with Bénin.

Dave and I left Montréal early Friday morning metting in front of a high school in Northern Montréal. We glided through Oka park and stopped for breakfast 50Km from our departure point. The weather could not have been better with a tail wind, blue skies, and warm temperatures. We sailed along my final stretch of Québec crossing the Ottawa River at Hawkesbury where we stopped for a mountain of food.

The scenery was beautiful and the terrain relatively flat, having someone to share the picturesque travelling with made it all the easier to not take many pictures. Dave and I made camp on the Ottawa side of Alfred a mere 65Km from my childhood home in Ottawa. We pulled off in a little conservation area not quite on the Ottawa River but on one of its many feeder rivers. We camped well eating tuna, bagels, and apples and we made a fire and chatted about some of our previous summer occupations. Dave forest fire fights most summers and we have been over some similar stomping ground with my tree planting back ground. It was definitely not like my nights spent alone on the road but I thoroughly enjoyed the company.

The river was high and things got a little wet on the way into Ottawa.

The river was high and things got a little wet on the way into Ottawa.

We woke up and Dave ambitiously made a fire to get our morning started off right. We knew we didn’t have far to travel and had another amazing day of weather ahead of us. We pulled up in Orleans to get our bearings and refill out water bottles observing other cyclists stream out of the city. We got a little wet on the bike paths next to the Ottawa River and had to navigate some of the residential streets in Orleans to ensure dry passage. Dave and I parted ways, at the National Art Gallery, with a hand shake and a promise to see if we couldn’t make our paths cross again this summer.

Now that I have reached the land of living off my parents I will try and make the most of it and settle in for a little time off. I plan to take a weekend road trip down to Toronto for TUF but leave the bike behind then return to pick it up and keep on riding. I will also use this time to try and tweak and improve my trip and the documenting of it, so if you have any comments or suggestions now would be a good time.

If you are in Ottawa, I am trying to lay financially low, but I would love to grab a drink. I know some lads who produce a lovely moonshine, so if you feel like grabbing a mason jar, that is the J and D advantage.

Je vais dire une au revoir à la belle province. Ma relation avec le Québec n’est jamais facile, il existe des moments durs mais au même temps il y a plusieurs choses que j’adore. La population du Québec est une des plus intéressantes que je n’ai jamais rencontrées dans ma vie. Les gens sont durs mais gentils, et toujours prêt a t’offrir ceux qu’ils ont. Chaque ville possède une certaine “je ne sais quoi” qui donne un gout à retourner et explorer un peu plus. Et le frisbee, vraiment un système unique à soi-même avec plus du monde qui joue en hiver qu’en été. Et un système mixte qui est sur le primere rang de notre pays. Avec toutes mes émotions mêlées envers le Québec soyez pas étonnés si je m’installe ici un jour, mais pas aujourd’hui.

La belle province tu es vraiment la belle province.

Ottawa you are on deck for a little while.


Le Québec tu es plat

O hey Anglophones, this one is in French. When French is the language of my hosts so too is the language of my post. A brief summary: I was in Rivière-du-Loup now I am in Québec. I biked and I played ultimate. The people were incredible. If you don’t know how much my bike cost me you can read about it here, and I will give you a hint it was less than $46.

Out of the Maritimes and into Québec

Out of the Maritimes and into Québec

Ok on y va en français. Donc après la pancarte pour la belle province j’ai continué sur mon vélo pour Rivière-du-Loup. Moi et la ville, nous avons une histoire ensemble, il y a deux ans j’ai vécu à Rivière-du-Loup pendant un mois et demi et c’est pendant ce temps là que j’ai trouvé mon vélo. J’étais là pour prendre des cours de français au Cégep dans le programme Explore, qui est un programme excellent si tu veux améliorer tes compétences en français et aussi pour faire du partying. J’étais logé avec une famille d’accueil qui était juste une dame, Aline, qui a pris moi et trois autres gars chez elle pour nous aider à parler la belle langue.
Le mode de transport pour les étudiants au Cégep était un bus jaune comme les Écoliers. La première journée avec ma boîte à lunch, que Aline m’a préparé, je me sentais plus comme un étudiant prêt pour la garderie qu’un jeune homme qui allait au Cégep. J’ai décidé, dans ce moment, que j’avais besoin de mon propre moyen de transport, pour reprendre un peu le contrôle que j’avais perdu dans ma vie.


Mon vélo de 45$

Heureusement c’était la saison des ventes de garages et en fin de semaine j’ai promené un peu par tout pour trouver un beau vélo. Après quelques heures de recherche j’ai trouvé un vélo où le monsieur voulait 60$, en vrai forme j’ai discuté le prix et on s’est rendu à 45$. Dans le moment j’avais l’idée de garder le vélo juste pour le mois et demi et après l’essayer de le revendre pour le même prix.
Finalement je suis tombé en amour avec mon beau vélo bleu et j’ai décidé de quitter le programme un peu en avance pour retourner chez mes parents à Ottawa en vélo. Le plan m’a frappé un mardi matin après avoir bu plusieurs bières lundi soir. J’ai passé la journée à faire mes préparations et le lendemain je suis parti. Le voyage à Montréal m’a pris trois jours et au lieu de continuer jusqu’à Ottawa j’ai décidé de rester à Montréal et fêter mon défi. Finalement ma sœur m’a conduit à Ottawa le dimanche.



Ma Mère-du-Loup, Aline, m’a offert un lit pour mon passage cette fois-ci et je pense que c’est pour ça que j’ai couru pour Rivière-du-Loup après ma fin de semaine à Fredericton. J’ai fait le 400Km en 3 jours et au lieu de prendre un pause le soir de mon arrivé la gang du frisbee à Rivière-du-Loup m’ont invité à leurs joindre pour leur première pratique à l’extérieur de l’année. Il faisait beau et c’était une offre impossible à refuser surtout avec la crème molle qu’on a pris après.
J’ai pris un jour de congé à Rivière-du-Loup et Aline m’a laissé faire ce que je voulais chez elle. Même si on était 4 gars quand j’étais là la dernière fois elle a préparé de la nourriture pour moi seul comme on était quatre encore, avec une soupe, salade, entrée, et dessert pour chaque souper, j’ai très bien mangé. Deux de mes amis sur l’équipe de frisbee, P-Y et Karine, à RdL m’a invité à prendre une bière avec eux jeudi soir et on a écouté le match où Winnipeg g a perdu sa chance dans les playoffs contre les Habs. Pendant le game P-Y m’a parlé d’une charité qui existe au Québec qui implique des tours de vélos qui s’appelle Le Grand défi Pierre Lavoie et sa mission s’est donné pour mission d’encourager les jeunes à adopter de saines habitude de vie. Voici le lien si ça vous intéresse :

Le vendredi je suis parti tôt le matin pour un site de camping à quelque part entre Rivière-du-Loup et Québec. Le paysage tout le long du fleuve est tellement beau et le terrain est plat, heureusement pour moi. J’ai fait 160Km le vendredi facilement et j’ai trouvé un beau site pour monter ma tente.

Le lever du soleil le samedi était super beau et comme il me restait seulement 50 Km avant le Québec je n’étais pas pressé. Quand je suis arrivé à Lévis en face de Québec j’ai constaté que mon siège n’était pas bien serré sur mon frame donc j’ai croisé le fleuve sur le bateau, toujours une belle vu, et j’ai continué à pied à un magasin de vélo où ils m’ont trouvé une remplaçant pour la pièce qui attache mon siège pour 2.50$ et oui je l’ai marqué dans mon budget. Pas comme le bateau de Lévis à Québec où le gars m’a laissé passer sans payer. Et plus tard dans la journée quand mon amie, Nadine, avec laquelle j’avais voyagé au Bénin, m’a invité à prendre un lait frappé à la Béninoise.

Mes hôtes à Québec, Déb et Charles-André, sont super gentils, j’aurais besoin d’un bon dictionnaire pour bien décrire leur niveau d’hospitalité. On s’est joué une fois ensemble il y a un an au tournois Plaisirs Nocturnes, à Québec, et ils ont ouvert leur appartement à moi et ils m’ont laissé m’amuser partout. Ils ont préparé un souper vendredi soir qui était 1000 fois plus bon qui la boite de thon qui j’avais mangé seul dans ma tente l’avant hier. C’est aussi à cause de ça que je vais avoir de la difficulté à trimmer mon moustache, parce que si jamais un morceau du repas reste là j’aimerais que ça tombe dans ma bouche sur la route.

On va aussi jouer trois heures de frisbee ensemble aujourd’hui et peut-être prendre une petite bière après.

J’ai ajouté des photos ici.

Tu peux me trouver sur facebook et twitter ici.

Québec est une des meilleures villes au Canada, selon moi.

Trois Rivières you are on deck.

I am so done with the Maritimes

It seems that I have some great ideas on the road and then when it comes to sitting down to write they all just disappear. When I last left off I was in Fredericton, now I am not, here is the story:

The Saturday morning Fredericton Market is an incredible place to run into people and get delicious snacks, but it is a little overwhelming if you are trying to find food for a pot-lach. So I turned to Kayla to help me prepare something for the Saturday night party Sam and Mike were hosting. In the process I accidentally watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, and now understand why those books I started reading when I was 12 are now such a big deal.

Sam saved me from what could have been a Sunday of watching nothing but GoT by taking me out to her parents’ farm where things got Lambitious, it was birthing season and I got to see some cute little guys. Her parents have a great place out in Cambridge Narrows and they made an awesome Sunday supper.

Now getting all my stuff together is still a process regardless of where I wake up be it a couch, tent, or floor. It seems as though things spew out of my two panier bags and it becomes a real game of tetris to make everything fit again. Monday morning was no different as I wanted to leave Fredericton at 7 which turned into a little after 8, delayed especially when I was offered porridge if I waited an extra couple of minutes.

A pretty average break point somewhere in NB

A pretty average break point somewhere in NB

I rode for Edmunston not really having a specific timeline figuring it would take me 2 or 3 days to make it there. Generally as I ride I try to give the part of my body that touches the seat a break every hour or so, by getting off my bike and walking around. I try and gauge this by a town that is 15-25Km away or a crossroads or something that is more interesting than just the road itself. However, when you have a bike that is loaded it becomes a bit of a balancing act trying to find a good place to lean everything, my personal preference is a guard rail beside a body of water. If I just throw my bike on the ground I stand a good chance of bending or breaking something like the rear-view mirror I bought in Truro whose lifespan was about a week and a half, despite Mike’s best glue and tape resuscitation efforts.

This is the first time in my life that I have owned a cell phone, save for a brief stint when I was 16, but they have become pretty impressive little beasts. I generally plan my route on it using the map and GPS and I continue to update my route as I go. I generally go for secondary highways and roads that run beside rivers tend to be more flat so I stick to them when I can. My phone also has a 13 megapixel camera on it, which I used to take pictures of the longest covered bridge in the World, located in Hartland, NB. I then put the pictures into a bunch of differently shaped rectangles to make them seem even more interesting.

Opened the flood gates here

Opened the flood gates here

I stopped for the night North of Bath, NB beside a hydroelectric dam. Which was really letting loose with some of the spring run off. My budget for this trip isn’t too extravagant so I plan on relying on accommodations I do not have to pay for as often as I can. When I happen to be out of range of family, friends, and random connections I turn to my tent.

Beechwood Dam Campsite

Beechwood Dam Campsite

Usually when I look for a place to set up for the night I try to be slightly removed from the eye of the general public and next to water. Which puts me in competition with just about every homeowner ever. At this time of year provincial parks are usually unmanned so they make for good free camping as did the green space around the dam. Which also had a nice sunset.

The falls were quite grand

The falls were quite grand

Waking up the next morning to all of my water bottles being iced over probably contributed to yet another slow start to my day. But I had made good time the day before, despite the hills, and I would be following the St John River basically all day so I was confident I would get to Edmunston that night. In this case there turned out to be a few hills while river following at Grand Falls, NB. But the road from Grand Falls into Edmunston was real fast. Unfortunately the only thing I ended up tossing in Edmunston was a few messages as none of the ultimate people would come out to play. Which is too bad because there is an ultimate story in Edmunston and I know some good people who started playing ultimate there, they also host a good tournament in the Spring that I have attended, called June Bug.

Botanical garden campsite

Botanical garden campsite

I used the time that I would have been tossing in Edmunston to get out to the New Brunswick Botanical Garden, which for the amount of signs you see on the highway didn’t seem all that spectacular. But I only camped there illegally, so what do I know. I often fall asleep in my tent thinking about some of my trip regrets: like how I wish I had gotten in on Ultimate Canada’s newsletter or wondering whether or not my gross helmet will actually save me.

I also struggled on that particular night with the debate of whether to take the 130Km of bike trail from Edmunston to Rivière-du-Loup or the highway. Now I am all for bike paths I think they are great for a city to have particularly a long one that not only is inter-city but also inter-provincial. However just after the Spring thaw with a loaded bike a gravel bike trail feels like someone is softly kicking you in the behind, while another person works on your privates, and yet a third jumps up and down on your baggage all the while your max speed seems to be about 75% of what it could be. You only get breaks in the areas where the snow hasn’t yet melted and you have to get off your bike and walk it over the icy patches. The reason this was even a debate in my mind, was because taking the highway would involve tangoing with some of our country’s most notorious drivers.

When I left the next morning, in my best time yet, at 7:30, which turned into 6:30 when I crossed the border, I decided to take on the bike path. But after 10Km and a 200m stretch where the aforementioned softly kicking felt more like a bludgeoning I decided the road was where my tires should roll.

And then I hit the sign.

Out of the Maritimes and into Québec

Out of the Maritimes and into Québec

My next couple of updates are going to be in French at least till I get to Montreal, then I will go half and moitié. Go to the contact page if you want to see facebook updates or to follow me on twitter. I am trying to find a way to get twitter popular which doesn’t involve me telling Brodie Smith I can’t sleep because I am so excited about his new trick shot video, sorry Brodie.

I will sign out on the Maritimes:

From the snowy turf in Halifax, to the ocean-view in Charlottetown, to the domes of Moncton, to the social scene in Fredericton, and the what could have been in Edmunston I have sampled Maritime ultimate stories in several forms but not all. The beaches of Parlee call and the hucks of St John zing and so many others that listing them would take too long, I will get to them one day, just not on this journey.

Truly though it has been a pleasure to kick things off in this part of Canada. The couches, floors, air mattresses and indeed beds I have graced have been through some of the most genuine people I have ever met. I would liken the Atlantic Ultimate community to a web. A web where the strands intertwine and weave through one another. A web that courses with beer of the local variety. A web where people connect amicably, professionally, romantically, and otherwise. A web where trips around the World can be planned or reminisced over, whether they are ultimate related or not. But at the centre of this web the thing that interconnects it all and sends its tendrils hither and tither is a field, a pair of cleats, and a disc.

To quote Darren Clark: Ultimate is alive and well here, and the Maritimes has the best local club scene in the world.

If a team from here is going to Nationals, I want the honour of being on that roster.

Québec you are on deck.