It’s warmer in Whitehorse, YT than in Montreal this week. But fuck it, I need a long ride. So suck it up and let’s go. I’m aiming for Burlington again, just because it’s 100 miles out and a nice ride most of the way. Done it a few times now, so nothing super special in terms of adventure, but it sure plays well for my legs and great use of time. Plus I can do some work when I get there.
Getting out of Montreal turns into an epic shit show, with the Seaway being locked on both exits at the Northern End, precipitating a 20km back-track and adding extra urban miles. I head towards Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in a state of tolerant irritation.
It’s a long hard slog to the border today – almost 5 1/2 hrs roundabout to get there. The officer greets me with the usual questions and then asks why I’m not at work today! Pretty funny. Welcome to the USA. I missed ya’ll!
The ride down the causeway was as much fun as a cold, wet and yes snowy ride could be. Made a new friend on the trail at Hero’s Welcome. Seeking refuge, coffee and a sandwich. Along the causeway there are beautiful squalls, beautiful slapped stratas of clouds upon steely water against ghostly mountains. Really something.
Motel 6 to the budget rescue for cheap accommodation, super-hot powerful shower (Take note Intercontinental Toronto!) ideal for the biking tripster.
Found a great restaurant I forgot about from last time, the Lighthouse, which despite the cheesiest website ever (http://thelighthousevt.com/) serves up Optimus Prime Rib transforming a wet tired rider into a deep dreaming monster.
Montreal – Burlington is a loop I’ve done before, although to be honest I cut it a bit short heading home this time. Maybe the hideous weather had something to do with the choice. It’s hard to be motivated in the screaming wind (memo to self, just say no to Iceland circle island rides).
One of the things I love about long distance riding is the long easy hours that pass without distraction, just eyes on the road and surroundings as your inner world melds slowly with the tarmac in front of you.
Peeling miles off the road like Layne Staley stripping paint. Nice, deep, bass-steady. Let’s continue with cardio-vascular self-indulgence.
I guess it’s pretty inevitable after a while you need to eat, sleep and other bodily functions, otherwise there’s this thing called infinity pace, which is the pace you can stick pretty much forever. For me it’s set at 30 km/hr on a flat still road, with all the variations that the conditions and road throw at me.
This time, I’m working hard just to maintain 24 km/hr into the wind which pretty much says it all. I’m not pushing too deep, but I know the energy burn to keep a decent speed is huge.
I really love the feeling of legs a couple days after a long ride or two. Wish I had the lifestyle to allow me to do this more often. I think once/month is a decent goal.
Great feeling to have 350km on the legs at a nice easy pace, which clears the muscles and gets them ready for more Martin Swiss abuse real soon.