Sunday, August 26, 2012

QC-MTL, Day 0: Train to Quebec

> forward to day 1
Our original plan, as presented on this blog earlier in the year, had been to do a week-long tour from Quebec City to Montreal, following the Route Verte 1 throught the Eastern Townships. We were all ready to do it when at the last minute it turned out that I had to be somewhere on Tuesday morning. That would have given us at most 6.5 days for the 500 km. It could have worked out but we decided that we didn't want to cut it close and rather ride on the Route Verte 5, following the St. Lawrence river. This route would only be about 350 km, leaving us a comfortable time window.

On Monday evening we packed up and, after dropping off some recalled books at the library, went to Montreal Central Station. The person at the baggage counter was very nice when taking our bikes and panniers and soon we would be en route to Quebec City. Our train was scheduled to arrive at 9 pm and we arrived pretty much on time. Our bikes were unloaded last and after putting back on the panniers we got going for the 12 km to the hotel.
Our bikes, neatly parked in the Via Rail baggage car
I had planned the route to hotel based on the Quebec City bike maps which resulted in a lovely first part of the ride. We followed the Sainte-Anne river on a winding smooth bike path. Unfortunately, the path does not follow the river all the way to our hotel and the second part of the ride wasn't all that great. The suggested route followed an arterial street that even on a Monday evening at 9:30 pm was still pretty busy. A bike lane did exist but it was narrow and every once in a while disappeared. Well, we eventually made it to Motel Bonaparte. This was by far the cheapest option for accommodation in Quebec and it was definitive a decent value for the money. At around 11 pm we fell asleep, full of anticipation of next day's riding.

> forward to day 1


  1. Wow! Didn't realize that train had racks for unboxed bikes. Cool.

    Did you check out the HI in Quebec City? I've stayed there in the past and liked it.

    1. Nope, we didn't have a look at the HI. In hostels you often have the problem that you can't bring the bikes into the room. And I don't carry a good look while touring.

    2. "And I don't carry a good look while touring."

      Well, generally after a long day on the bike, most people don't carry a good look either!
      ;-) probably wouldn't be able to bring your bike into a hostel room. But most hostels will have an indoor bike storage area. (If I remember correctly, the HI-Quebec did have one.) Cycle-touring and hostelling have a long, intertwined history.