Thursday, November 17, 2011

Making it Happen - Quebec Here We Come

Sampson's bike on top and the tandems on the back rack.

Heading out a little different style than our 2009-2010 North American Family Bicycle Tour, this past summer we planned a two week bike tour on La Route Verte - an extensive bike route network connecting Montreal to Quebec. We loaded up our 2003 Westfalia (took a pitstop in Minnesota, USA, for a canoe trip) and landed in Sherbrooke, Quebec on August 14. We load our tandem bikes: Tarn (6yrs) rides with Rick and Sampson (10 yrs) pedals his own touring bike - a Norco rigid frame. Tanya and Markos (8 yrs) slide back into their comfortable groove, sharing a tandem and toting those humongous tandem panniers - still a necessity to carry even our bare minimum supplies.

Wonder why that middle guy has such a big grin? A gift from Dad that morning, a bicycle calculator, now mounted on his front handle bars. Hmmmm, maybe not such a good idea.
"AGHHHHH!" I hear screaming from Sampson behind me. Markos and I pull off the cycle path-turned black top highway and I reel around running towards Sampson who sits gripping his knees in the scrappy grass shoulder of the road. I swipe his bike, twisted sideways, off the black top and cradle him in my arms, "It's ok, it's ok..." 34 kilometres per hour, the speed he reached before speed wobbles took him careening into the gravel - didn't think to use the breaks. Why would you if you are trying to max out your speed on your new calculator? Two hours later we're back on the road and ride a second day of 70+ kilometres. Bike back in action, panniers removed from Sampson's bike, and Sampson re-educated about brake use. All hills will be taken in control.

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