Biking Across Canada Day 50 — Ottawa to Oka: The Wringing of the Hands

New province, who dis? I started the day by crossing into Quebec, which means I've ridden across five of Canada's ten provinces. To get there I rode along the Rideau Canal and past the prime minister's (vacant) house. It's been a long ride through Ontario (30% of the trip) so it's nice to be crossing off another province.

Much of the riding between Ottawa and Quebec City I've done before—my wife and I took our tandem through here before we had kids—so when I was riding somewhere I didn't recognize I thought it must be a new addition to La Route Verte. Nope. I just missed my turn and went on a seven-kilometre round trip down a (beautiful) peninsula.

The road less travelled

I spent the day following the Ottawa River, sometimes closely, sometimes from a distance. I'm still a little intimidated to order coffee en francais, so when I was ready to stop and write a blog post I went to the supermarket where chocolate milk was on sale, loaded up and spent a lovely hour at Parc national de Plaisance, tucked in between a marsh and the river.

It was another long day of riding. My schedule between Toronto and St. John's is much heavier than beforehand, and I'm finding it a little demotivating. I think I may have to retool it so I'll have more leisure time. It's a little tight, and the mechanical difficulties I've had make me think I need to plan more time for preventing them.

How to tell you’re in Quebec: big churches
View from the lookout tower. I ate dinner here.
These woods were cool and misty on our 2010 trip. A highlight of that day.

My new gloves that I was so excited to buy proved problematic today. Fun fact: your biking callouses develop based on where the padding of your gloves sits, and these gloves have padding in different spots. I kept having to give my hands a break as they were cramping up. Lots of hand-wringing happened today.

I was very confused until I realized these were ice fishing huts being stored until winter.

I made it to Parc national d'Oka right at sunset where I paid the ludicrous fee of $51 for the night. I'm sure it's a lovely park and worth the money if you're spending time exploring it, but I'm just there to pitch my tent and sleep. There was a thunderstorm imminent, and no other campsites nearby, so this begger chose not to be choosy. The rain started just as I got my tent up, so I skipped a shower and went right to sleep.

You might remember Oka because of their poorly-thought-out plan to build a golf course on indigenous land. It's not my story to tell. Just watch Alanis Obomsawim's excellent documentary instead.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, Alanis Obomsawin, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

Today's Distance: 178 km

Cumulative Distance: 5832 km

John Kyle @JohnKyle