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(63.8km) 294km Fredericton to Sackville

Posted September 24th, 2006

A real feast at the Gasthof Bavarian restaurantDown a biiiiiiig hill, just before Cambridge NarrowsThe last few days of our Montreal to Sackville journey passed smoothly, although we failed to keep detailed journal entries, possibly because of a couple longer-than-usual days. We left Fredericton late on the morning of the 21st, having slept in after a night with a friend spent staying up late, chatting and playing games. Despite not hitting the road until nearly noon, we made very good time with a tailwind, keeping up speeds of 25-30km/hour for much of the day, especially between Fredericton and Oromocto. By the end of the day, we’d gone 80km to Cambridge Narrows, where we found a field alongside some walking trails, which offered a good wild camping spot for the night.

The next morning was the first day we can truly say we were chilled getting up and out of the tent, and despite cooking our usual hot breakfast of porridge and mocha (a combination of hot chocolate and coffee) we were cold through for a good half hour after we started cycling. The road wasn’t in the best of shape and was reasonably hilly but it was quiet and we followed the 715 all the way to Coles Island. We’d planned to take the old Coles Island cutoff road from that point on, the 112, but with the new highway it was now known to be deserted and so we delayed hitting that part of our route momentarily, heading instead towards the highway in hopes of finding a store to stock up on food.

We did find a store, and a little cafe, so we stopped for a second breakfast, a nice treat which makes up for some of the luxuries you miss when wild camping! Got some snacks – peanuts, apples, baked beans – at the store and then retraced our route, but stopped for advice at the local tourist bureau.

There the man was so impressed with our plans to cycle the world that he called up the New Brunswick CBC radio afternoon show host, who interviewed us for that day’s show!

Our 10 minutes of fame overwith, and on advice from our friendly guide, we changed our plans and opted instead for the slightly more populated number 10 road down to Berwick. We had quite the climb up a mountain but then a good 3km downhill stretch, where we hit a top speed nearing 60km/hour. We’re not sure that’s safe on a bike but it was good fun. Cut through some back roads and ended up on the 890 towards Petitcodiac. We briefly detoured over to one of the side roads to a German restaurant, Gasthof Bavaria which provided another welcome treat. An expensive meal at $55 for the two of us but very good, and we did order the biggest platters they had and then devoured them accordingly!

With 80km on the clock again, we didn’t go far after supper. We wild camped again just a bit down from the German restaurant, in a little stand of trees, and it was here that Friedel really had trouble sleeping. Too wild an imagination, making too much of all the little sounds around. Another chilly morning meant cold fingers starting out on Saturday but after we warmed up the day was fairly uneventful. We reached Riverview around 2pm with nearly 70km done.

The Clements family kindly put us up in their home and fed us a fantastic supper. It was really so nice to have a warm, soft bed after all those nights in the tent and they were very welcoming. The next day we started out early to Sackville and the hills didn’t abate, but we took our time, stopping at Tim Hortons for a coffee and bagel in Dieppe and again further on for an apple.

The winds took their toll around Dorchester, blowing what seemed like a gale across our path and making the going tough at times. We took turns being in front and it really did make a difference, the first time we’d really noticed the effects of drafting. Despite being close to home, we were hungry by lunchtime so stopped at the famous Bell Inn for a soup and sandwich, before carrying on the last few kilometers. Arrived in Westcock about 2:30pm with 63.8km on the clock.

70km Knightville – Riverview

Posted September 22nd, 2006

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80 km Fredericton – Knightville

Posted September 21st, 2006

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In New Brunswick’s capital city

Posted September 20th, 2006

Andrew fares a little betterThatWe’re not sure what it is about capital cities, but each time we hit one it seems to start raining. Okay, we’ve only been in two yet — Quebec and now Fredericton — but maybe we’ll avoid them from now on! For anyone who thought cycling around the world was a glamourous job, just picture yourself soaked through from the rain, having biked 60km up some pretty big hills, and now paying for expensive coffee to try and get warmed up again. Before the rain started though we did continue to enjoy some beautiful scenery, including views over the St John river and local wildlife. Three deers crossed the road in front of us on Tuesday and we have seen a lot of herons on the river, a few loons and flocks of Canada Geese flying overhead in their ‘v’ formations. We’ve also had some success trying wild camping out, first at the Grand Falls tourist bureau (possibly not the best choice) and second in the forested grounds of the Beechwood power plant, which had the advantage of being beside a running stream where we could wash ourselves and our clothes. It’s a simple existence but enjoyable nonetheless. We start the home stretch tomorrow, towards Sackville, hoping to reach home on Sunday night.

57km Bear Island to Fredericton

Posted September 20th, 2006

A bit of a short day for us, as we were headed to stay with a friend in Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital city. And a good thing too as the rain didn’t leave us for most of the day. We thought we’d escaped early in the morning.

There was no mist on the tent all — first time in ages that’s happened — and the skies were clear. But by breakfast time the clouds had started to roll in and we had rain all the way to Mactaquac, about 30 kilometers down the road. Thankfully our rain gear kept us dry and proved its worth once again.

The hills were tamer too and that helped our spirits. We made quite good time on the flats and on some fantastic downhills, reaching 50km/hour on one. Much faster and we start to put on the brakes, thinking that fast on a bike can’t be a good thing if it goes wrong!

Just outside Mactaquac we picked up the NB trail again, giving it a third chance to prove itself. Must be the ‘capital city’ effect because despite the rain this part of the trail was in quite good shape — flat, well surfaced, and even a few picnic tables! It took a while to get into Fredericton but we rolled in during the afternoon and set up camp in our friend’s apartment, which she’s kindly let us take over, bicycles and all. Spent the evening eating, playing games and finally got to bed at 1am. Slept on an air mattress, which feels like luxury!